The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has proliferated across Northern Hemisphere in the past month in an effort to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (Gehrig was an illustrious Yankees’ baseball player who died because of the disease at the age of 37) is neurodegenerative by nature. It is characterized by muscle weakness, and an increasing inability to speak, move, and breath. As motor neurons break down, they can no longer carry messages between muscles and the brain, eventually resulting in paralyzation and then death. Stephen Hawking and Mao Zedong are among notable individuals that have suffered from the disease

It has no known cure.

Here is how the Challenge works: pour a bucket of ice water on yourself and then challenge others to do it (usually within a 24-hour period). If you are challenged, then you must either complete the challenge or donate (usually $100) to the ALS Association.

Though the origins of the Challenge are generally disputed, many attribute them to former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who has lost all ability to move and speak. He got the idea from another person suffering from ALS in 2012 who he met and became acquainted with online.

The Challenge’s popularity have led people from across the entire socioeconomic spectrum to do the Challenge: from ordinary Americans and Europeans to tech giants such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and athletes such as LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo. This Challenge knocks on the door of human emotion and affection. It does more than ask for money. It gives back, through, quite literally, a fun time.

The doors that this Challenge opens and the potent ideas that it insinuates, of awareness and of giving, transcend the boundaries that have limited research and treatment funding for all kinds of causes for years. The participatory nature of the Challenge increase the willingness of people to look into what ALS is and thus spread the message, even they themselves do not donate.

Where fundraisers lacked a connection to their donors, now they have one. The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, for example, has strained and drained the treasuries of countries like Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. The World Bank is preparing a US $260 million relief package for these countries to prevent an economic depression. Other countries are continuing to spend millions of dollars to fight a virus that has no cure, in hopes of giving drugs to the affected that have been proven to have negligible effects, if any at all, on animals.

Maybe this is the future for fundraising: thinking about those who give donations as much as those who receive them. Looking at the Challenge’s success it would be feasible to say that building a relationship between them is paramount to the success of research and treatment of a disease. Maybe disease is not a problem, just an expense. If this is the case, ALS, along with other diseases, need to be made more visible on the agendas of the UN, NGOs, and international governments.