Kickstarter campaign results in Potato Stock 2014

By now most people have probably heard about Zack Brown, the man who launched a $10 Kickstarter campaign to make potato salad and eventually ended up raising over $55,000. Brown’s seeming jest quickly turned into a viral sensation, ultimately resulting in Potato Stock 2014, a charity-focused festival celebrating potato salad and helping those in need.

Potato Stock 2014 took place in the Columbus Commons of Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 27, 2014. With sponsorships from the Idaho Potato Commission and Hellman’s mayonnaise, as well as local support from Piada Italian Street Food, Brown managed to give back the money he raised on Kickstarter to the Columbus community. Despite the comedic aspect of Brown’s campaign, the potato salad neophyte was able to not only make a professional product with the help of experts, but also donate to charitable organizations feeding those in the Columbus area. For those taking culinary courses online, Brown’s work showcases the possibilities of crowdfunding and the importance of giving back.

A joke goes viral 
Brown’s campaign to earn $10 for potato salad quickly escalated, as he received more than $200 on day one alone. According to Kickstarter, Brown’s potato project ranks No. 4 on the top 10 list of most-viewed Kickstarter campaigns with over 4 million visits. The company noted that though Brown’s project was most frequently viewed, it received less funding overall than other projects on the site such as Reading Rainbow. Despite the seemingly inane campaign, Brown regularly posted YouTube videos and pictures  on Twitter thanking the people of the Internet for their generosity and made good on all of his promises to those that contributed. For example, he read off the names of nearly 7,000 donors as he filmed the making of his first potato salad. The list took nearly four hours to read.

While the campaign was still raising money, Brown appeared on several television programs, including “Good Morning America.” Brown also promised those who donated a higher sum of money apparel, such as T-shirts and hats. Through all of this, Brown had no real obligation to do anything with the remaining money. However, he created Potato Stock 2014, and instead used the money raised to help fight hunger. Interestingly enough, most of the donations came from the Columbus area and Ohio in general, according to CNN. Making good on his promise, Brown invited the entire Internet to join in the festivities, and although Potato Stock is likely a one-time event, it exemplifies how a small idea can have major positive consequences.

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