Over the past few months the way people have been donating to charity has changed with the induction of challenges and nominations. But is this really the best way to give to charity?
Inspiring individuals in the past have raised various amounts of money for charities, such as Macmillan and Cancer Research, by taking part in events such as marathons and charity days. But some individuals have taken it that bit further by starting up challenges for people to undergo to show their support for charity.
It started off with the no-makeup selfie earlier this year and then over the summer the new craze was the ALS Ice bucket challenge. The concept of these particular challenges are quite simple –somebody nominates you via social media to take part, you then complete the challenge, donate to charity and then nominate other people. But is it really that simple?
Some people refuse to take part in the challenges, not because they don’t want to donate to charity, but because they don’t want to take part in the usually ridiculous challenge. Other people, who do donate to the ALS organisation for example, may not know what the disease is or what the charity does. So are these challenges actually raising awareness as well as donations?
Focusing primarily on the ALS Ice bucket challenge as it has been the most popular challenge to date; the ALS charity was given over $70 million all from the challenge which is a fantastic achievement. However out of how many of those videos you watched did you hear people mention ALS or why they are donating? Did people really know what they were donating for?
Now the ALS Ice bucket challenge craze is over, the charity and cause is forgotten. There was also a lot of speculation as to where the donated money goes and who actually benefits. The problem with these one off charity challenges is that people are less likely to donate again to a similar cause. Would it not be easier to just donate monthly to one or two charities so they continue to have sustainable funding and support?
I believe that people should draw inspiration, not just from these challenges, but what other people are doing for charity and start playing an active role in raising awareness for diseases that have affected you personally or people around you.
To get involved in charity events at DMU, there is the Square Mile programme, which ‘uses DMU’s academic expertise and a network of student volunteers to offer potentially life-changing services in the Leicester community.’ The programme won the Guardian University Award 2014 for Community Contribution.
The most important question now is what will be the next charity challenge craze?