Charity – The Next Social Experiment?


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,


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