The annual Maovember campaign features quirky events for good causes. Learn more about Maovember here. How to support it here.
And our 2022 event list here.
This year’s Maovember, our tenth annual campaign, started last weekend with an event–the Dog Pub Crawl–that captures our spirit of fun and fundraising.
Maovember started as a spur-of-the-moment fundraiser and evolved into a yearly ritual with a shifting and eccentric lineup of events, from beer pong, corn toss and poker tournaments to live music, dance and wine tasting parties to walk-a-thons and bar crawls featuring themes such as wine, craft beer and BYOD–Bring Your Own Dog.
The focus is on giving 100 percent of revenue to a good cause, with admin costs covered by volunteers. And to good causes that can show visible results that we, in turn, can show to our donors. That has meant everything from funding a delivery van for a bakery that employs people with osteogenesis to funding cataract surgeries for the elderly in rural area to funding reading rooms for schools in need across China.
This year’s tenth-anniversary Maovember logo is gold and silver. The design was fine-tuned by Andres Vargas, with Claudia Masueger of CHEERS printing it for our stickers and Jasmine Kho of Kakikopi and Mulu funding several giant versions. Thanks to them and to the many others out there who have helped Maovember to help good causes.
As Maovember 2021 nears, here is a quick recap on how last year’s 72,783.8 RMB / 727,938 mao in donations were spent by our partner, The Library Project. (See the posts following this one for details about the events that helped raise those funds.)
We requested our funds be spent near Tianjin, since WE Brewery and its corn toss tournament in that city is one of Maovember’s signature events, and in Shanxi province, as Grace Vineyard is based there and supported numerous events in 2020, including a wine lunch, wine dinner and grape-based beer launch.
In March, Maovember 2020 funds went to Zhaidong Primary School in Jishan County in southwestern Shanxi province. The school has 601 students and staff, covering K1 to Grade 6, from a community of 5,000 people within a 4-km radius. Many of the students are the children of parents who work in distant areas.
A Library Project field trip found a heavy focus on reading and a need to upgrade facilities. Maovember funded 1200 books plus tables, chairs, bookshelves, a globe, librarian training materials, delivery fees and more. The total cost was 38,828 RMB or 388,280 mao.
In late May, Maovember funds went to Lantian School in Yi County of Hebei province, the closest school to Tianjin we could find. This school has 1550 students and 59 teachers, and covers Grade 1 to Grade 6. Most of its books were bought 15 years ago and needed replacement, with Library Project reporting it only found 500 suitable ones during a field trip.
With space at a premium, Library Project suggested funding a dozen “little seed” reading corners through the school. Maovember funded 1360 books, plus shelves for each corner, teacher training, a post-donation report and more. The total was 33,969.2 rmb or 339,692 mao.
The Library Project takes many things into consideration when providing books and other materials, from school size to student age to specific psychological situations.
“As there is a large number of left-behind children in rural schools, we have increased the proportion of books on children’s psychological construction, child protection, and children’s psychological health,” reports The Library Project. “The proportion of the books is as follows: literature (48%), history and geography (8%), natural science (25%), art (10%), and children’s mental health and growth (9%).”
TLP also takes into consideration what proportion of books to include from STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
Books are sourced via “qualified children’s book suppliers, publishers, and websites.” TLP also sources tables and chairs that are “safe, environmentally friendly, and suitable for transportation and assembly” and bookshelves appropriate for the height of children, using a bidding process for the final decision.
Thanks to everyone who supported Maovember 2020. We aren’t the biggest fundraiser but try to do a few good deeds each year while keeping to our core philosophy of fun events (usually involving a game and a food / drink special), of giving 100 percent of the funds we raise (we cover our own admin costs) and of using the money for visible results (like books!) Thanks also to The Library Project for putting those funds to work and for its high degree of transparency and honesty.
We will start posting updates about Maovember 2021 soon! Here are a few more photos from Lantian School in Hebei.
