|Area served||20 countries|
|Mission||bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations|
Charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Founded in 2006, it has helped fund 6,611 projects in 20 countries, benefiting over 2,545,000 people. Overall, the organization has raised over $40 million as of January 15, 2012.
Based in New York City, Charity: water uses both mainstream and social media platforms to raise awareness, including annual galas and events arranged via Twitter. The initiative has received donations from 50,000 individuals. It provides GPS coordinates and photos of the wells it builds. The organization has 20 full-time staff members, 10 interns and more than 800 volunteers. Charity: water uses 100% of public donations to fund clean water projects as its operating costs are funded by private donors, foundations and sponsors.
Founder Scott Harrison was a New York City club promoter for ten years. In 2004, Scott committed two years of his life to the poor and marginalized through volunteer service in Liberia with Mercy Ships. He traced problems surrounding education, safety, and health back to a lack of clean water and basic sanitation systems. Scott began to tap his network in an attempt to get as many people as possible to support his cause.
Rachel Beckwith was a nine-year-old American girl who, for her birthday, wanted to raise $300. She asked family and friends not to buy her any presents but to give money toward the Charity: water campaign. In the month after her birthday, she had raised $220.
On July 20, 2011, Rachel was traveling in a car with her mother and sister when it was hit in a 13-vehicle pile-up. Her mother and sister escaped with minor injuries but Rachel was taken to hospital. On July 23, it was decided to turn off her life support.
A pastor from her church then reopened the donor page that she had created with her mother on a social network. Donations began to pour in from all over the world. On 12 August 2011, Rachel's campaign collections broke the $1 million mark. When the campaign ended on October 1, 2011, it had raised $1,271,713. This money was donated by 31,980 people across the world.
On July 12, 2013, Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, asked his "bros" (fans) to donate to Charity: water in one of his videos. It was a way for him to celebrate the fact that he had over 10 million subscriber on YouTube. He said he wanted to use his recent popularity for something useful. His goal was to reach $250 000. Moreover he decided to give $1 for every 500 views on the video thanks to the support of his YouTube network and a lot of sponsors.
Only 2 days after his video was published, more than $100 000 was already given to the association.
Here is what he wrote on his Charity: water page to explain his actions :
"Hey and thanks for visiting my Charity: Water campaign. Hitting 10,000,000 subscribers means so much to me. In honor of that, I wanted to find something really cool that we could all do to celebrate, and I can't think of any better way to do that than working together to raise money for this awesome cause.100% of everything we raise will directly fund water projects. And when those projects are finished, Charity: water will send each person who donates proof in pictures and GPS coordinates, so we can see the actual people and communities we all helped out. My goal is to have 10,000 bros donate and to raise at least $250,000. I know that this is a HUGE goal, but that if everyone pitches in even a tiny bit, I really think we can reach it. This will ensure that 12,500 people have clean drinking water for the first time.I will be donating a dollar for every 500 views my video announcing this campaign gets up to $10,000. My YouTube network, Polaris will be matching every dollar I give too."
He finally managed to raise $450,529 becoming the second largest fundraiser according to a "thank you" video made by the organization.
Charity evaluator GiveWell published a review of Charity: water in December 2012. Their overall conclusion was that Charity: water "stands out from other organizations we have considered in some respects (such as conducting evaluations that include frank discussions of problems), but we remain uncertain about the humanitarian impact of their work and the relative effectiveness of their partner selection process."
- Party Planner Kicks $350 Grey Goose Habit for Clean Water Cause, Bloomberg, Patrick Cole, December 15, 2008
- Crowded roads ahead for charity 2.0, CNET News, Caroline McCarthy, August 5, 2009
- Case study: Charity: water, Think Social, May 26, 2009
- Clean, Sexy Water, New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof, July 11, 2009
- "Rachel Beckwith's legacy: $1 million for charity". 2011/08/12. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- "Charity: water (charity review)". GiveWell. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Charity Navigator Rating - charity: water". Charity Navigator. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2013-09-04.