Elsewhere online
August 19, 2014

Charities Brainstorm to Replicate 'Ice-Bucket' Phenomenon

With donations to fight ALS skyrocketing as a result of the "ice-bucket challenge," other health charities are looking for ways to reproduce the viral campaign's fundraising success, The Wall Street Journal writes.

As of Monday morning the ALS Association had raised $15.6-million since July 29—compared to $1.8-million in the same period last year—as videos of celebrities dousing themselves with ice water and social-media mentions of the stunt proliferated online. The association helped popularize the campaign, which has moved the degenerative neural disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to the forefront of national consciousness.

Other organizations have taken notice. A supporter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention last week started urging people to take a pie in the face, re-creating a scene from the Robin Williams film Mrs. Doubtfire, to honor the late actor, who took his own life earlier this month. Julie Raskin, executive director of Congenital Hyperinsulinism International, said her group is brainstorming ideas for a stunt-based campaign.

The success of the ice-bucket challenge gives hope to groups tackling little-known diseases, said Mary Dunkle, vice president for communications at the National Organization for Rare Disorders. "To some extent the Internet does level the playing field and provide opportunities even for people with extremely rare disease to generate public support," she said.