Oddest Fund-Raising Campaigns

Strange Cases of Crowdfunding

Oddest Fund-Raising Campaigns
August 28, 2015

The rise of Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe and other crowdfunding websites have made it extremely easy to attempt to raise funds for any cause — no matter how selfish, odd or bizarre. There have been campaigns for everything from funding dates to breast surgery to one gentleman asking for $2,500 on GoFundMe under the title "Tired of Being Broke." (Unfortunately for him, he is still broke.)

Here are just a few of the many interesting crowdfunding campaigns, ranging from the tasteless to the worthless to the just plain strange.

  • Cancelled Wedding – Amber Roof, sister of Dylann Roof (the alleged Charleston church gunman), set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay for her wedding, which was scheduled for June 21 but cancelled after the shooting. A pledge to donate 10% of the funds to the church where the shooting occurred was not enough to quiet the uproar, and the page was removed.

  • The i+ Case – This Kickstarter fiasco raised $15,000 to create an iPhone case made mostly of aluminum, which accidently blocked some of the cellular/Wi-Fi signals of user’s phones. Whoops.

  • Squirrel Tattoo – A forty-year-old woman addressed the two items on her "bucket list" in one fell swoop: funding an online project and getting a squirrel tattoo. Her GoFundMe campaign hit $615 of her requested $2,000. Perhaps she will fund her own, slightly less ambitious, squirrel tattoo.

  • Drank Tank – This request was for $25,650 to develop an alcohol vaporizer to allow you to get alcohol into your system more quickly (after all, isn’t that the goal...?). So far they have raised $2,100. Good luck seeing a return on that investment after the FDA and the ATF are through with them.

  • Million Dollar Homepage – One enterprising young man dealt with college expenses by selling ad space on his "Million Dollar Homepage" for $1 per pixel. His page completely sold out.

  • Million Dollar Boat – An IndieGoGo campaign aimed to raise $1 million for a boat by selling advertising space in a fashion similar to the Million Dollar Homepage. He raised $3. Nice try, but it pays to be first with the idea (and direct it toward something less ostentatious).

  • The Firecase – How convenient is it to be able to light your cigarette with your iPhone case? How smart is it to embed a heated metal coil next to your valuable electronics? At least a few people thought it was a good idea, as the requesters received $734. Unfortunately, $20,000 was the goal.

  • TARC – Billed as "the first free energy thought magnifier" on IndieGoGo, the TARC raised $1,166 of its $15,000 goal. The TARC is non-electronic, working completely on "crystalline science." Hold it between your fingers and your thoughts will be amplified, especially the ones that ask why you paid for what is in essence a smooth black rock.

  • Greek Crowdfunding – Who needs the IMF? One gentleman decide to do his part to help Greece out of their debt problem by crowdfunding Greek debt relief on IndieGoGo. His humorous effort to raise 1.6 billion Euros to save Greece from default actually raised almost 2 million Euros, presumably from people knowing he would never reach his goal. A more serious follow-up effort for 1 million Euros fell short by only raising 289,000 Euros.

  • Orbiting Tardis – 3,231 fans of Doctor Who ponied up for $88,880 to send a Tardis — the Doctor's time traveling phone booth — up into real space. Presumably they plan to send it up on one of the scheduled space flights instead of building their own functional Tardis.

Are you inspired yet to set up your own crowdfunding project? Give it a try. Surely you can beat some of these entries.

