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Fundraising to become reality TV.

Taking different parts of some of the most popular reality television shows today, Scott Talbot wants to save the world "one fabulous party at a time." The founder of New York-based The Charity Group, is looking for nonprofits to participate in America's Greatest Challenge: The Dream Team, a reality show that combines parts of other reality shows, like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Iron Chef and Top Chef.

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Nonprofits interested in participating can contact Scott Talbot at (646) 641-5739, or by email at scottalbo@mac.com

The show focuses on fundraising events, bringing together an event planner, chef, decorator and mixologist for each episode to put together a charity gala. The Charity Group has secured $150 million in commitments from food and beverage advertisers for their brands.

Filming begins at the end of this year with the broadcast of eight to 13 episodes scheduled in the spring on one of the television networks, though Talbot could not announce yet which one. The show, which will begin in New York and continue on to Chicago and Miami, will aim to pit cities against one another in terms of funds raised. "There's no healthy way of having an elimination competition when dealing with philanthropy," Talbot said, so they created a healthy competition in which each city will aim to raise more than the others.

Talbot said they will aim to raise $20 million a week through text-messaging similar to American Idol Gives Back, and it will be a more uplifting and entertaining version than other charity-related reality shows.

Talbot, a philanthropist and restaurateur, and Showtime programming executive Blayne Ross, developed the concept for the show. Talbot also is developing CharityConnect, a comprehensive technology platform to connect nonprofits and corporations from securing sponsors to event planning, and CharityChex, software that will be provided free to restaurants and allow consumers to make a point-of-sale charitable donation while dining.
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Title Annotation:Who ... When ... Where ... How ... WHAT?
Author:Hrywna, Mark
Publication:The Non-profit Times
Date:Aug 1, 2008
Words:315
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