Finally, there’s some good news for development directors and other nonprofit leaders.
About two years ago, the web was deluged with videos of people dumping buckets—even front-end loaders—of ice water over themselves to raise money for research on the neurodegenerative disease ALS.
Wags called it “slacktivism.” But the Ice Bucket Challenge raised $220 million for research that paid off in two big discoveries: This past summer, researchers identified a gene that contributes to ALS. And last year, researchers discovered why a certain protein builds up in the brains of ALS patients. Scientists said their findings wouldn’t have been possible without that influx of cold, icy cash.
What’s more, donations to the ALS Association are still about 25% higher than they were before the challenge, the average age of its donors is down from 50+ to 35, and there’s no evidence that the challenge hurt other charities.
So how to duplicate this fundraiser?
No one knows yet, but these factors helped:
1. It’s a dare
2. You can laugh at yourself and your friends (and celebrities)
3. It’s for a good cause.
— Adapted from “Remember the ice bucket challenge? Well, it worked,” Lyz Lenz, The Daily Dot.