viral sensation of the icebucket challenge helps ALS | Miratel Solutions

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The Ice Bucket Challenge – an amazing example of viral nonprofit fundraising

Nonprofit fundraising has not just been in the news over the last week or so but the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become the news to a certain extent, especially in social media circles.

The impact of the viral nature of the internet is long proven but whereas often the buzz may be centred around the latest meme or a daft/humorous cat video, this month we’ve seen the positive potential for nonprofits that can be raised via a rapid spike in awareness. For the ALS Association the boon in fundraising has been nothing short of remarkable with more than $80 million raised since July 29th when interest really took off. To put that in proper perspective during the same time period last year the organization raised $2.5 million.


There’s a fantastic residual value also to the viral videos with many thousands of participants also donating funds to other charities in addition to helping ALS. It’s estimated that by the end of this week over two million individuals will have contributed to ALS and as you’ve seen the celebrity involvement has helped take it to a level that’s nothing short of amazing. It’s crossed the Atlantic too with athletes and actors in Europe taking part to help national sister charities such as the Motor Neurone Disease Association in the UK.

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Conan O’Brien takes the challenge

What is apparent is that the videos aren’t the most important part although they are certainly fun to watch, it’s the act of donor engagement that goes hand in hand with the videos which is the real story and speaks volumes about the power of viral campaigns. While there’s been some debate about the actual rules of the ice bucket challenge and confusion over what amount should be donated, the value rests in the heightened awareness that is brought not only to the ALS association but to fundraising in general.

Facebook has seen over 1.5 million shares of videos since interest began and Twitter has seen the hashtag #icebucketchallenge trending almost hourly over the last two weeks. Consider that The ALS Association received the equivalent of two months of normal donations on a single day last week and the positive change is phenomenal.


As you can see above per the data provided by internet traffic research company Alexa which further demonstrates it’s not just about the videos. The official website of the The ALS Foundation saw global ranking (based on total visits per day) spike from a position in the region of 180,000 a month ago to the number 5,700 globally today in addition to currently being the 718th most popular US website visited this week.

To learn more about The ALS Foundation or to donate please visit their official website.


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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including PCI compliant inbound telephone fundraising, outbound telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery fundraising services, donation processing and receipting and direct mail fundraising services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all our business decisions and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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