Understanding the Success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Social Solutions Blog

Understanding the Success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

More than likely you have heard of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” by now. The general structure is you take the challenge by dumping a bucket of ice water on your head—and then nominate 3 friends to also take the challenge and/or make a donation to support ALS research. They then challenge three more of their friends, and before you know it, the ALS Association is approaching a record $80 million in donations!

We wanted to take a minute to give you our break down of the success of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge so that you and your nonprofit could potentially have the understanding to create your own success story.

Significant Donations!

According to recent article written by Time Magazine, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has managed to raise close to $80 million in donations to support Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. The surge of donations have been going to the ALS Association, a nonprofit who is aggressively researching and searching for ways to fight and one day cure ALS.

Social Virality at its Best!

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which began late July has picked up significant buzz and engagement in the social media world. Using the viral social power of the hashtag function, “#IceBucketChallenge” has become a trending topic in Twitter, Facebook, Vine and other social media networks. The virality of the #IceBucketChallenge is a good example of what happens when your social media strategy comes together by clearly defining your goals.

It Started with the People.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is an interesting case study because this fundraising drive was not started by an organization – it was started by people. It’s organic and that’s part of the appeal. It’s not a corporate message that is being pushed upon the masses.

Celebrity Endorsements too.

With all the attention and exposure coming from many celebrity and professional athletes participating in the video challenge, it’s no wonder the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has managed to continue trending on social media and has brought in over 1.2 million donors supporting ALS research. And while some people have considered this social media campaign to be a form of slacktivism, the Ice Bucket Challenge, has emerged as a creative and fun way to build awareness for ALS.

Has someone in your nonprofit participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge? If so, leave a link to the video in the comments below! We’d love to see how other nonprofits are contributing to this great cause! Have an idea for a future blog topic? Give us a shout and let us know!


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