Ice Bucket Challenge Becomes #1 Social Fundraising Campaign Of All Time

2011 Independence Day Celebration at York Field. File photoSometime before noon yesterday, the Ice Bucket Challenge, the social media-driven campaign that has raised millions for ALS Association (ALSA) during the last three weeks became the largest social fundraising campaign of all time. Congratulations, ALSA, it couldn’t of happen to a better group of people!

ALSA announced this morning that from July 29 through August 20, the Ice Bucket Challenge had driven $31.5 million to its organization, an impressive amount by any measure that came from existing donors and 637,527 new donors.  While the total haul that IBC social media videos produce for ALSA is still uncertain, one thing is already clear: The Ice Bucket Challenge just surpassed KONY 2012 as the most successful social fundraising campaign of all time. According to tax filings, KONY 2012 delivered $26.5 million for the nonprofit that launched it.

SIC_IBC Graphic (082014)

The contrast couldn’t be more striking.  IBC began with a Facebook video from Pete Frates, a former college baseball standout who is now wheelchair-bound because of ALS.  KONY 2012 was a massive, global effort led by San Diego-based Invisible Children, which kicked-off a campaign with a video of its own.  The KONY 2012 video reached 100 million views in just six days, making it the most viral video in history.

IBC began as an organic social fundraising campaign, which meant it built its momentum over time. As the chart above illustrates, it took nearly two weeks to produce $6 million in donations to ALSA.  KONY 2012, given the big splash with its instant viral video, brought in $5 million in the first 48 hours of the video’s release.

IBC is squeaky-clean. It has produced tens of millions for a nonprofit with a mission that is as meaningful as it is difficult to market. KONY 2012 quickly became a hot mess.

Sure, there are people who say IBC is driven by narcissism; others in here in California say wasting any water during an extreme drought is an awful idea. Both are valid points, but that doesn’t reflect badly on ALSA.

As we noted in our post yesterday, the campaign’s virality is attributed, in large part, to its win-win factor, which was summed up neatly by Cassy Horton on Twitter today:

 

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