Have you heard of charity: water? Those of you who have, probably think it is as amazing as I do. Those of you who haven’t, you’re in for a treat.
It might give you a clue that they aren’t your average charity by looking at their number of Twitter followers- nearly 1.4 million. As a comparison, Cancer Research UK has a (still impressive) 100,000 or so.
Charity:water has a simple but very profound message– that everyone deserves access to clean drinking water. This is powerful because it is something that in richer countries many of us take for granted. Another great thing that they do is to show that they have a variety of solutions to this one problem. They have a large network of formal partners and even more importantly they make it easy for anyone who is interested in their work to support and champion them. They make it obvious where your money is going and show the direct difference that it makes.
The Founder of charity: water, Scott Harrison, has an amazing story to tell. He had an extremely successful career but he didn’t feel that it held much value. So he volunteered for two years on projects in Africa, saw the desperate need for access to water, and decided to found the organisation. Here he explains what he learned along the way.
Charity: water has the feel of being an extremely open organisation. This article explains more about the innovative ways in which they keep people engaged with what they are doing. Nonprofit social media guru Beth Kanter has also written extensively about the organisation (for example here), citing it as a good model to follow.
So please have a look at their work, I guarantee you’ll be impressed.