|XP is just a number|
How about a Code-A-Thon?
I remember when I was a kid I used to participate in the read-a-thons at my elementary school. I would go get sponsorships for a certain amount for each hour that I read.
I don't run in Bay to Breakers here because I'm immensely lazy, but it is the same idea. Your entry fee gets donated to charity, and you do the running just because it is fun. (In theory. I have heard that some people like to do this thing called "running".)
So maybe there should be a quarterly Quest where the entry fee is, say, $15/student and $25/non-student, and the event is a coding contest. The contest could easily have corporate sponsors, which gives it a one-two punch on the fundraising front.
I know it sounds crazy ("What, I'm going to pay twenty bucks to do something I do for free in my spare time?") but it works on runners. Maybe because you get a day where you are united with a whole bunch of other people doing the same thing for a good cause, somebody wins and there is much applause, and everyone has a great time.
I'll put in the bucks regardless of merchandise or contests or subscription plans. But I'd rather see something that reaches out to the existing community (and beyond!) and brings it together periodically. Otherwise people will just forget. I mean, you know about the ain't-gonna-happen of micropayments, right? I'm not going to debate the merits of micropayments, but I do think that pm.org is more aligned along the subsidy lines because of its charitable nature.
I'd volunteer to help run such a contest if anyone were keen on the idea.