Ice Bucket Challenge: How Non-Profits Could Change How They Raise Funds
It's on your phone, your computer, the TV news, radio and more. The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds and awareness for ALS.
Since July 29, 2014, ALS has been tracking the campaign which has raised more than $53 million dollars from 1.1 million new donors. It's being called the most successful viral social media campaign in history. If I ran a non-profit, I would be reaching out to the a brain trust to come up with the next big thing. Because we all know the Ice Bucket Challenge will have it's 15 minutes of fame. (Townsquare Media Cheyenne did our first couple in mid-July, way before it became social media pop culture).
In radio, we deal with a lot of non-profit organizations. St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis has done quite well with it's radiothons, other organization stick to $100 a pl;ate dinners with casino nights, in Cheyenne, Midas has teamed up with three local organizations to sell raffle tickets to win a 1966 Mustang.
The myriads of walks, runs, pink-themed events will give way to a new idea of thinking and marketing. Brian Middedorf who teaches non-profit finance at the Univeristy Of Ohio's Fisher Scholl Of Business says: "Normally the model has been to find a cause you are passionate about and donate, or educate people how to seek out donations. The ice bucket challenge is something fun people can do and they are donating and spreading the word through social media."
What is the next big thing. I've heard they are scrambling to try ideas. These are from Forbes:
- The Plank Challenge: Remember planking? People loved taking photos of themselves in faux rigor mortis on some random object. That meme spread like wildfire and it didn’t even have a cause associated with it. Some savvy charity should bring the plank back for a cause.
- The Cover-A-Cam Challenge: The Ice Bucket Challenge has little to do with the cause it’s raising money for — unless you make some kind of association between nerve paralysis from ALS and being numbed by ice water — but the ACLU could raise funds with a challenge that’s in line with its cause. The “Cover-A-Cam” challenge would ask participants to film themselves covering a surveillance camera with something funny, like a striped sock or the cover of a 1984 novel. Like the Ice Bucket Challenge there would be style points earned for creativity. Anti-surveillance activists previously played a game called “Camover” that involved actually destroying public surveillance cameras, but this one would be less destruction-of-property-esque and more light-hearted, in the vein of the Surveillance Camera Players, an acting group that used to perform plays in front of surveillance cameras in New York.
- The Romantic Movie Hair Blowing Challenge: Do your best “hair blowing in the wind” video. Upload it to every social network to prove you care about the World Wildlife Fund, and challenge five friends to join you in raising money and channeling 80s music videos.
- The Frozen Challenge: Disney shouldn’t be the only one making money off the collective child obsession with this animated film. A charity that works on children’s issues should “challenge” parents to make videos of their kids singing their favorite song from Frozen from heart, while challenging family and friends to do the same. Boom. Millions raised and no ice wasted.
- The No-Selfie Challenge: A charity should challenge all Instagrammers not to take any selfies for a full-month. If they do take a selfie, they have to donate $10 to the charity and do a text overlay on the selfie, e.g., “I’m selfie-ing for Komen for the Cure.”
I personally love the selfie idea and we'll see what the next big things is, because you know it's already in the works.