Maovember 2019 is about to start and we are backing one of our veteran partners once again: The Libary Project. Since being established in 2006, TLP has furnished books, tables, chairs, shelves et al — libraries — in over 2,000 rural schools in China. TLP has a long track record of teaming up with individual donors, smalls campaigns like ours and big corporations. It is fully registered in China, something that is increasingly important for those raising and donating funds.
I’ll also post an update soon on how our last campaign’s funds were spent. That includes our efforts with bakery Bread of Life and equipment we funded, including industrial clothes driers, printers and a specially made wheelchair from Germany. I’m just waiting to hear from Bread of Life on one last item. That update will also cover The Library Project, which also did a review this year of some previous libraries we funded.
We are a bit behind on organizing this year and right now need to focus on confirming our event lineup and getting through opening weekend, which features our launch party this Friday at Hulu and our 42-km “mao-a-thon” this Saturday in Ritan Park.
One request from 2017 Maovember partner Bread of Life Bakery, which employs working-age orphans with brittle-bone disease, was a new delivery vehicle. We soon discovered buying a vehicle was one thing the scarcity and cost of the Beijing license needed for deliveries in the city quite another.
Then we lucked out. New Bread of Life manager John Bison met someone who was selling his Honda and Beijing plates and, because he liked the bakery, willing to get them go for the bargain price of USD5,000 or RMB34,300. Deal done!
Bison brought the vehicle to Paddy O’Shea’s, a Maovember supporter since year one and site of our closing parties. He’s seen sharing some of Bread of Life’s much-loved carrot cake with co-owner Paul Rochon.
You can also catch it, perhaps wearing a giant moustache, at the Maovember 2018 launch party at XL Bar & Restaurant on November 1. The vehicle is part of our mission to show visible results from our fund-raising. Look for more posts in the coming days and wees about the bakery equipment for Bread of Life and the reading rooms for Library Project that Maovember funded over the past year.
The fifth annual Maovember, slated for November 1 through November 30, will support a pair of very worthy causes.
We are connecting with Bread of Life for the first time. This project trains and employs disabled orphans to work in a bakery that serves many Beijing businesses and customers and has received kudos for its quality, especially its carrot cake and pies.
We are also teaming again with The Library Project, with whom we worked during our inaugural campaign in 2013 as well as in 2016. The Library Project has furnished more than 1,000 reading rooms in needy schools across China.
Want to support Maovember? Learn how here.
And here are a few photos from a reading room Maovember sponsored in September in Hebei province:
Planning for the fifth Maovember is well underway. This year’s campaign runs from November 1 to November 30 and supports Bread of Life, a bakery that employs disabled people, and The Library Project, a long-term partner that helps furnish reading rooms in needy schools.
The Maovember launch party is at XL Restaurant and Bar in Beijing from 5 PM to midnight on November 1. Be the first to get the 2017 Maovember pin while enjoying food, drink and games. A wine tasting at CHEERS (November 3), the annual pub quiz at Q Mex (November 15), the third Mystery Wine Party (November 26) and more events are in the queue. See the most up to date events list here.
Maovember is a month-long charity campaign that teams restaurants, bars, shops and customers in China for good causes. The name is a play on mao, a coin worth one tenth of a yuan (1.5 cents), and Movember, a global health campaign that sees men grow mustaches. The theme is small businesses and small donations can yield big results.
Maovember backs projects that produce visible results. Past campaigns have funded a migrant children’s school library on Beijing’s outskirts via The Library Project. (2013) and cataract surgery for over 200 elderly men in rural China via Orbis (2014 and 2015). Funds are raised via Maovember pin sales, personal donations, and events such quizzes, wine tastings and poker, beer pong and corn toss tournaments.
The 2016 steering group includes venue reps Paul Rochon (Paddy O’Shea’s), Zach Lewison (Irish Volunteer), donor reps Steven Schwankert (Beijinger and SIno Scuba), Alex Jennings (education) and Edouard Simon (IT) and Jim Boyce (website and central planning). Everyone involved is a volunteer.
If you need more info, or are interested in holding an event or selling pins, please contact us via nihao (at) maovember.com.