Now that ice buckets are turning over in dwindling numbers, the real challenge is for the ALS Foundation to prove that this financial windfall will amount to more than just a drop in the bucket. It is their chance to prove to the world that they can leverage this cash to make a real difference in the lives of those suffering with the debilitating disease once known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. They have seen donations go up several hundred percent this year. Will they prove that they are worth their weight in gold, or cold, hard cash, in this case?
I used to work for a non-profit and I know how wasteful they can be. It doesn’t take long before expensive trade shows, fundraising galas, overhead and administrative costs eat a big chunk of the annual budget. Before you know it, there is very little to show for all the fundraising efforts.
If ALS Foundation is smart, they’ll be strategic and fiscally responsible to ensure that all the money raised through the once-in-a-lifetime, grassroots marketing campaign makes the biggest impact. And equally as important, they’ll tell their success story in such a compelling way as to generate an even bigger buzz over what was accomplished thanks to all the ice buckets being drained.
Otherwise, this will go down just as cynics and skeptics predict, as just another cute publicity stunt with no real or sustainable value. Once all the viral video stunts fade into obscurity, who will remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or the millions of dollars it raised?
On a counterpoint, I wonder why Climb For Water, Clean WaterAction and other similar charities haven’t jumped on the anti-ice bucket bandwagon to raise awareness of their fight for sustainable water systems in underprivileged parts of the world. That seemed like a no-brainer, but the opportunity is passing them by quickly.
Time will tell. Count me among the skeptics.