Photo ©iStock.com/miriam-doerr

  Conversation   |   44 Comments

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Britt | 08.28.15 @ 14:09
I think crowdfunding is a good way to reach out for help when you need it but some people tend to take things too far.
Crystal | 08.28.15 @ 14:10
I think we need better crowdfunding laws and guidelines. It's become outrageous!
Daniel | 08.28.15 @ 14:12
People really will try to fund just about anything, There are awesome legit or even fun causes out there I say just be sure your money is going where you think it is
Nancy | 08.28.15 @ 14:15
Okay. A couple of those were kind of funny. Some were clever. But, just like in real situations, most were just greedy.
Angie | 08.28.15 @ 14:15
Like Crystal, I'd hope that there'd be some kind of guidelines in order to be able to establish a crowdfunding request. Otherwise, people will begin ignoring them and the projects that are really legitimate will not have a chance.
Sara | 08.28.15 @ 14:18
I think crowdfunding and go fund mes are okay when it is really needed. However, people take advantage of it.
Steffanie | 08.28.15 @ 14:26
There are always people who try to take a good thing and twist into a way to make money.
Sarah | 08.28.15 @ 14:35
I have seen some odd ones and some really heartfelt looking ones. I've not donated to any of them yet but I have benefited from one posted for me and my family after Tropical Storm Debbie left us housebound for two weeks due to flooding. People need to ignore the silly ones and look for the real people, the ones who have real ideas or real needs.
Victor | 08.28.15 @ 14:37
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money , but its kind of crazy the things that people will contribute too.
Jackie | 08.28.15 @ 14:40
People have taken crowdfunding to a new level of craziness. There are many worthwhile causes but the ridiculous causes seem to outshine the legitimate needs of others.
Chrisitna | 08.28.15 @ 14:41
I think the oddest kickstarter I ever read about was the guy with the potato salad!
Erin | 08.28.15 @ 14:47
It's amazing the kinds of things people will give money to see happen. I have better things to spend my money on, but to each their own.
Carla | 08.28.15 @ 14:47
$2000 for a squirrel tattoo? That must have been a humdinger of a tat lol. People should reserve crowdfunding for those really in need.
Zanna | 08.28.15 @ 14:49
After seeing the surcharge fees paid to these funding agencies, I'd rather write a check directly to something / someone I want to fund. These are clever, but I'd rather cut out the middle man.
irene | 08.28.15 @ 14:55
These are really over the top. Maybe I'll start a fund my vacation charity
Rindy | 08.28.15 @ 14:59
I can't believe people try to get funding for these ridiculous far fetched things. Worse yet it is hard to believe people are gullible enough to fund them. I think it should be used for legitimate reasons like raising money for a kidney, etc.
Ron | 08.28.15 @ 15:27
I did some crowdfunding for a kidney transplant I had 18 months ago. It took five years to raise about $13,000, but it was worth it.
Kamie | 08.28.15 @ 15:56
I would crowdfund portable homeless shelters.
Elaine | 08.28.15 @ 16:00
These types of funding sites can be good but I find people are using them for some silly purposes. I too think there needs better guidelines.
Bobbie | 08.28.15 @ 16:13
These are some crazy ideas! My daughter's Japan Club has a page to help raise funds for several students to take a trip to Japan at the end of this school year. While I love the effort, I'm not pledging any since I already have to pick up whatever slack there is (and I'm sure it will be a lot) to get her over there if they can make the trip happen.
Chelsey | 08.28.15 @ 16:22
Crowdfunding gets abused in so many ways. I think the people who put up ridiculous pages and actually get funded deserve that money. They took a chance and got their crazy idea funded. GO you! I do think it is abused in the way that people can make pages for other people and say they are raising money for them when in reality they have no idea it's being done and will never see the money. I like supporting people who have actual problems, but others I think to myself really this problem could be solved in other ways.
Beverly | 08.28.15 @ 16:23
It's amazing some of the things people will ask others to pay for.....what's even more amazing is that there are people that do pay.
Heather | 08.28.15 @ 17:20
I think these sites are great for new businesses to get started but I've also seen some pretty outlandish requests too. Some people just need to get a job.
Rychana | 08.28.15 @ 17:32
Asking for money for a tattoo seems a bit out there. It's wrong to try to take away from actual good causes.
Donnie | 08.28.15 @ 18:02
I'm all about helping out, but there is a limit. Don't ask for money when you wear the newest Air Jordans.
gracie | 08.28.15 @ 18:51
The list was great for a laugh! I think crowdfunding can be a helpful tool although I often wonder if the funds sincerely go towards the idea it was requested for?
Apryl | 08.28.15 @ 18:51
Yeah, can I get crowdfunding for the medications I can no longer afford? Thanks 'healthcare'.
trish | 08.28.15 @ 19:08
I can't believe some of these raised any money at all!!!
STOKES | 08.28.15 @ 19:56
I've used crowdfunding. We raised money to send a local guy (with medical issues) to a Duke/UNC basketball game.
Christina | 08.28.15 @ 20:05
If people have enough money to donate to something so silly, why not to people with cancer or sick kids that has to spend a lot of there childhood in and out of hospitals..
Debbie | 08.28.15 @ 20:23
I used go fund me, a single mom of three with no support from their dad to help raise money to make my bathroom wheelchair accessible for my daughter, It was for family only though and it helped me raise $1000 I had double doors installed from her room into the bathroom and next replace the tub with a roll in shower.
Leah | 08.28.15 @ 22:04
IMO,just another way for people to beg off of others.
Andrea | 08.28.15 @ 23:40
I think crowdfunding is a great option for those who need the help and are not able to get the assistance needed from the state (I know of several family members that this has happened to), But it should not be abused, but it does.
Alec | 08.29.15 @ 00:07
Some of these entries are funny. Some of them make me wonder how they conned people out of their money! If I were to set up a fundraiser for myself for something silly, it would be $1,000 towards my collection. If I were to be serious, I'd raise money for my family's move coming up or a new(er) car since our truck isn't exactly family friendly.
Casey | 08.29.15 @ 13:01
Crowd funding is only a good idea when it's used appropriately. There should be better restrictions on it in my opinion.
Crystal | 08.29.15 @ 15:00
I think it's a good idea but needs certain rules and guidelines
Wanda Langley | 08.29.15 @ 16:36
I think there should be some kind of guidelines that proves a real need before you can apply for this.
Vaughn | 08.29.15 @ 17:36
People abuse this system.
Jane | 08.30.15 @ 04:05
Actually, I've seen the crowdfunding project to have our roads replaces with unbreakable solar panels, with LED lights in them, and heaters so the roads won't freeze in cold areas .
Blake | 08.31.15 @ 21:03
It's fun seeing some of the crazy stuff people try to fund but some of these are tasteless jokes or just pure greedy. The one I remember hearing about was the guy who crowdfunded making potato salad who ended up with a lot more money than he asked for
Joanne grant | 09.02.15 @ 04:53
I think this just goes to show that it doesn't hurt to ask.
Meredith L | 09.02.15 @ 13:52
I had actually started a GoFundMe campaign to help me offset costs for taking in and taking care of abandoned ferrets. That went nowhere either but my love of those playful furbabies continues. Ah well. Maybe I should have sold pixels on my website.
Jo | 09.02.15 @ 19:40
I like the million dollar page! Smart way to pay for college!
Morgan | 09.03.15 @ 17:01
I personally like crowdfunding because it seems the easiest way to get your fundraiser out there.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.05.20 @ 09:19