Ice bucket challenge: What’s happened since?

Last summer, social media and the rest of the internet was dominated by videos of people having a bucket of cold water poured over their head. So what was it all for again and how much did the charities benefit? Everyone knows someone who did the ice bucket challenge at some point last year (if you didn’t do it yourself).
In what has been described as the world’s largest global social media phenomenon, more than 17 million people uploaded videos to Facebook which were then watched by 440 million people worldwide. And the charities connected to the challenge saw the money roll in.
In the US, the ALS Association – which represents people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and all motor neurone disorders – received $115m in donations during August and September 2014, when the challenge was at its peak.
The American charity says the money helped triple the amount it spends on research every year. Chris James, director of external affairs at the MND Association, admits it has been an extraordinary 12 months, which started with Benedict Cumberbatch doing the ice bucket challenge in aid of the charity and ended with MND being the focus of a major storyline in the BBC drama Casualty.
In between, Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of Prof Stephen Hawking, who has MND, in The Theory of Everything. "There has been nothing this big before in fundraising and voluntary donations. It has enhanced our view of social media.
"Previously it was looked at as a communications tool – but now it’s seen as a core communications tool for particular campaigns." But the charity has decided not to ask people to pour water over their heads again this summer.
"We felt we raised a significant amount of money and awareness last summer. While people might be keen to do it again, we wouldn’t say please do it again," says Mr James.