|Image: slgckgc in flickr|
So let’s talks about Ice Bucket Challenge first. It’s a challenge that was spread by media through the ALS Assn in order to raise money (ALS main website)for the ALS patients. The challenge asks you to pour a bucket of ice water on your head, then you can pick others’ names and ask them to do the same thing. Or you can simply choose to donate money, which is suggested to be $100. Since July 15, 2014, when the challenge was first connected with the ALS Assn, according to the latest news, this challenge had brought in $100 million to the organization.
Doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, you can have fun with your friends while helping others at the same time. In addition, it allows more and more people to know and care about the ALS patients. On youtube, 28 millions people have uploaded video or commented about that. The point of this challenge is to be “fun, gamified and highly shareable”. More importantly, it shows people that even if they are an average joe, they can still do something to help others and make a difference. On the other hand, the Ice Bucket Challenge also makes the best used of grass-root power through the Internet. Different from any other donating, many people participated and broadcast through their media, which makes the challenge not only look like a signal of helping, but also a fun game that everybody can join in. It could be a perfect example for other non-profit organizations which want to raise money online.
However, the challenge still has its shortcomings. Many people point out that this challenge is just a fad which can’t remain popular for long. They predict if the ALS Assn still does the same challenge next year, it will probably not get as many funds as this year. In addition, they announced that pouring a bucket of cold water on heads cannot do anything to let people understand the suffering those patients have. They just pretend to feel the unrealistic pain, the patients may see this as an untrue and worthless sympathy, and they may feel hurt because of that. The ironic thing about the challenge is that the group of people who don’t want to donate are the guys who spread this challenge to others. ALS is a rare disease, which doesn't have as many patients as others diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and so on. Only the ALS Assn catches people’s eyes because its challenge became a part of their social lives. Shall we spend more money on the other diseases which have a large amount of people instead of ALS? “The most successful charities will be those that are best at soliciting funds, not those that are best at making the world a better place," as the British philanthropic organizer William MacAskill puts it. (link) Another significant element is that the Ice Bucket Challenge had wasted a huge amount of water. According to the Washington post, “If an average bucket contains 4 gallons of water, about 5 million gallons of water have dunked heads from coast to coast. That’s the equivalent of about 120,000 baths or, in weather terms, over half an inch of rain falling on a 300 acre slab of land. Think of a summer downpour dousing the National Mall, or for west-coasters, Disneyland.” which is an enormous number.
In response, I would say the challenge does have many problems, which need to be improved. But we do help many people through this challenge. Fund is only part of elements to see the donation is successful or not, not all of it. Raising money can be regarded as marketing; the aim of it is to get as much money as possible. Compared to other organizations which raise fund for different disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is known for its creativity, like I mentioned before; it could be a really lesson to others and make them think of their own way to raise money. You can’t criticize the ALS Assn because others are not that successful at it. Toward the people who spread the challenge because they don’t want to donate, they are just following the rule. The ALS Assn was smart about this point. It deftly used this group of people to broadcast the idea of Ice Bucket Challenge, which allows more people to know and donate if they want. On the other hand, people will only donate when they feel sorry about others and want to help them. Forcing would never make people donate.Though it sounds quite negative, another important advantage of the Ice Bucket Challenge is that you can choose to donate or accept the challenge and ask others to do it. Imagine that, if people have to donate and drag yourself into cold water at the same time without having choices, then the challenge would no longer be fun and as popular as now. In the whole event, without doubt, there have been people who use peer pressure to push others to donate, but they are just a small amount of people; most people donate just because they want to help. After all, the whole process of donation didn't show that it was totally perfect, but it did expose the goodwill and benevolence of people in the society. We do care about others, even if they are strangers. Hope there will have more and more great and funny donation in the future.
Conclusion, updated 6 November 2014
Conclusion, updated 6 November 2014
As one of the most influential events this year, Ice Bucket Challenge successfully show us the strength and great development space of using social internet. With all kinds of comments I got from internet, I realized that the challenge was not as simple as I though. The negative part of the challenge hid itself inside the dark side of our mind because we don't want to think about. A fundraising which allow me and my friend to socialize and do some crazy stuffs, and everybody enjoys it and we can help many people at the same time. How cool is that! With no doubt, people's great passion are revealed from the huge number of funds. However, the things we can't see from that is the reason why different people joined in the queue. Were they willing to do it or they were just forced to follow others. The influence of it would always be a good topic to talk about in the future. I really appreciate those who leave comments under this blog. The point we all agree to is that the challenge would obviously affect on the fundraising in the future. But it might be hard to predict how will the further organizations work their projects. Right before I end this big phrase of words, let's talk about some interesting stuffs. In fact, I had not even participle join the challenge, which was kind of sad. I might be the only one who didn't feel the freezing cold through the whole summer. Therefore, I can't write about my personal experience about how it felt like to dump a bucket of cold water on my hairy head and screamed like a 5-year old boy in front of a camera. Yeah... I am luckily in a way. On the other hand, I was thinking about only write the negative aspect all through the article. But then I changed my mind because of the limited resources. Thanks for reading!