On the Rocks, Please
There's still a great buzz about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And I have a confession — I am delinquent in responding to the challenge I received from FundRaising Success Editor-in-Chief Margaret Battistelli Gardner. While I have broken the 24-hour rule to complete the challenge, I will respond with a video and a donation!
Why am I responding to Margaret? Because she singled me out and asked. I felt special. And obligated.
Oh, I also was singled out by a fraternity brother, Jim Sommerville, and will also follow his challenge — but with a variation. I will make a gift to the Phi Kappa Theta Foundation earmarked to provide leadership programs to members at the University of Georgia Chapter.
The ice bucket challenge is a phenomenon — one that wasn't even originally a strategic program by the ALS Association. Regardless, the fact is that it went viral on social media and established unprecedented public awareness and charitable donations to ALS charities.
According to ALSA itself, the organization has topped $100 million in donations from people all over the globe. As of Aug. 29, it had received $100.9 million in donations compared to $2.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 29).
So what can the ice bucket challenge remind us fundraisers? That successful fundraising campaigns should harness:
- The power of social media
- The power of engaging videos
- The power of a specific invitation
And it should acknowledge that:
- People want to be a part of a winning cause
- Most people enjoy celebrity
- People want to have fun
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.