Plunder for Philanthropy

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As everyone* knows by now, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is mostly about (wait for it) talking like a pirate.

But almost since the beginning, some fine folks have used the day as an excuse to raise money for good causes.

The Marie Curie Cancer Care team in the UK was first out o' the gate, urging folks to organize piratical fund-raisers to support their efforts to provide research and end-of-life care for cancer patients. Others have joined in over th' years to use ITLAPD as a way to raise money for everything from feedin' the hungry to sponsoring local children's programs.

This year, the Pirate Guys are urgin' their fans around the world to use their Talk Like A Pirate Day parties to pass the pirate hat for a worthy cause, be it social, humanitarian, cultural or political.

Which cause? That's up t'you. There be no end o' good causes that could use an infusion o' doubloons. Read on down for some ideas.

Cap'n Slappy has a soft spot in his black heart for Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontieres, the international medical humanitarian organization that brings medical care to people all over the world in times of crisis. They even offer tips for making your fund-raiser a success - and an easy way for you to collect donations on line! Tell'em Cap'n Slappy sent you!

How to do it

  1. Choose yer cause. What interests you? Do ye want to save the world? Help the folks in yer own neighborhood? Chances are ye already know of a group that could use your help. If ye don't, there are lots of resources on the Web t'help ye find one. In the US, for instance, try:
    • The American Institute of Philanthropy, which has a list of top-rated charities based on such factors as how much of every donated dollar actually gets spent on aid (as opposed t'linin' the pockets o' greedy blackguards).
    • The Network For Good lets ye locate charities large and small, read their financial reports - and send in yer donations on line.
    • Google for charitable organizations in yer own home town.
    • Hook up with organizations that are already planning TLAPD fund-raisers. You can find the ones we know about on our Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008 page - just look for the little Jolly Roger icon. And if you learn of more, be sure to let us know!
  2. Set a goal. How much would ye like t'raise - and how many participants, at how many doubloons per head, will it take t'do that?
  3. Plan yer event. We've got some resources for plannin' a Talk Like A Pirate Day party right here on the site.
  4. Spread the word. Invite yer friends, invite the community, make it open to all comers - and make sure all yer publicity includes some info about the cause yer hopin' to help. Dependin' on yer plans, ye might want to:
    • Use an on-line service like evite or one of the many alternatives
    • Put up fliers (see our party page for some great examples)
    • Advertise in yer local newspaper or alternative rag
    • Enlist the media to an advance. Lots o' newspapers and broadcast stations do annual Talk Like A Pirate Day stories, and the "pirates with hearts o' gold" angle gives 'em somethin' novel to write about.
    • Slap the news on yer own Web site, MySpace or FaceBook page, etc.
    • Let us know. We'll list yer event on our TLAPD page, and let people know whether it's public or by invitation. We'll even flag yer entry with a tiny Jolly Roger!
    • Whatever ye do, we'd take it kindly if ye'd mention our Web site:, for those who want to know what the day is all about.
  5. Collect money. Ask people for a specific amount. Collect it at the door, or have them donate on-line - but either way, keep track of yer total.
  6. Party like pirates!
  7. Get the money to the charity o' yer choice. No, don't be tempted to pillage it fer yer ship - ye don't want t'give pirates a bad name!
  8. Tell us how much ye raised! Cap'n Slappy's volunteered to keep a tally, and when the dust settles (and the hangovers dissipate), we'll let everyone know how much was raised by pirate lovers around the globe.