The ice bucket challenge has turned into a fundraiser’s dream. Everyone from George W. Bush to the Baltimore Ravens has dumped a bucket of ice water over their heads to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). And while some were initially skeptical that the stunt would actually translate into increased donations, the viral power of the ice bucket challenge seems to be working–as of today, the national ALS association has received $53.3 million in donations, way more than the $2.2 million in garnered last year.
But the national ALS group isn’t the only one benefitting from ALS’s moment in the spotlight–the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins has also seen its August donations go up 800 percent (!!) compared to last year.
“It started out as a tiny trickle, and now they are coming in a steady stream,” Milan Karol, the center’s development officer, told the Hopkins Hub. “I would go out for lunch and come back and see 20 to 30 new gifts sent. It’s really been a wonderful thing for us.”
According to the Hub, these increased donations will have a significant real-world impact. “That’s two more grants we can give out, which could propel two great ideas that can lead to clinical trials,” said Jeff Rothstein, ALS researcher and director of the center. “And this comes at a time when federal funding is harder to come by, making it even more critically important.”