Sam Holman - coder, gamer, geek.

On The Ice Bucket Challenge

Like most other people in the Western world these past few weeks I was recently "nominated" to do the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge", and again like most, bowed to peer pressure and did it - video posted onto Facebook and all.

I'm sick to death of seeing the damn things, but you can't not do it, right? I mean, it's for a good cause.

When you donate to charity, usually it's due to one of two particular motivations:

  1. There's a charity particularly close to your heart.
  2. You just want to give to a charity because you're being philanthropic.

And as far as I'm concerned, if it's the former - do it, because it means something to you. If it's the latter, the logical thing to do is choose a charity (or charities) that maximise the return on your cash - a charity that can do the most good for as many people as possible, and especially if it's a one-off donation, a charity that can use your money right now.

Research charities like those for ALS, for cancer, for dementia; they need steady recurring income to fund scientific work for years and years, not a huge lump sum in one go like this.

Ultimately, charitable giving is great, and at least people have donated! Money has been given, and will (eventually) be put to good use. Just perhaps now it's time to consider which other charities could use a boost. I'd never argue against giving what you can to anyone that needs help, but I would say to donate wisely and do it for the right reasons, not just because of some viral meme that's only getting on everyone's nerves.

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