Have you seen all of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenges going around lately? It’s a pretty crazy phenomenon that has raised millions for the ALS Association, a charity that focuses on raising awareness about and finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a debilitating illness that affects over 30,000 Americans.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a great way to raise both funds and awareness because of the challenge’s viral nature. It goes like this: A person is nominated by someone who has just completed the challenge. The nominee has 24 hours to either pour a bucket of ice water over their head and donate $10 to the ALS Association, or they can opt-out and donate $100. They then nominate another group of people, typically 3. Like I said, a great way to get it done.
Recently, a number of largely wealthy people, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and former president George W. Bush, have been nominated to do the challenge. Clearly they can afford the $100 donation. I love to see people of their status dump ice water on their heads, and I think it’s awesome that most of them point out that they will be donating money to the cause. In fact, I think that’s a point that should be highlighted in all of this. They take the challenge because the video is guaranteed to go viral. They donate anyway because the wealthy have a tendency to give. Not only does the ALS Association benefit from their donations, but also from the publicity generated by the viral video.
Participating in charity is something I advocate that all companies and business owners do. And I feel that if you have the ability to raise awareness for that same charity, you should. You do a greater service by making others aware than your dollar can possibly provide alone. And, if you’re dong an ice bucket challenge, you’re also providing a great deal of entertainment.
What about you? Do you feel that all of this charity publicity is helping or hurting? Share your thoughts in the comments, and don’t forget to donate to the ALS Association even when you complete the challenge. Have an awesome Wednesday!