Scroll To Top

Naughty Selfies Help Model and Athlete Break HIV Fundraising Record

Naughty Selfies Help Model and Athlete Break HIV Fundraising Record


Jack Mackenroth raised nearly $50,000 in just seven weeks, thanks in part to some cheeky marketing.

Athlete, model, and HIV activist Jack Mackenroth broke individual fundraising records in last fall’s Braking AIDS Ride (, a three-day, 300-mile bike ride from Boston to New York. Mackenroth raised $47,455, while his 19-person team, dubbed #TheMackPack, raised $128,300 For Housing Works, whose mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy and the provision of lifesaving services.

Mackenroth says, “I made the mistake of speaking before doing my research and I just announced that I was going to raise $50,000 in just seven weeks. I figured that with my massive social media reach I could just put out a few occasional callouts and the donations would come rolling in. Wrong.” After his initial request for funding produced few donationa, he began “selling” personalized, seminaked selfies for donations over $250. He would tag the name, business, website, or social media handle of any major donor and post it on all of his social media outlets, which have a reach of over 500,000 followers. It worked—donations rolled in. After each selfie was posted on Instagram, even more donors responded.

He laughs about how much hard work went into it: “I think there are some people who have permanently blocked my number. I did a lot of direct asking to virtually everyone I know. I hounded people.” Martone Cycling Co. donated bikes, and the gay dating app Scruff paid for the team jerseys. “The Braking AIDS Ride was life-changing in so many ways,” he says. “You create amazing bonds with people when you conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges together. The ride was only 10 days ago and I could barely walk for two days after the ride, but I can’t wait to do it again.”

Thankfully he—and you if you dare—have nine months to prepare this time. 

Scenes from BRAKING AIDS below including #TheMackPack, PozRiders, and one of Mackenroth's safe-for-work selfies.







30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Diane Anderson-Minshall