'Ice Bucket Challenge' Helps Raise $13M for ALS
But some question its fundraising methods
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 18, 2014 6:25 AM CDT
A Florida man reacts as his son pours ice cold water on him, also known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, in Saginaw Township, Mich., Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Neil Barris)

(Newser) – In the few weeks since July 29, the ALS Association has gotten more than $13 million in donations. Over the same period last year, that figure was around $1.7 million, the New York Times reports. The big difference, of course, is the "Ice Bucket Challenge," which calls on people to donate $100 to ALS or dump a bucket of freezing cold water on their heads. Some 1.2 million people have posted videos of themselves doing so on Facebook this summer, the Times reports; many of those who pour the water also donate.

The challenge was tied to other causes before 29-year-old ALS patient Peter Frates, who has lost the ability to speak, nodded along to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" in an online video and called on friends to take the challenge. "Did we ever imagine the level of awareness or the money that is coming in? In our dreams we did," says Frates' mother. But some have questioned the fundraising method, Salon notes. It "seems to be suggesting that being cold, wet, and uncomfortable is preferable" to donating money to fight ALS, notes Jacob Davidson in Time. An economics professor tells Salon that the challenge may be effective "in the short run," but he fears fatigue: "Once you’ve gotten a hundred emails asking for money—or to pour ice on your head—you’re going to get tired of that."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
'Ice Bucket Challenge' Helps Raise $13M for ALS is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 19 comments
Aug 20, 2014 10:25 AM CDT
I'd love to know what percentage of these donations came from millionaire celebrities. I'm not saying it's not great that they're donating, but we all know that 99% of Joe Schmos are doing nothing more than dumping ice on their head. If the rich would just give back more often, we wouldn't need silly gimmicks like this.
Aug 18, 2014 12:44 PM CDT
Do what you gotta do. Once this is used up on ALS, you just gotta come up with something else. Are people really saying this kinda thing shouldn't be done? Did they give viable alternatives?
2 Sets Of Rules!
Aug 18, 2014 8:49 AM CDT
And the amount actually turned in to the charity? Why, $850,000 of course! LOL