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October 03, 2014

ALS Association Announces First Steps in Ice-Bucket Spending

The ALS Association, which took in $115-million over the summer thanks to the ice-bucket challenge, said Thursday that $21.7-million of the haul will support six efforts to advance understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and speed the development of new treatments, reports The Wall Street Journal. The commitment marks a first step in the association's process for allocating the windfall from the viral sensation, which brought in nearly twice as much as the organization and its chapters raised for the whole previous fiscal year.

The association said it will release a full spending plan in November, and spokeswoman Carrie Munk said much of the remaining money will also be plowed into research on ALS, a rare, incurable neurodegenerative disorder. Research spending made up 28 percent of the charity's budget last year, the second-biggest allocation after education and public policy (32 percent). Two of the new grants aim to promote understanding of the disease's genetic basis and to sequence the genomes of some 15,000 patients.

Watch a Chronicle of Philanthropy video discussion today with the president of the ALS Association about the charity's post-ice-bucket plans.