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The ice bucket challenge's scientific success restored my faith in fundraising

Date Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2016

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2014, file photo, two women get doused during the ice bucket challenge at Boston’s Copley Square to raise funds and awareness for ALS. The ALS Association says money raised through the challenge helped fund a project that has discovered a gene linked to the disease. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

It is absolutely thrilling that money raised by the “ice bucket challenge” – that seemingly overblown, internet-BS game parading as a fundraiser for ALS – has actually caused a real thing to happen: more than $100m in donations funded distinct scientific progress in our understanding of the disease.

This contradicts all my feelings about gimmick fundraisers, which I, and many others, usually find trite or even annoying. It can feel like money keeps getting shoveled in to the charity-industrial complex with very little in the way of progress coming out.