Ice bucket challenge attracts 500k donations in Ireland

1 Sep 2014

John Kyne, chief operating officer, LIKECHARITY

More than half a million donations have been made in Ireland by people taking part in the latest social media craze, the ice bucket challenge.

The ice bucket challenge is on course to surpass and more than double the €1m raised for cancer research in March by the no make-up selfies campaign, according to LIKECHARITY.

The ice bucket challenge received donations from 500,000 people who completed the challenge, compared with the 259,000 make-up free ladies who donated in March.

The latest craze, which has people dump ice water over their heads, reached a particular peak on Sunday, 24 August, with more than €200,000 being donated towards motor neuron disease (MND) research.

The campaign no doubt contributed to a considerable surge in the amount of video shared online via Facebook and Twitter.

The challenge involves nominating at least three friends to also take the challenge. Each participant would have donated €2 by texting MND to 50300.

According to LIKECHARITY, the numbers have continued to climb.

A far from chilly response

“We noticed the trend beginning to grow in New Zealand a few months back,” said John Kyne, COO of LIKECHARITY.

“Knowing Irish people are always quick to help a good cause, and have a bit of craic doing so, we battened down the hatches in preparation. But once again the Irish people have gone above and beyond, eclipsing all other viral campaigns by miles.”

The ice bucket challenge marks the third viral campaign for the Dublin-based company, that provides its text-donation service free of charge to Irish charities.

Including this recent surge, LIKECHARITY has raised close to €4m for the Irish charity sector since its creation in January 2013.

“IMNDA could never have imagined the public response that we have received through the MND ice bucket challenge,” said Aisling Farrell, chief executive of the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association (IMDA).

“We are over whelmed with the support the Irish public have shown us and our MND community, their generosity has touched people with MND’s lives, made them smile though they are living with this terrible illness, and provided much-needed funds to continue services they desperately require.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years