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Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town: The Learning Resource

Five: The Whirlwind Campaign in Mariposa

Summary
The Whirlwind Campaign in Mariposa looks at a fundraising activity for the Church of England Church. Spearheaded by the banker Henry Mullins, the fundraiser is not much more than a social club for Mariposa’s businesspeople. With nobody actually raising funds, the Whirlwind Campaign eats through its meagre donations and ultimately winds down with an empty bank account. The church ends up with only $100.

Reading Questions
1. Who has the idea for the Whirlwind Campaign? Where does the idea come from? How do the men form groups for the campaign?

2. The first round of donations are conditional:

  • Mullins writes a cheque for $100 conditional on the fund reaching $50,000
  • George Duff writes a cheque for $100 conditional on the fund reaching $70,000
  • Netley writes a cheque for $100 conditional on the fund reaching $100,000

The conditional donations continue until the “conditional fund” reaches a quarter of a million dollars.
a) Was there ever any actual money in the conditional fund?
b) Today, conditional donations are commonplace. For example, corporations and governments will often match donations made by private citizens towards particular charitable causes. Would causes be better-served if corporations or governments simply made unconditional donations?

3. Josh Smith donates $200 on the condition that the campaign lunches take place at his hotel. Was this a smart move by Smith?

4. The Mariposa Newspacket has a two-inch headline that reads “A QUARTER OF A MILLION.”
a) Was using such a headline a responsible way of reporting the news?
b) Are there parallels between the limited information in this headline and how information is spread on social media today?
c) Why is it important to read beyond headlines or tweets?

5. Are there any actual canvassers for the Whirlwind Campaign?

6. When the Whirlwind Campaign goes bust, Mullins takes the condition off of his $100 donation. Does Mullins’ donation make up for the botched campaign?

7. Who is to blame for the failure of the Whirlwind Campaign?

Fundamental Freedoms in Canada

Deeper Understanding

Charities and Administrative Costs

In Depth

Just who was Machiavelli?