On August 14th, our friends at CUES threw down the icy gauntlet and called us out for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We were honored to participate, and in good company with our follow nominees: Filene Research Institute, CUiNSIGHT.com, Currency Marketing, New Jersey Credit Union League and CUNA.
The only problem: Our VP of Marketing Randy Schultz was out of the office. And if you know Randy, you know a guy long overdue for a bucket of ice water to the head.
So we waited. And we plotted. And we took the opportunity to find out more about this important cause and the social fundraising phenomenon that has been soaking the nation.
Why ice buckets for ALS? What we learned is that there may actually be some rationale for this combo. ALS is a figuratively chilling prospect, but also some say that the shock of ice water approximates certain symptoms of the disease. It’s a devastating illness that often strikes in middle age and may kill its victims within only a few years. But, compared to other diseases, it affects a relatively small percent of the population. As a result, it has not been especially lucrative for pharmaceutical companies to pursue. So why not donate the $100 instead? Wouldn’t that be better for an underfunded cause than whatever silly stunt gets you out of paying?
Those who cried “slacktivism” in the early days of the #IceBucketChallenge can rest assured – thousands of wet heads have made a genuine difference. Between the time CUES called us out and the time we completed our challenge less than a week later, donations to the ALS Association had ballooned from $7.6 million to $31.5 million. That dwarfs the dollars raised a year ago without the challenge.
For the record, I felt a lot of things in the moments after that ice water hit me, but slack was not one of them. As it turns out, no amount of being “ready” kept me from hyperventi-laughing like a weirdo in front of my colleagues.
By the time Randy got back, we were…let’s say “prepared” to do this thing. We had time to recruit a good contingent of our staff. We had buckets. We had ice. We had cameras. Some of us forgot towels. That’s on them.
Most importantly, we had our list.
Weber Marketing Group nominated the following organizations to join us in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:
- Trailhead Credit Union (Facebook/Twitter)
- Elevations Credit Union (Facebook/Twitter)
- Codigo (Facebook/Twitter)
- Marquis (Twitter)
- Weber Thompson Architects (Facebook/Twitter)
- The Financial Brand (Facebook/Twitter)
- Neil Goldman at Goldman Consulting
- Wazuku (Twitter)
A long list? Maybe, but hey – that’s how the dollars continue to grow, and the awareness continues to spread. Our team did also donate in addition to taking the challenge. And I’m proud to say that our staff members exceeded the internal corporate matching challenge in under 10 minutes.
We hope you’ll join us in funding the research, resources, and ultimately a cure for ALS. Ice bucket or no ice bucket, you can donate online at the ALS Association.
Of course, it was Randy who put it best when he tweeted our nominees…
Stay icy, my friends!