For those of you who know me on other social outlets, you’ll know that I participated a couple weeks back in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I likewise made a donation to ALS research through the national ALS organization as well as a personal charitable cause dedicated to a couple friends who are battling the disease every day.
In the interest of fair disclosure, I did not donate because I felt compelled or obligated to out of fulfillment of the “social obligation” presented by “being challenged”. I did not donate because I think ALS is the “worst” disease imaginable or because I think it’s responsible for the most amount of deaths annually in this country. I didn’t even donate because I think it’s a cause that is wildly under publicized. To be honest? I’m not quite sure why I donated. I do know that I do not donate nearly as much as I probably should from a relative percentage of disposable income standpoint. I do not do nearly as much reflection as I should in terms of what causes I am an adamant supporter of (though I promise there are causes to which I donate with a regular frequency – so it’s not like I’m a completely heartless or passionless person!).
It all raises an interesting socioeconomic debate or forum though… What has the social age and new ways to add gamification to something as age-old as donating to charity really done for the total charity landscape?
I found a great infographic related to recent social (and/or specific, targeted event-based) campaigns and the amount of money they’ve raised versus, conversely, the number of deaths annually. This of course doesn’t take into account a number of factors (how much money has been spent historically on research, how “close” we may be to cures or remedies, etc), but does present a fascinating side-by-side for a couple major diseases.
What do you think? Have the Susan G Komen foundation and other similar social/event-based pushes helped or hurt the overall cause? While they undoubtedly have probably raised overall donations – are they taking away from a fair distribution across other diseases that aren’t “marketed” (awful term when talking about this – but I fear it may be the “new norm”) as well?
Til Next Time,