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Megaphone is auctioning off the naming rights to everything they own—including staff

Sure, it would be nice to be able to name a library, maybe after yourself, but what about a stapler? How about a coffee grinder? What about someone’s first-born baby — for one night only? Now you can.
Megaphone fundraiser
Megaphone has launched an unusual fundraising campaign that allows donors to name random objects – as well as people, for limited time periods — in their new office. The initiative has already raised almost $6,000.

Sure, it would be nice to be able to name a library, maybe after yourself, but what about a stapler? How about a coffee grinder? What about someone’s first-born baby — for one night only?

Now you can.

Megaphone Magazine is moving into its own office for the first time and the organization dreamed up a unique naming-rights crowdfunder, which gives donors the opportunity to name random objects in their office — including some people (temporarily) — to help cover costs of the move.

It was inspired by a similar campaign by an organization in the United States.

The campaign started at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27 with a fundraising goal of $4,000, which was surpassed in five hours. By Feb. 28, the organization had almost hit its new $6,000 goal, reaching $5,405 by 12:30 p.m. thanks to 67 backers.

Krista Butler, Megaphone’s community outreach and development officer, said the initial $4,000 should cover moving costs, while the remaining amount collected will go towards making the new space comfortable for vendors to socialize in when they stop off each morning to pick up copies of the magazine to sell.

“We started in this tiny office, basically a closet, and then branched out and shared our office with Pivot Legal Society for a long time,” she explained. “Now, we’re just about to turn 10 years old. In time for that, we’re finally moving into our own office. We’re all grown up.”

The new office is at 312 Main St. The move is expected to happen in April.

Butler said Megaphone is encouraged by the success of the campaign so far. It runs until March 15.

“We knew we have a really amazing group of dedicated supporters that really believe in Megaphone,” Butler said. “We thought we’d have a lot of fun with this campaign. We didn’t expect it to happen this quickly, but we’re very pleased with the results.”

Items available to be named are listed on the organization’s website. There are a few categories for donations, ranging from $25 to $2,000. Each category has a list of options donors can pick from to name.

For any donation over $300, the name will appear on a plaque, while for any donation under $300, the labels will be made with a label maker.

Unless otherwise stated, the names will stick for three years.

Megaphone’s earthquake kit has already been named “Jiggles,” its naloxone kit has been dubbed “No Worries” and one of its staplers has been christened “Marty.” The safe is named Doug Ford and the vendor coordinator desk is called “William.”

“One of my favourites is probably our fan, which is now called ‘Fresh Prince of Cool Air,’” Butler said.

So far, most of the names are funny, Butler said, but donors can also use their own names. Some donors are even naming items after the vendor they buy Megaphone magazines from.

“Our mini-fridge is now named Peter Thompson. He’s one of our long-time vendors,” Butler said. “We haven’t let him know yet, but he’s now the mini-fridge.”

There are a few items that Megaphone has more than one of — it has two standing desks, for instance, — but once both are taken, they will be removed from the list.

The higher donation categories don’t have as many options listed, but the $25, $50 and $100 categories have many options.

One of the more unusual opportunities is to name the editor’s first-born baby for one night.

Megaphone plans to host a beer and pizza moving party for donors. For that day and night, the baby will be named whatever a donor chooses. That honour is priced at $250.

“It hasn’t been taken yet, surprisingly,” Butler said.

For $2,000, someone will be able to name all of Megaphone’s staff for one month. It hasn’t been claimed yet either, nor has the vault, which will be used as a staff meeting room. It’s at the $750 donation level.

Megaphone vendors have been involved in the fundraising campaign. A handful star in a video made to promote it, one doing the voiceover work. Butler describes him as the Morgan Freeman of Megaphone.

They also came up with ideas for the video and will be involved in naming some of the items. If a donor can’t come up with a name, or doesn’t want their name used, they can ask a vendor to name their item.

Megaphone has had several successful fundraising campaigns over the years. A crowdfunding campaign about two years ago aimed to raise $10,000 to hire a journalist to look at solutions around homelessness and create a six-part series. It ultimately raised $19,000, which enabled Megaphone to create videos with each feature.

“This campaign is quite unique compared to other fundraisers we’ve had, which tend to be more serious. This is an opportunity for us to show that lighter side and the personalities of the vendors that we care so much for,” Butler said.

For more details or to donate visit: megaphonemagazine.com/nameourhome


noconnor@vancourier.com

@naoibh