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ALS receives $100m from the Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Association has passed the $100 million mark in income from this summer’s successful viral fundraising campaign, the Ice Bucket Challenge. From 29 July to 29 August, the ALS Association received $100.9 million in donations.

Income in context

The income for the nonprofit is remarkable:
1. in the same one month period in 2013 the ALS Association’s income was $2.8 million
2. throughout the whole of last year the ALS Association raised $64 million
The #IceBucketChallenge donations had come from over three million donors, according to the organisation.
Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of the charity, said:

“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now. We recognise a profound sense of urgency and are engaged in discussions about how we’re going to put this money to work in the short term and into the future.”


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She committed the organisation to “continue to be transparent by communicating regularly with all audiences as to how the funds will impact the fight against ALS”.
She added:

“These funds will be used to fund cutting-edge research as well as care and support to people living with the disease,” said Newhouse. “Now and in the coming weeks, we will be able to enhance our strategic plan, reformulating and recasting strategies with input from stakeholders, including our donors, our chapters, and most importantly, people living with ALS and their families. We want to move quickly but decisively as our ultimate goal is to use this incredible generosity in a way that has the biggest impact on fighting this disease.”

Trademarking “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”

The announcement of reaching the $100m total was clouded partially by reports that the ALS Association had begun the process of attempting to trademark the terms “ALS ice bucket challenge” and “ice bucket challenge”.
Some commentators saw this as an attempt further to cash in on the phenomenon and to stop other charities from benefiting from it. In fact, ALSA spokeswoman Carrie Munk told Fortune magazine:

“The ALS Association took steps to trademark Ice Bucket Challenge after securing the blessings of the families who initiated the challenge this summer. We did this as a good faith effort after hearing that for-profit businesses were creating confusion by marketing ALS products in order to capitalise on this grassroots charitable effort”.

The nonprofit has now withdrawn its trademark applications.
[message_box title=”Witnessing hope” color=”blue”]At an ALS Association support group for people living with the disease in south west Florida, an attendee asked how much the organisation had received in donations. When Patricia Stanco, the Regional Care Manager for The ALS Association Florida Chapter told the group how much had been donated, she described what she witnessed in an email to colleagues on August 28:
“Jaws dropped. Tears formed. The group was overwhelmed and for a distinct moment, silent. I realized I was witnessing hope. It was so powerful—I will never forget it.”
Photo: ice cubes by Somchaij on Shutterstock.com