I am sure that by now you have witnessed or viewed a video of someone performing the irresistible ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Thousands of people, including celebrities like Model Giselle Bundchen and Actor Tom Hanks, have posted videos of themselves getting buckets (large and small) of ice water dumped over their heads and challenging others to do the same to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s disease research and assistance.
Since the ALS Association began tracking the campaign’s progress on July 29, it has raised more than $50 million from 1 million new donors. This campaign has had tremendous public participation and such positive feedback that it has become one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history.
The reason why this ice bucket challenge has become such a hit with people across the country is that it strays from the typical formula that non-profits use for collecting donations; a simple ask. The ice bucket challenge is daring and fun. It is also something that everyone can do, which has been proven in videos where small children did a more mild version of the challenge. Even for viewers who opt-out of the chilling activity, watching the videos are funny and surprising. Watching also provides an emotional tie almost as if you experiencing it with the person, even though you are viewing from the comforts of your home.
If this campaign does not show the power that lays within word of mouth and social media, then I don’t know what does. It took one person to perform this challenge and share it with friends, then it took off throughout the world and spread like wild fire. I believe that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign has effortlessly set the bar super high for other non-profits to get creative in their efforts to raise awareness and revenue.