What Does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Say About Millenials as Donors - and How Effective Is It as a Long-Term Fundraising Strategy?

by Kristin Holland

By this point, you’ve probably seen your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds full of videos of friends, family, and co-workers dumping buckets (coolers, casserole dishes, mixing bowls) of ice water on their heads.

Some of them might include the hashtags #icebucketchallenge or #strikeoutALS.  This isn’t the first time nonprofits have used social media to raise dollars and awareness. In 2013, Water is Life hijacked the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems and the hugely successful social media campaign that followed brought over 1 million days’ worth of clean water to those in need.

As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge continues to grow in popularity, and as someone who works and volunteers with the nonprofit sector day in and day out, I have to stop and wonder… is this truly the most effective way to create positive change?

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YNPN of OKC Announces Plans for Growth

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” - Benjamin Franklin

When the Oklahoma City chapter of YNPN was first forming in the fall of 2012, the startup committee volunteers weren’t sure what it would eventually look like. Each chapter can make their own choices about programming, tax-exempt status, funding sources, and membership requirements. We got inspiration from other chapters, but we knew we’d need to forge our own path. (If you’d like to learn more about our relationship with YNPN National, review this slideshow.)

The startup committee decided that we wanted to start building our network as soon as possible and then let that network direct our growth. We felt that OKC was ready for this new resource and we were right. Our first social event was held just 16 months ago on March 4, 2013. Thirty-five people showed up and we knew we were on our way! That September, we were promoted from ‘startup’ to official active chapter status.

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Give It a Go!

by Bevan Graybill Professional Development Chair photos courtesy of YNPN National

Every year, a chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network hosts the National Conference. This summer, YNPN Twin Cities hosted the 3-day event, and I represented YNPN of OKC in Minneapolis. It was an amazing opportunity to meet other YNPN chapter leaders, learn what other chapters are doing, and explore a new city.

I also got to try my hand at teaching during the 2014 National Conference. With the encouragement and support of the other board members, I submitted a proposal to lead the workshop “To Be or Not to Be…a 501(c)(3)?” A YNPN Grand Rapids board member (and fellow attorney) and I ended up collaborating.



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