"So, what's your goal? A couple hundred dollars?"
"Uh no, like thousands. Several thousands."
This was my conversation with a friend at a party the night of May 2, 2015. It was the night before my first busk.
I didn't set a hard goal right away since I wasn't sure what would be realistic yet adequately challenging. By the time I had thrown up a crowdfunding website several weeks later, I decided to say $10,000 by the end of October -- the end of October would be 6 months into the project and would include the Monster Ball Halloween party which would be a fundraiser under the umbrella of DoctorBeDancing -- the idea was about $5,000 on the street and about $5,000 through the fundraisers. I intentionally diversified to maximize chances of success while maintaining flexible goals. I could essentially scale up or down the difficulty as needed to maintain motivation.
Today is November 2, 2015 which means we are at the 6-month evaluation mark for DoctorBeDancing.
I've spent some time to do a rough breakdown of the numbers:
$9,063 in busking donations (1-day record: $547)
$4,955 raised at Monster Ball 2015
$1,270 raised at Undress to Impress
~$1,000 from b.good on our joint engagement
$1,000 from anonymous donor on behalf of Dr. Colleen Keyes (largest single donation)
~$700 in online donations via website
~$18,000 grand total
I'd like to put this into context. As a resident physician, I make just under $3,200/month while DoctorBeDancing has raised $3,000/month over the past 6 months. This means that I have been able to donate an amount that represents over 90% of my post-tax income.
Since its initiation, DoctorBeDancing has appeared on:
Fox 25 (local affiliate)
CBS (local affiliate) - picked up nationally and virally by NowThis News (2.4 million views on FB)
People (online magazine) - embedded CBS story (over 6k shares)
Huffington Post (national online magazine)
DailyMail (largest online English language magazine)
NBC Nightly News (nationally syndicated with 8.2 million viewers nightly)
Boston Courant (local Boston newspaper)
ABC Chronicle (local affiliate)
The Dr. Oz Show (nationally syndicated with ~2 million viewers daily)
PBS Newshour (nationally syndicated - picked up from WGBH local PBS affiliate)
Context: Not many physicians garner national media attention, and when they do, it's often for something negative. As a resident, I was able to help restore faith in the medical profession through the national media acclaim that DoctorBeDancing received. Objectively and conservatively, I reached tens of millions of people. I received messages of gratitude and inspiration from as far away as Japan, the Philippines and Cambodia.
One day, I bought a boombox and a marker because I wanted to be a street performer. Six months later, I was one of the most famous street performers in the world because I did it with a purpose that spoke to millions -- a testament to the power of an idea.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support. The best is yet to come.