Courtesy of Wikimedia
Recently, it has been hard to visit any social media site without seeing numerous videos of your friends dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in order to help raise awareness and money for the ALS foundation. To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised 100 million dollars for the ALS foundation since the challenge became popular on social media. With these kinds of results, other healthcare non-profits could take pointers on how to use this in their own fundraising efforts.
The Ice Bucket Challenge easily became a viral-Internet sensation this summer. A large part of the success of the campaign is that it does not incur the traditional charges of a fundraising campaign. Moreover, the challenge was able to attract the attention and support of actors, athletes, musicians and even former presidents.
Ice Bucket Challenge highlights how rare disease is neglected
Chances are the challenge has brought to light the specifics of ALS to people who would have previously not known about the disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes loss of muscle control and movement, paralysis, and the inability to speak or breathe. Unless you have a family member who suffers from ALS, your first experience with the disease was probably a video online of someone diagnosed.
One thing that has made the campaign so successful is the idea that anyone can participate! According to Rhoda Weiss, national healthcare consultant and chair of the American Marketing Association’s Executive Leadership Summit, the ability for anyone to be able to participate will allow communities to become healthier because it can reach a larger audience.
How other causes can capitalize on the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge
The most important lesson non-profits can take away from the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge is that your fundraising efforts should be tied to something specific. This could be for a specific disease or to a specific project (i.e. a new hospital wing). In addition, you should convey a sense of urgency and personalize it to your cause. Personalizing the cause increases the chance that people will donate to your cause because it makes it faceless.
Start with a call to action!
The Ice Bucket Challenge started with simply recording a video of ice water being dumped on them along with the names of the people they challenge. Your cause could either build upon this or even keep the same basic concept.
Attach a timeframe to create a sense of urgency.
Using social media cannot only help to spread the information about the cause quickly but it can reach a huge audience. This is because Facebook has over a billion active monthly users, Twitter has more than 270 million and Instagram has roughly 150 million users—this is a HUGE audience.
Having a custom medical website will go a long way toward establishing a flexible, permanent resource for raising funds for your organization. Contact us today to discuss your site, or continue browsing our site.