Last night I attended a fantastic concert at the local high school. The name of the concert was “The Earth Is Tired.” Between songs, students presented information about everything from world starvation to the lack of clean water. Besides making me thirsty, the latter presentation reminded me about a wonderful organization called charity: water.
When I reached out to readers last year for ideas for charities to highlight on this blog, one of my friends suggested charity: water.
I had previously included a mention of this organization in my post for Blog Action Day 2010 called “Enough Water for Everyone,” but I had kind of forgotten about it.
Since then, I’ve read about charity: water several times – most recently in Blake Mycoskie’s Start Something That Matters.
I’d like to tell you what I know about charity: water and what makes this organization special.
I’m not one to obsess about the percentage of of donations that go to actual projects vs. operating expenses. I believe it’s important that non-profits attract good people who can manage donations properly.
However, charity: water has taken a unique approach to managing public donations. They know that people are more likely to give when they know their money will help people rather than contribute to a six-figure executive director salary. Operating expenses are covered using different sources of funds (like their store!).
The folks at charity: water take transparency extremely seriously. They understand that donors like to know where their money is going and how it is helping people.
They have a wonderful map where you can see every completed project. Talk about transparency!
This is not an organization where you can simply “swipe” your credit card and go on with your life. Well, I suppose you could, but there is so much more to it!
With mycharity: water, you can create a profile and get involved in the charity: water community. Here you’re able to see projects that your donations helped fund and also start your own fundraising campaigns. There are several different options:
Let’s face it. Clean water is necessary for health and life. One billion people do not have access to clean water.
In the presentation last night, the 9th grader speaking explained that the average life expectancy in one area with limited clean water (somewhere in Africa) is 39 years old. This hit home, because I just turned 38.
Women have to walk miles to fetch water, missing work and school, and risking rape and other violence.
At charity: water, they say “water changes everything:”
The goal of charity: water is to provide clean, safe drinking water to all people. This sounds like a lofty goal, but they are making good progress:
I believe their success is a combination of the strategies mentioned above, the founder’s great story, and understanding how to leverage in the Internet and social media to extend their reach further than ever.
For only $20, you can give one person clean water! A typical well project costs around $5,000 and takes care of approximately 250 people.
I have started a fundraiser on charity:water to raise $1,000 to help 50 people get access to clean, safe water. Please join me by donating $20 (or more!) to meet this goal. Once you’re done, share it on Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else you hang out online and encourage others to do the same.
P.S. Have I told you how amazing you are?
If you liked what you read, please share it with your friends.