Everyone loves a good national phenomenon, so as The Walking Dead continued to blow up, paid attention. Countless shows launch every season. Few make it more than a season or two. Fewer still explode and imprint on the American culture the way The Walking Dead has. Love it or hate it, you probably have an opinion … or you don’t own a TV.
But did you ever think you would read a headline about television zombie killers getting together to help their fellow man in real life?
Dana Gurira, who plays Michonne on the show, recently teamed up with CrowdRise to give rabid Dead fans the opportunity to attend an exclusive event and win some amazing Walking Dead prizes. Donations of at least ten bucks enter fans into the contest. According to reports, the winner will be flown to New York and put up in a hotel while they await the opportunity to attend the Walking Dead Season 6 premiere at Madison Square Garden. And it gets better … Michonne will be their tour guide on a backstage trip.
In addition to the event, the winners will receive a “zombie hunter training session” including crossbow training, and a “go bag” slammed full of post-apocalyptic survival gear.
So, awesome … but how is this a charitable event? Well, all proceeds will be donated to Almasi Arts Alliance, an organization Gurira cofounded. Almasi’s mission is to “create professional opportunities within the dramatic arts industry” in Gurira’s home country of Zimbabwe.
The contest was debuted with some serious zombie-smoking star power. Dead cast members Michael Cudlitz, Lauren Cohen, and Melissa McBride helped Gurira kick it off with a video announcement.
While having a recognizable face attached to your fundraiser certainly isn’t a necessity – or even a guarantee of success – it can garner your organization the attention it needs to turn a good idea into a success. Sounds obvious, but there are a few qualifiers.
First, don’t pick someone who can negatively impact your brand. Second, look for a “name” that genuinely cares about your cause. Sure, it’s great to have a recognizable face promoting your cause, but it doesn’t help much if the person is obviously reading from a script and painfully faking their way through the content.
Bottom line: celebrity power is good … as long as the enthusiasm is genuine.