Red Nose Day: Getting Goofy for Children Living in Poverty

HSd0qs65If you’ve been near a computer today, you’ve probably seen a red nose somewhere.

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If you hadn’t, now you have.

So, what’s it all about?

Red Nose Day is a multimedia entertainment and fundraising project organized under the banner of the Red Nose Day Fund, which is a collaboration of both Comic Relief, Inc. (previously known as America Gives Back Inc.) and NBCUniversal.

This is the first year of the project in the US, although Red Nose Day has been an bi-annual Comic Relief UK fundraising event in Britain since 1988. The UK event is supported by BBC One, enlists a number of international and UK partnerships and initiatives, generates a number of international events, and has raised £78,082,988 ($122,327,151 US) to date.

Seeking similar success, the US Red Nose Day Fund has partnered with twelve nonprofit organizations committed to keeping children “safe, educated, and healthy,” for its inaugural US launch.

According to the Red Nose website, half of all funds raised will be directed towards US projects, and half will be directed towards “some of the poorest communities in the world in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

Those nonprofits are (in no particular order):

The mission of the Red Nose Day Fund is identified as “raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh,” and the tagline of the project reads that “We believe in a just world free from poverty and use the power of entertainment to create positive change in the world.”

In order to accomplish this goal, the Fund has enlisted some high-profile partnerships with Walgreens and M&Ms, and acquired an impressive number of project “friends,” such as BBDO, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg, Cooney Waters Unlimited, ONE, The Global Poverty Project, Ray Chambers, and Sprinkles (yes, that Sprinkles).

Although NBC isn’t listed as either a partner or a friend, it is the home-base of most of the day’s activities, which include a variety of celebrity endorsements, online campaign initiatives, and perhaps most visibly, a “three-hour entertainment TV special on NBC featuring the country’s favorite comedians, musicians and Hollywood stars… The TV special will showcase top comedy and entertainment live and in pre-recorded segments. It will also highlight the issues for which Red Nose Day is fundraising. Viewers will be encouraged to make donations by phone, and online.”

You can also watch Nick Cannon perform a 24-hour one-man-danceathon here.

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Despite the admittedly large overhead of putting together a project as large and complex as this, Red Nose Day organizers have committed that at least 90% of the money raised will be given in grants to charities.

The special airs tonight (May 21st, 2015 at 8/7c), but individual and corporate fundraising activities have been ongoing since April, supported by both fundraising pages and the Red Nose Day app.

Although red noses (offered at Walgreens and Duane Reade locations for a donation) are out-of-stock in some areas, all nose-wearers are encouraged to post selfies to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #RedNose.

In addition, Bill and Melinda Gates have offered to make a donation of $25 in exchange for selfies including their project hashtag, #RedNose25.

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In the time it has taken me to write this blog (about 30 minutes), #RedNose25 selfies have jumped from 2,201 to 4,312. You can follow along with the Bill & Melinda Gates hashtag ticker here.

For more information on Red Nose Day, view the project’s FAQ here or follow them on Twitter.

Happy Red Nose Day! Will you be participating?



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