ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Where Did The Money Go?

Unless you were living under a rock last summer, you’ve probably heard of the virally popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The very first instance of the Ice Bucket Challenge is hard to pinpoint, though it certainly started receiving major media attention in the U.S. towards the end of June 2014, when hosts on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program performed the challenge live, on-air.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised a huge amount of money to fight ALS, but now, roughly one year later, how has that money been used?

According to CNN, the ALS Association reports that roughly 40 percent of the Ice Bucket Challenge funds (some $47.1 million) has been spent or budgeted towards specific purposes, and there are also plans on how the remainder of the funds will be spent.

Among these initiatives are:

  • $2.5 million to the New York Genome Center to map the genetic code of ALS patients. The leaderships of these organizations, including New York Genome Center trustee and General Atlantic CEO William Ford, took the Ice Bucket Challenge themselves.
  • $10.5 million to a group testing whether a medication can stabilize heart rhythms in cardiac patients can stabilize nerve cells in ALS patients.
  • $5 million to the Neurocollaborative, which creates stem cell lines from ALS patients that will mimic their own nerve cells.

Thankfully, it sounds like these funds are being put to good use. “We can start seeing why they’re dying. We can start putting drugs on them to start seeing if we can slow them down,” said Clive Svendsen of the Neurocollaborative. “It’s a bit like having an avatar of yourself in a petri dish.”

In total, more than 17 million people participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, and donated a total of $115 million to the ALS Association. This challenge is the perfect example of how philanthropy can be both fun and effective!

What did you think of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Did you participate in the challenge? Let us know in the comments section below!