3 Bucks for Brendan

Posted by: Alison Damast on July 2, 2008

Those looking for a creative way to finance their B-School education need look no further than Brendan Baker’s Web site, 3 Bucks For Brendan. The 28-year-old has come up with what he calls “a ridiculous fundraising plan” to help him pay for the $90,000 in tuition he need to attend University of Oxford’s Said Business School this fall.

His idea is simple: ask 3,000 people all over the world to donate $3 to fund his education. So far, he has raised $3,660.87, mostly from friends and friends of friends who pass the Web site address onto their acquaintances, he said. Donations are coming in from South Korea, Romania, Brazil and Malaysia. Even German blogs like Kollermedia.at are taking note. “It’s quickly moving as the word gets out,” Baker said in an e-mail interview.

With just two months to go before B-School, Baker is feeling optimistic. “I honestly do believe I can make it,” he said. “Of course, there are moments of doubt, but these don’t last too long.”

Baker, a Canadian living in the UK, settled upon his fundraising scheme because he wasn’t able to afford Oxford’s steep tuition. He plans to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship and knows that he won’t be making “a banker’s salary” after he graduates, he said.

Before applying to business school, he worked as an engineer in Canada and has also worked on development projects in West Africa through Engineers Without Borders Canada. He settled on the $3 donation because it’s about the same as a cup of coffee in his native Canada or the UK, where he is currently residing, he said.

A spokeswoman for Said Business School, Clare Fisher, confirmed that Baker had been accepted to the program. “Personally, I think it shows great ingenuity,” Fisher said. If Baker doesn’t manage to raise the money, he already has a backup plan. He’ll donate what’s he raised to two non-profits, Engineers Without Borders and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Do you know any people who have devised creative schemes to pay for B-School?

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