MARK SAEMISCH, Thank you for the well thought out response encouraging people to do some research before donating to any cause. That is indeed very important!
However, in this case the source you cited (Health Impact News) is not a good choice. That is a company that does Saturday afternoon infomercials trying to pitch coconut oil for ridiculous health claims (including one on the website saying it "Coconut Oil Reverses Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)".
I won't claim that the ALS Association (ALSA) does everything right, but overall it's still one of the better national charities out there. Charity Navigator and CharityWatch are much better sources than "Health Impact News", and they both give ALSA pretty decent scores. For example, Charity Navigator gives it 4 stars and an overall score of 90.73, which is very good compared to the highly respected American Cancer Society (2 stars, 75.96) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure (3 stars, 81.96). Likewise, CharityWatch gives the American Cancer Society a grade of C+ while it gives ALSA a score of B+ and has it in its "Top-Rated Charities" list.
From my limited research, it appears that presidents and CEOs of nearly all the large national charities (including ALSA) make a much higher salary than it seems like they ought to (typically $100-$500K). That is a real turnoff, though there are somewhat valid reasons (e.g., most of them have the same education and experience levels as Fortune 500 CEOs that average $11+ million). Yes, giving to local fundraisers organized by unpaid volunteers is absolutely great and is very rewarding. But if you really want at least some of your money to go toward research and a cure, the national organizations (warts and all) are still the best choice. ALS is a disease that really needs that, since it's about the only disease that has had almost no advancement in finding a prevention or cure since Lou Gehrig died of it way back in 1941. Think about the progress made in those areas with cancer, AIDS, etc and the complete lack of progress with ALS is a very good reason for backing the Ice Bucket Challenge.
DISCLOSURE: I am not in any way associated with the ALS Association, but I have contributed to it and participate in its charity walk in Platteville each September in honor of my mother-in-law who died of this dreadful disease. Like many people, I considered myself to be well-informed but until my M-I-L was diagnosed I didn't realize just how horrible it is, and how many young parents are afflicted and die with their young children watching. :-( To me, the biggest positive of the Ice Bucket Challenge is that millions of people have become more educated and aware of the disease. Thank you.