Yesterday’s column about viral fundraisers omitted one important argument about why these massive viral fundraisers are a problem. While it’s great that some $80 million has been raised over the last month thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge, ALS affects only a very small portion of the population but is now eating up a massive part of the charitable donations people might have made during the year. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees.
The other problem with viral fundraisers is that it disproportionately overfundraises for diseases compared to how they affect society. Sure, there are people who would be quite justified to advocate for their causes. For example, the ALSA has, in the last one month, pulled in about half of what the American Heart Association has raised over the last 12 months. The number of ALS diagnoses over the next year will be less than 10% of the deaths from heart disease over the next year. It’s just not proportionate to what affects the health of the population.
To give you a little food for thought, here’s a handy little infographic for your perusal.
You have to have been under a rock to have not seen the latest fundraising campaign to take the world by storm. Everyone from the pop culture icons to athletes to random guys down the road from you have been posting videos of them doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The problem with the Ice Bucket Challenge is that many people seem to be missing the point of the Ice Bucket Challenge. It’s supposed to be a fundraiser for your national ALS society or fundraising group. However, many people are guilty of just dumping a bucket of water on their heads, posting the videos online and having a laugh for their 15 seconds of fame with complete disregard for the cause.
It’s not just the ice bucket challenge but the whole idea of needing a fundraising or awareness campaign to actually make headway for your charity is really sort of sad. And the biggest problem with viral campaigns is the sort of “slacktivism” that hides the real goal of the campaign.
At the beginning of the month, we announced our drive to help feed the hungry through the United Nations World Food Programme. With one week until Christmas, we’re reaching out once again for your support to help feed the hungry. We don’t need your money, just your time.
All you have to do is login or sign up to FreeRice.com, join Team LowdownBlog.com and start answering trivia questions. Each correct answer earns 10 grains of rice to be donated to the World Food Programme.
One of my quieter December traditions is joining up with a group of Formula One fans to fight hunger in the world by answering quiz questions on Freerice.com. This website is operated by the United Nations World Food Programme. For every question answered, the WFP will donate ten grains of rice to the hungry thanks to advertising revenue.
This year, we’ve created our own Lowdown Blog group to work together as a team to feed the hungry. Even if you don’t join our team, you should sign up on Freerice to fight hunger and learn some new things in the process.