It's Not Transactional Cause Marketing, But It is a Cool Fundraiser

I define cause marketing as a "relationship that bridges cause and commerce in a way that benefits both parties."

By that definition the Cause Marketing blog isn’t about charity fundraisers per se. Still, I’ve come across a fundraiser in my home state… called Utah FastPass… that’s just so cool that I have to share it with you my faithful readers, even though it’s not precisely a cause marketing effort.

In 2006 the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Utah Highway Patrol closed a remote section of state highway and then sold access to wealthy drivers to drive their cars on the road at speeds the Devil himself wouldn’t chance, all for charity. The gimmick was that the Highway Patrol would give each driver a ‘ticket’ and they would pay the ‘fine’ to charity.

Naturally the drivers had to have very good insurance and sign a ream of waivers.

That first year one driver drove the closed course in a classic Ferrari Enzo like the one at the left and missed a bump or a turn or a shift… he doesn’t remember what happened exactly… and his Ferrari lifted off the ground and all but disintegrated when it landed.

The driver survived, but he spent a year under a neurosurgeon’s care. His beloved Ferrari spent even longer in reconstructive surgery.

But you’re thinking, game over for the Utah FastPass, right? In fact, no. The race continues only it has been moved to the Miller Motor Sports Park, a very fine local racetrack.

In its five years the Utah FastPass has generated $1.2 million for various Utah charities.

Not every state has either the racetrack facilities or the open road or a willing Highway Patrol. But for those that do, this is a fun idea.

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