What Is Movember?

You may have heard of Movember, either online or listening to people chat in public. It’s basically done for charitable purposes, and usually by men, though women can participate in their own way. Men will allow their facial hair, and sometimes their scalp to grow freely for about one month. Then late in Movember, they shave it off and donate funds to a charity. Movember basically combines “mow” and “November” together.

If you’ve ever seen a lot of men sporting facial hair, beards, and moustaches as November progressed last year, you’ll be interested in learning about the origins of Movember and how it got started.

As Nick Davis alias Shaver Guru told us Movember is also called “No-Shave November” which is easier for most people to understand. This is when men, teams, companies, and organizations all get together for this special cause. For one month they hide their razors and electric shavers and allow their facial hair to naturally grow. It started by growing moustaches, but many men like to fully grow their facial hair during this month.

Allowing their facial hair to grow also sends a special statement to people who are battling cancer. It allows everyone to join together in solidarity to say that cancer sucks and there should be a cure.

Participants donate money to a cause. This is usually an amount that they may normally spend on shaving or grooming products, and even electrical consumption can be considered. The goal is for men of all income levels to participate.

Participation also allows people to join the community spirit surrounding this cause. It allows you to build up camaraderie with other people, and to make new friends.

The Movember Foundation was established in 2003 in Australia, set up specifically for this purpose. This is a non-profit that accepts funds throughout November and the rest of the year. There are also many other worthy causes to donate to, but since Movember Foundation is nonprofit, 80% of funds are guaranteed to go straight to cancer research and not into the coffers of a CEO who collects bonuses. The remainder is used for administration of the Foundation.

Movember began to raise awareness for issues surrounding men, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide, but has become more inclusive of different types of cancers that affect everyone.

The Foundation supports many different causes, including Fight Colorectal Cancer, Prevent Cancer Foundation, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The funds from the Foundation go to cancer research, prevention, and education. Since they’re classified as a non-profit, the organization doesn’t pay federal taxes. This is also the only global charitable foundation of its kind.

There is also the Matthew Hill Foundation who raises awareness for this cause, and is also a nonprofit that collects funds.

Of course it’s not necessary to grow your hair or donate funds for participation, as you can do it in your own way. Today, over 5 million supporters throughout the world support these causes.

While Movember has been around for some time to raise awareness, it wasn’t until 2007 that the focus shifted to charitable donations for the Foundation in Australia, and a new one set up in the USA.

In the USA, Movember became officially recognized because of Matthew Hill’s death during that month. This is how the term “Movember” really caught on. The Movember Foundation in Australia was encouraged to change their vision to collection funds too.

Back in November 1, 2007, Matthew Hill entered the hospital for his final days battling colorectal cancer. He passed away on November 30, 2007. Not only is November suitable for a charitable endeavour, it’s a month that honours his life each year, and celebrates courage during his battle. In 2007, events around the world were launched to raise awareness for this cause. His children also wanted to take it a step further and use the cause to raise money for charity.

To date there has been funding provided to about 1200 different men’s health projects around the world. The goal of both Foundations are to reduce men’s deaths by 25% by 2030.

Today, both men and women are invited to sign up for the Movember or No-Shave fundraising campaigns. There are different ways to participate, including no shaving, increasing fitness activities, hosting events, or simply making a donation.

Today, Movember has the unofficial motto “change the face of men’s health”. Also, many cancer patients lose their hair by chemotherapy, so there is that additional connection.

More information about both Foundations can be found at no-shave.org. November is still a few months away, so write this event in your calendar and participate!

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