What to think of the Ice Bucket Challenge?
This summer, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” went viral. The challenge involves dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research.
The challenge proved incredibly popular. According to The New York Times people shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between 1 June and 13 August and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter.
If you watch this you will see where the ALS ice bucket challenge started.
Now have a read of these ‘cold hard facts’ on the Ice Bucket Challenge (Web Strategist, 26 August) and all of the comments below:
Comments about the challenge as a fundraising/awareness raising tool:
- “Throwing cold water on Ice Bucket Philanthropy” (NPQ, 19 August)
– This article summarises the main criticism. And concludes: “Does it matter whether the charitable giving is thoughtfully considered or simply the result of a fundraising gimmick? That’s the real core issue here.”
- “Viral memes shouldn’t dictate our charitable giving” (Vox, 20 August)
– Memes and celebrities drive us to donate, but we should really focus on a charity’s effectiveness.
- “Critics pour cold water on the ice bucket challenge. Are they right?” (The Conversation, 27 August)
– The fact that people have mixed motives for doing the challenge is OK, and the criticism that other causes are more worthy is not helpful. “Contributing to causes that you care about and feel invested in matters too.”
- “Is Asia missing the point of the ice bucket challenge? – Taiwanese sufferer of ALS voices criticism” (Rocket News, 25 August)
- “Take the No Ice Bucket challenge” (Slate, 12 August)
– The No Ice Bucket Challenge: donating without taking a photo of yourself.
- “Why I’m not doing the #icebucketchallenge or donating for ALS” (Humanospehere, 27 August)
- “Pouring cold water on the Ice Bucket Challenge” (Irish Times, 23 August) – This article is just a rant, really.
- “In defense of the Ice Bucket Challenge” (Florida Alligator, 26 August)
– “Though the Ice Bucket Challenge might seem silly on its face, these viral stunts have the potential to inspire powerful and meaningful action.”
- “In defense of the ice bucket challenge” (Chicago Now, 18 August)
– It’s a stunt. It doesn’t really raise awareness. But: “I find it very hard to believe you’d be speaking your mind so freely if a person with ALS was sitting in front of you while you complained about a fundraiser that benefits him/her.”
- “In defense of the silly, shallow ALS ice bucket challenge.” (The Daily Dot, 20 August)
– “These Random Acts of Narcissism are good for something: raising funds.” And “No one is debating that the ALS ice bucket challenge is silly, shallow, and a total waste of resources .. but appealing to what is silly and shallow has proved a whole lot more effective than a fundraising campaign in earnest.”
- “Why I’m defending the ice bucket challenge” (Examiner.com, 26 August)
– “I’m here defending something that has raised an incredible amount of awareness about an uncommon and fatal disease and that’s something that I’m proud of.”
- “Why I’m deeply grateful for the ice bucket challenge” (Forbes, 26 August)
– “It’s surreal to see this rare affliction, so much on my mind, now dominate so much of the news.”
The institutional perspective:
- “Ice Bucket Challenge: Can other non-profits reproduce it?” (Beth Kanter, 26 August) – The ice bucket challenge helped cheer people up in a summer of bad news around the world, and it gave people something fun to get engaged in. Positive peer pressure was a big reason why people entered the challenge. Charities are unlikely to be able to reproduce it, but if they incorporate the successful elements (social proofing, fun call to action, and embracing free agents) they might get results.
- “How your charity can replicate the ice bucket challenge” (Change Fundraising, 27 August) – You can’t. Better to focus on the basics: build people’s confidence by being effective, transparent, and showing the public how you help.
Comments about scarcity:
- “Is the ice bucket challenge a waste of water and money?” (Grist, 18 August)
- “The ice bucket challenge isn’t a waste of water and this chart proves it” (Vox, 22 August)
- “The ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ reminds the world how scarce clean water is in India” (Huffington Post, 26 August) – The Rice Bucket Challenge is on Facebook.
- Actor Orlando Jones’ challenge on hatred and prejudice (Huffington Post, 22 August)
- Actor Matt Damon used toilet water for the ice bucket challenge to highlight sanitation (Independent, 27 August)
- “No ice. Gaza is doing the rubble bucket challenge.” (Dazed, 26 August)
- “Could we create an Ice Bucket Challenge for global development? Should we? (Oxfam America, 26 August)
And then there are these “ten ALS Ice Bucket Haters” (Politico), and these Ice Bucket Challenge cartoons:
But what do YOU think?
Leave a comment below.
Entry filed under: NGOs. Tags: #icebucketchallenge, Cartoons, Charity fundraising, criticism of ice bucket challenge, Fundraising, global education, global issues, ice bucket cartoons, ice bucket challenge, Philanthropy.