Cause of the Month: ALS Association

You’ve probably seen the Ice Bucket Challenge videos popping up from your friends left and right on your Facebook news feeds, and more recently, being passed among celebrities. Since this is their biggest fundraising effort/month yet, I’m going to keep the momentum going, by spotlighting the ALS Association as August’s Cause of the Month.

ALS (scientific name = Amyotropic lateral sclerosis) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in the eventual inability for the brain to control muscle movement and possibly causing persons infected to be completely paralyzed. The disease most commonly affects people in the 40-70 age range and according to a stat on the ALS website, upward of 30,000 Americans are living with it (approximately 5,600 cases diagnosed each day).

Photo credit: ALS

We often see Lou Gehrig’s name associated with the non-profit. That’s because he was a famous baseball player back in the 30s and after he was diagnosed with the disease, his career ended and an entirely new wave of awareness came about, despite ALS actually being discovered in the late 1800s.

I don’t have plans to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge (although it might actually feel nice in this Florida heat), but I am going to make a donation to support the cause! The ALS Association has raised a record $4 million in just under a month (compared to last year’s $1.2 million at this time of year) which is incredible!

Photo credit: NBC // Ice Bucket Challenge on Today Show

I’m very curious to see how this type of fundraising will affect other non-profit strategies for fundraising. Have you participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge?

  • I have not participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, and I agree with you, it would probably feel awesome in Florida right now! I think this type of "outside the box" strategies are fun because it includes people, so I think we'll probably see more of them in the future.