Most everyone wants to do something for charity, but hardly anyone wants to go out of their way to do it. It's that old Jim Gaffigan joke:
"You want to help feed the homeless?"
"Great. Be here Saturday at 6 a.m."
"Oh, well f*** the homeless."
If people are asked to go out of their way for charity, they want something in return. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge of a few summers ago. That went viral because, yes, people wanted to help fight ALS, but mainly because partaking in the Ice Bucket Challenge became a status symbol in the social media era, the charity version of a retweet from someone with more followers than you.
Colby College's Push-Up Challenge was the first variety, doing what they would already be doing -- in this case, a simple exercise to prepare their chests, arms and shoulders for the upcoming season -- and turned it into a good cause. The Mules gathered pledges and donations, then got to pushing. And in the end they raised more than $3,000 for Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Kennebunk, Maine.