Fandoms are typically known for their passionate reactions to anything related to their TV show, film and/or genre of obsession. But they can do more than bring people together to celebrate a common love. They also leverage enthusiastic audiences to impact the world in positive ways. In recent years, through the power of the internet and social media, fans from across the globe have been able to connect and find common ground. Fandom ties have strengthened and evolved into a support network of charities created by groups of fans in order to create a positive impact. Check out a few ways fans are giving back.
The Cancer Gets Lost endeavor was created “to raise money for various cancer support charities through auctions and fundraisers featuring rare and autographed pop culture memorabilia”. Over the past several years, they have hosted online auctions with proceeds benefiting the National Brain Tumor Society and the American Cancer Society. In 2014, their auction raised almost $80,000. The next auction will be in August 2016, so keep your eyes open.
Photo: Whedonopolis 2016
Having previously hosted many fundraising events in the name of Whedon fans, Whedonopolis is launching a full convention in 2016 dedicated to all things Whedon while benefiting charity. In the past they’ve raised over $50,000 for Kids Need to Read, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, and others through events like Halloween screenings of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. In collaboration with Fandom Charities, Inc., Whedonopolis will take place in May 2016 to raise money for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
Fandom, Give Back! was created by two fans “to lessen fandom tensions and defend every fan’s basic rights while raising money to fund charities of choice”. Currently collaborating on Howler Con for the Teen Wolf fandom, Fandom, Give Back! hosts auction to raise money for various organizations already associated with a particular genre. At Howler Con they will be holding an auction of artwork to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The 100 Charity Project (recently closed)
Although The 100 Charity Project has recently ended, the success of the project can’t be ignored. With widespread support from the talent of the show, The 100 Charity Project began with an ambitious plan to not only encourage ongoing blood donation, but also smaller weekly challenges and bigger movements in order to channel the energy of the passionate fan base. They created fan-related shirts to support monthly charities and art auctions to raise money.
While many charities exist for specific fandoms or causes, plenty of conventions have a charity aspect. Dragon Con hosts a yearly blood drive during the convention so attendees can donate throughout the weekend and New York Comic Con is hosting an art auction with art donated from over 100 artists to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Check with any convention you attend to see if they have a charity component for the event.
Let’s use our passion to make a positive impact on the world!