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Celebrity Ice Bucket Nominations and the Power of Peer-to-Peer

The Plenty Team
September 4, 2014

Let’s face it: your clothes are drying out, your newsfeed is returning to normal, and the ice tray in your refrigerator is full again. After taking over our summer, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is starting to slow down. But before we move on to the next fundraising phenomenon, we wanted to take one more look at one of the most viral peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns of all time – TMZ style.

The challenge that took the nation by storm transcended our immediate social circles to the networks of high profile celebrities and public figures. Everyone from Kate Hudson to Bill Gates to Dolly Parton picked up an icy bucket in the name of ALS. Some of those celebrities were following the herd, but a few were early adopters who helped bring publicity and momentum to the campaign. So we thought, why not map out how celebrities are connected to one another?

The graphic below shows the celebrity nominations of each celebrity. Their nominations of normal folks – their parents, their siblings, their spouse their friends – aren’t included. When we take a closer look, we can easily see the idea of peer-to-peer at work. At the most basic level, we see people connecting their circles of friends and family to create a network of change.


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Please include attribution to Plenty Consulting with this graphic.

This graphic shows the natural virulence that is inherent in peer-to-peer. It also helps us understand the notion that some networks are more powerful than others. For instance, if we look at Bill Gates and the connections that stem from him, we can see that his reach is responsible for at least three subsequent celebrity branches. On the other hand, Elon Musk’s branch does not extend past himself.

This is not to say that all of our fundraisers are not valued supporters of our mission and shouldn’t be treated as such, but it does remind us that peer-to-peer fundraising can be complex. In order to harness its power we must understand the intricacies of our constituent networks.

It is also important to understand that some networks have a greater reach than others and therefore greater power to impact the success of our peer-to-peer fundraising programs. This is one of the many reasons Plenty focuses on mapping out peer-to-peer fundraising networks in order to better understand them. If we can understand and better predict constituent behavior we can exponentially increase our chances of programmatic success.

So as you go back to putting ice in your drinks instead of on top of your head, consider the fundraisers and donors that make up your constituent base. Do you know who they are? Do you know who they are connected to? And most importantly, do you know how you and your mission can reach them?

Continue exploring the power and expansive nature of peer-to-peer fundraising and how it impacts your organization. Download our free tool, "The Family Tree of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising"!

Download the Infographic

Creative Commons Licensed Images:

Rick Rubin, from Wikimedia Commons

Mark Wahlberg, from Wikipedia

Ben Affleck, from Wikipedia

Justin Bieber, from Wikipedia

Henry Cavill, from Wikimedia Commons

Kendrick Lamar, from Wikipedia

Bill Gates, from Wikipedia

Ryan Seacrest, from Wikipedia

Amy Adams, from Wikimedia Commons

Michael Jordan, from Flickr

Chris Christie, from Wikipedia

Elon Musk, from Wikipedia

Seth Myers, from Wikimedia Commons

Larry Bird, from Wikipedia

Mark Zuckerberg, from Wikipedia

Steven Spielberg, from Wikipedia

Courteney Cox, from Wikipedia

George W Bush, from Wikipedia

Jimmy Fallon, from Wikipedia

Kenny Loggins, from Wikipedia

Courteney Cox, from Wikipedia

Dr. Dre, from Wikipedia

Tyler Perry, from Wikipedia

Kevin Bacon, from Wikipedia

Leonardo DiCaprio, from Wikipedia

David Beckham, from Wikipedia

Tim Cook, from Wikipedia

Jeremy Renner, from Wikipedia

Matt Damon, from Wikipedia

Tiger Woods, from Wikipedia

NY Jets, from Wikipedia

Sam Rockwell, from Wikimedia Commons

Eminem, from Wikipedia

Zach Braff, from Wikipedia

Oprah Winfrey, from Wikipedia

Rafael Nadal, from Wikimedia Commons

Rihanna, from Wikipedia

Kate Hudson, from Wikipedia

LeBron James, from Wikipedia

President Obama, from Wikipedia

Neil Patrick Harris, from Wikipedia

Jennifer Aniston, from Wikipedia

James Franco, from Wikipedia

Jimmy Kimmel, from Wikipedia

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