2014 was the year that charity campaigns became a social statement and even a duty, pairing newsfeed nominations with a large helping of guilt. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge proved to be a worldwide phenomenon, calling on celebrities and the general public to use social media for the power of good by either donating money, or pouring an ice cold bucket of water over their heads. The #nomakeupselfie aimed to raise awareness for Cancer Research UK, asking us to overcome social network vanity to face our friends without blusher.
Both campaigns generated serious money for their respective causes, but were also criticised for appealing to narcissistic ‘armchair’ donors who have questionable engagement with the cause. Regardless of opinion, the money raised from each campaign made them inarguably financially successful: #nomakeupselfie raised £8 million within the first week and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is said to have raised over $100 million.
If you were wishing for a quieter social feed, you may be disappointed. We expect more charities to latch onto the viral bandwagon, creating video content designed to be embedded in social media channels. With the success of the campaigns above, there’ll be plenty more charities hoping to appeal to our inner narcissist.