Thursday, 4 September 2014


I have not and will not participate in the ice bucket challenge, but as someone who works in fundraising, I wish I had thought of it. Every other fundraiser out there wishes they did too. By now, everyone is familiar with the ice bucket challenge; someone gets challenged to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves and make a donation to ALS, and then nominate 3 other people to do the same.

According to the ALS website from July 29-August 29,just over $100 million has been raised from the challenge. In that time frame last year, $2.8 was raised- so a significant increase. Also a significant increase? They had 2.2 million new donors because of the challenge. The awareness for the disease has skyrocketed, which is also important.
There was an article floating around Facebook recently stating that roughly 73% of the fundsraised from the challenge do NOT go towards research- which is what most people thought they were donating too. A lot of people were upset about this and felt mislead, understandably. 
I think the most important thing for donors to know is that you have the right to say how you want the non-profit to spend your donation. Usually donations go into an operating budget and are spent where they are needed. But as a donor, you can direct your donation to specific projects. If you want your donation, 100% of it, to go to research, specify that with your donation. Or if you want it to go towards an art therapy program, education for kids, social programing for can tell the non-profit how to spend your money and they have to honour that. 

I have nothing against ALS- and I really do think that this marketing/fundraising ploy is genius. But like I said, I will not be participating (beyond watching the ice bucket challenge videos).

Why? Because I have a handful of chosen charities that I support on a yearly basis and I only have so much money to donate. I do not want to pull my donation from an organization I have supported for years and that I truly believe in, in order to jump on the ALS bandwagon. I have made the choice to continue to support local non-profits, organizations whose presence I can see in my community, who align with my personal beliefs and who have helped my family (ex Alzheimer Society).

Now, if someone close to me suffered from ALS or if I won the lottery or if the ice bucket challenge was for an organization I already support, I would be singing a different tune.

I will leave you with what I think is the best #ALSIceBucketChallenge:

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