Best Ongoing Fundraising Drama - 2012
The America's Cup Organizing Committee
The Incredible Shrinking America's Cup will feature perhaps one-third the number of racing syndicates predicted by the initial economic forecast. The race's organizers tossed half their employees overboard and, days before the Board of Supervisors would have likely approved a massive development deal, yachting billionaire Larry Ellison backed out, leading to the current stripped-down plan. But there is still a way for the city to lose money prodigiously. If America's Cup Organizing Committee chair Mark Buell can't come up with $20 million more in the next two years, the city eats it. Buell's group made its first-year fundraising goal, though nearly all of its funds were an advance on hypothetical future sponsorship deals from Ellison's Event Authority. Much of the low-hanging fruit has been picked, and Buell must endeavor to search beneath uninspected rocks to raise much more money. How's this for a foot-in-the-door sales pitch: "Hi! Do you want to give money to Larry Ellison?"