The REAL Challenge of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’
So, this week we got iced. DonorPro challenged FundRaising Success with the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." If you've been living under a rock, this is how it works: Within 24 hours of receiving the challenge, either get a bucket of ice water poured over your head (and post a video of the action online) or skip the ice water and donate $100 to ALS. [Important note: If you go the ice bucket route, you still need to donate something to ALS.] You can catch all our cold wetness in the video above. I opted to be the "dumper" rather than a "dumpee," as age does have its privileges!
According to this week's New York Times more than 1.2 million videos have been shared on Facebook between June 1 and August 13 and the challenge has been referenced more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29. Forbes reported that over $15 million has been raised and asks the questions: "Where will the money go and how will it change ALS research?"
There's another — very big — question as well.
The "Ice Bucket Challenge" is a perfect example of peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising. What's peer-to-peer you ask?
I'm sure you've been asked to sponsor someone in Susan G. Komen's "Race for the Cure" or in "Bike MS" from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It's having your donors go out and ask their friends and family to make donations to causes they believe in. Most often, this has been about walking a certain number of miles ... or running ... or biking. But now, P2P is expanding into all kinds of new places .... i.e., the ALS challenge.
One of the first peer-to-peer efforts I remember is the Carol Farkas letter for Memorial Sloan-Kettering back in 1997. Denny wrote about it in his book Method Marketing. A basic chain letter, Carol wrote a letter to 10 of her friends asking each of them to send $10 (no more) to be sent to Memorial Sloan-Kettering and to send the letter on to 10 of their friends. It started small, but reached star-stratosphere proportions with donations coming in from Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck, to name a few.