Ideas for an Extra-Special Birthday

In the past few years, we’ve noticed a growing number of sites and tools that allow people to set up online fundraisers as individuals, school clubs and community groups. We think one of the most innovative and selfless ways to use such tools is as an alternative to traditional birthday celebrations — taking what otherwise would be a special occasion personally and making it beneficial to others instead.

So what are some things that you, a friend or family member could do to benefit a favorite EB-focused organization when a birthday arrives? Here are some ideas! (And be sure to pass along to some of your fellow co-workers, neighbors or classmates’ parents.)

  • Set up a “cause” page through to suggest to others they donate to a good cause in honor of your birthday. Use the opportunity to encourage them to support a favorite EB-focused nonprofit, and if it isn’t registered, inquire about how to make this happen.
  • Post on your Facebook page that you appreciate the good wishes and e-cards but in lieu of gifts, you’d prefer they give to your favorite EB charity.
  • Contact your favorite local restaurant about holding your birthday celebration with family and friends at their place and ask if they would be willing to donate a portion of the evening’s sales to your EB nonprofit of choice.
  • Host a “party-with-a-cause” birthday celebration and ask guests to bring donations or items for EB families based on an EB nonprofit’s wish list of frequently needed supplies.
  • Use a unique online fundraising tool,, to launch a special birthday contest or promotion with some fun and flair. Last February, we blogged part 2 of our chat with EB Friends forum creator Chris “Pez” Matthai during which he discussed his own “I’ll Do Anything for EB Awareness” Challenge that he launched during EB Awareness Month 2010. In that campaign, whichever proposed “challenge” raised the most money, Chris would have to perform it, from dressing as a clown and roaming the streets of NYC to singing “I’m a Little Teapot” throughout Central Park (the latter which won, by the way). Get creative and have fun with your special day and let your friends and family have a little fun at your expense, all for a good cause!

Have you found some creative ways to transform a birthday or other important occasion into an effective EB fundraiser? We’d love to hear from you with your own ideas and previous event experiences. Just email us at, and if we get enough reader suggestions, we’ll feature a follow-up blog on the subject later this winter.

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