Stop and think for a moment about your day so far. How much clean water has been part of it that you never gave a second thought to? You’ve been to the bathroom, brushed your teeth, taken a shower and enjoyed a hot beverage. All of those simple tasks happened the rush of the morning with clean and safe water. What if you didn’t have it?
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. 100% of all public donations directly fund water projects, and they showcase every dollar using photos and GPS coordinates on a map.
Anyone who donates can see exactly where their money goes.
I first became aware of this organization in 2009 when the first Twestival was organized and held. Events of all sizes, around the world were held on a single night to raise funds. It was an early success story of using social media for social good and over $250,000 was raised!
The reason I want to shine a light on the great work that the charity:water team do is that they do it with such style and attention grabbing detail.
All of their campaigns are beautifully designed, they use photography and video to hit home and they have embraced online media to the fullest. Any non-profit can learn a lot from watching how they launch, promote and celebrate each campaign.
One successful tactic that they’ve adopted is encouraging supporters to donate their birthdays.
When you donate your birthday, you are asking people to donate to charity: water instead of giving you gifts. Every penny raised goes towards a project that you are given the GPS coordinates to and can track the progress of. You can share this link with everyone who donates and everyone sees directly where their money is going. They’ve had people of every age donate their birthdays and have built the tools to make this as easy as possible for someone to participate in.
The water crisis is one that is not going away. Every day children are dying from diseases that would be preventable if they had access to a clean water source. The time that would be saved every day when a well is brought to a community instead of having girls walk for hours to get water has direct effects on schooling and success. The more you read about the water crisis, the more important it’ll become to you.
Founder Scott Harrison speaks a lot about the formation of the organization and his beliefs. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him speak before and you can’t help but want to help when you hear his story. Their dedication to making sure that every donor knows where each dollar goes and the use of technology is amazing.
They recently received a $5 million grant from Google to improve this technology, by developing and installing censors that will report back real time data from every well around the world.
charity: water understands the power of social media. They understand that getting people’s attention, leads to awareness, which then can lead to donations. They constantly show the world all the good they are doing and leverage video better than most any brand I know of. Just take a look at this 2012 recap as one example of the great work they are doing.
Clean water is something everyone deserves access to. The fact that we are still fighting this problem in the world baffles my mind when I stop and think about it. Please consider donating today or on your next birthday.
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