We’ve all been there. An earnest-looking 20-something stops you on the street as you’re going about your business.
The 20-something makes eye contact and asks, “Do you have a moment to save the...?” Children, animals, trees. It’s hard to say no, but there are errands to run and kids to pick up and you don’t want your email address on yet another spam list. As you walk away, you feel guilty because the children, the animals, the trees are all important, but there’s no time to donate right now.
Massive Amounts of Good (MAOG) is a new non-profit that turns the traditional forms of non-profit fundraising on its head. No cold calls, no stops on the street. Instead, founder Turner Berg believes that artists using their talents is the best way to attract donations.
“We’re not doing anything we’re not already doing right now,” Berg said. “As someone with a group of talented friends, and as someone who has toured as an actor and musician myself, they draw a large number of people out for performances. The idea behind Massive Amounts of Good is to educate folks, while we’re on tour performing, to give.”
MAOG intends to raise money for organizations that assist starving children by hosting concerts. Berg believes that, in his experience, sometimes people don’t know where or how to donate to a good cause. By providing a great concert experience, there is an incentive to donate, Berg said.
“It’s OK to have a passion for the music first, and then the secondary benefit of your money going to a charity still be good,” Berg said.
Ticket sales, and in some cases percentage of bar sales, from MAOG events go toward a hunger relief organization in the city where the concert is being held. For example, MAOG’s upcoming show at the Cabooze in Minneapolis will go toward the Twin Cities non-profit Open Arms.
“But for the people out in Madison, if we hold a show there and tell the people the money is going to people in Minnesota, there is a disconnect. We want to help the people help out locally. There is a need in every city,” Berg said.
Berg, a Twin Cities resident, asked several of his musician friends to embark on a Midwestern tour to raise awareness and funds for the cause of starving children. Many answered the call, including emcee DJ Head who has worked with Jay-Z and Eminem, and American Idol finalist Reed Grimm.
The show will be an outlet for the seven artists on the tour to collaborate
Hometown boy Mark Grundhoefer, who goes by the stage name Mark Joseph, was another musician who volunteered for Berg’s campaign. The son of “J. Grundy” of “J. Grundy’s Rueb-N-Stein,” Grundhoefer has played with such groups as Umphree’s McGee and Wyclef Jean. He said music provides a great opportunity to be a force for good.
“I’ve seen music do a lot of good things. I jumped at the opportunity to participate,” Grundhoefer said. “You see people struggling with hunger throughout the world, but there are people who can’t feed themselves right here.”
Reach reporter Cristeta Boarini at 333-3135. Follow her on Twitter.com @FDNCristeta