Revert back to summer, scrolling through your facebook page and what did you see? Video after video of friends dumping buckets of ice water on themselves. The ALS ice-bucket challenge was a viral, fundraising concoction that aided in the public recognition of Lou Gehrig’s disease and raised over $220 million dollars globally, and $115 million to the ALS Association alone.
Why was the ice-bucket challenge such a great success, when so many other fundraisers fail? What tips can we take away for future fundraising efforts?
1. Social media is a vessel for human interaction and pro activism. People were required to act.
Think about the timing. Summer means school is not in session and social media activity is heightened.
2. People were required to act, publicly.
You couldn’t be nominated on facebook and then NOT participate.
3. ALS officials.
With every successful fundraiser, there is a back end to be considered and I firmly believe if the officials had not carried out the following tasks, the ice-bucket challenge would not have been as successful.
A. Thank them in a timely fashion.
B. Inform donors on how the organization is using their money.
They were also responsible for managing a huge amount of money and publicity in a way that made people continue to participate in the ice-bucket challenge. In other words, their PR team was “on point”
The ALS ice-bucket challenge succeeded due to a collaborative effort of timing, PR, social media, action and thoughtfulness. Remember this for your next fundraiser.
Eden Youngberg is a senior Journalism and Mass Communications major pursuing certificates in Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship. She is involved in Public Relations Student Society of America and is currently working as a fundraising intern at AMPERAGE Marketing. She hopes to be involved in nonprofits after graduation in May.