It’s that time of year again — Movember. All the guys at work come in clean-shaven on November 1st in preparation to grow out their mustaches, in whatever capacity that may be.
If you’ve been online at any point in the last 10 years, you’ve probably heard of Movember and all of the men’s health causes it supports. Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, Movember is a charitable cause that went viral and has since raised over $710 million. But did you know Movember originated before social media – as we know it now – existed?
The idea was born in a bar in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. Two friends were joking about wanting to bring the mustache back into popularity and convinced a few of their other friends to grow theirs out. Inspired by their friend’s mother’s breast cancer fundraising, they turned their mustache-growing trend into a fundraising campaign for prostate cancer research and men’s health by charging each participant $10. In total, 30 guys signed up.
A year later they made a logo, created a website, and registered a company. Movember was officially created. 450 people donned mustaches for charity in Movember’s first official year, raising AUD 54,000 from Australia, Spain, and the UK.
In 2007, the original Movember team moved around the world to Los Angeles to help grow the campaign. The United States and Canada, among a few other countries, started their ‘staches after the campaign went viral on social media. 200,000 people worldwide were now participating in Movember.
Two years later, Movember USA obtained official charity status and began partnering with the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Movember had caught on – over 425,000 people joined the cause in just two years, and almost $75 million USD was raised.
As of Movember 2017, official campaigns take place in 21 countries worldwide, with over 5.5 million participants who have raised $710 million for 1,200 men’s health projects. So if you’re looking to get involved, or if you and your friends grow mustaches each November but don’t really know why, why not start your own Movember fundraiser? Grow your ‘stache and get startedhere, orMove for Movember instead!