Success for Potato Challenge and Give To Mars Day

the martian movie potato best image

“They are millions of miles from earth and long to be home. Help #PotatoChallenge particpatnes come home!” A ground support crew member, Ambia Favela, posted this message to our Martians. Awesome!

We just made a promise on Twitter that we would never talk about potatoes again. But, well that’s hard to do when so much of the last few months at The Mars Generation and especially the last 24 hours has revolved around the conversation of potatoes! This event, which was also the launch of our first ever Give To Mars Day was by all definitions a massive success.

Kirsti Kuutti NASA The Martian

“Dreaming about what food I will eat after the #PotatoChallenge like astronauts do. ” Post by Aspiring Astronaut Kirsti Kuutti during the #PotatoChallenge

One of our main goals for the Potato Challenge was to raise awareness of The Mars Generation and to let the world know we are here and we are strong. And we did just that. Our community not only conquered spending a day on Mars eating nothing but potatoes but also was able to make the hashtag #PotatoChallenge trend on Twitter (this requires ALOT of conversation). With over 4,000 tweets, a reach of 1.5 million and 20 million impressions about the Potato Challenge in 24 hours we have definitely been heard (and that’s just Twitter, not FB, Instagram, Google+ or other channels). But bigger than that was all the love in those tweets. So many people asking others to donate to The Mars Generation and explaining why we need an organization like this to exist and pouring their hearts into a day that was devoted not only to “giving to mars” but also eating nothing but potatoes!

During Give to Mars Day we also held our first ever #MarsChat on Twitter with Astronaut Abby. Abby chatted with 5th graders in California and answered their questions about Mars. Abby also fielded questions from kids from other classrooms and some adults as well! We are discussing continuing the #MarsChat and will be announcing that shortly. We already have a fun line-up of possible people to join us!

Dr. Phil Metzger Potato Challenge The Martian

“For a #WaterChallenge photo in #PotatoChallenge, Watney puts Pathfinder spacecraft on top of the rover. ” Dr. Phil Metzler TMG Advisory Board Member posted during the #PotatoChallenge.

For our fundraising efforts this was our first time asking for donations and as a brand new nonprofit raising over $7000 is an excellent outcome! We started the challenge as an organization that had only a few donors – we had never fundraised before because we just launched on September 15, 2015 and we now have over 150 donors. This is a phenomenal start to building this organization. Thank you to everyone who donated.

We continue to have donations for our #GalacticGiver #GroundSupport #GiveToMars drive. If you would like to join this founding group of donors please go to:

Please continue to share our message and let’s keep building this community. We will plan another big #GiveToMarsDay and will let everyone know when that will be.

All in all this was simply stated an out of this world adventure and I want to thank each and every one of you for your time, energy and commitment. This was a group effort and without our volunteers, donors, participants and our growing community all pitching in we would not be here today. Let’s keep the momentum going! Ask your friends to #GiveToMars and donate today!

Thank you everyone!

Nicole Harrison

Executive Director, The Mars Generation






  1. Chris says

    Congratulations to everyone involved in planning, executing and being involved in the day. It was fun to follow on social media and see everything that people were doing.

    One suggestion for next time – A little more notice would be useful, I wasn’t able to contribute financial for this one as my budget had already been allocated. More notice would have allowed me to adjust the budget accordingly.

    • Nicole Harrison says

      Thank you for that feedback – definitely useful and something we will be aware of for the next event. Best Nicole

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