Charity: Water

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charity: water
Charity water logo.jpg
Founded 2006
Founder Scott Harrison
Type Non-governmental organization
  • New York City
Area served
24 countries
Mission bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations

Charity: Water (stylized as charity: water) is a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. The organization was founded in 2006 and has helped fund 19,819 projects in 24 countries, benefiting over 6.1 million people. Overall, the organization has raised over US$200 million as of January 11, 2016.[1]

Based in New York City, Charity: Water uses both mainstream and social media platforms to raise awareness, including annual galas[2] and events arranged via Twitter.[3] The initiative has received donations from 300,000 individuals. It provides GPS coordinates and photos of the wells it builds.[4] The organization has 70 full-time staff members, 10 interns and more than 800 volunteers. 100% of its public donations are used to fund clean water projects, as its operating costs are funded by private donors, foundations and sponsors.[5]

Charity: Water has raised more than $252 million for more than 23,000 water projects[6] in 24 countries, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Malawi.[7]


Founder Scott Harrison was a New York City club promoter for ten years. From 2004, Harrison 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. Harrison began to tap his network in an attempt to get as many people as possible to support his cause.[8]

In 2015, Charity: Water partnered with the silicone bracelet company, Lokai, to further support their organization. [9]

Evaluations and criticism[edit]

Charity evaluator GiveWell published a review of the organization in December 2012. Their overall conclusion was that it "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."[10]

As of May 2017, Charity Navigator rates the organization among their highest-rated charities, with a full 4 out of 4 stars, and an overall rating of 92.29 out of 100[11] - with an 'Accountability & Transparency' score of a maximum of 100.


  1. ^ "These Sensors Raise The Bar Of Accountability For Water Charities". FastCompany. Jan 11, 2016. Retrieved Apr 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ Cole, Patrick (Dec 15, 2008). "Party Planner Kicks $350 Grey Goose Habit for Clean Water Cause". Bloomberg. 
  3. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (August 5, 2009). "Crowded roads ahead for charity 2.0". CNET News. 
  4. ^ "Case study: Charity Water". Think Social. May 26, 2009. Archived from the original on August 12, 2009. 
  5. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (July 11, 2009). "Clean, Sexy Water". New York Times. 
  6. ^ Duhigg, Charles (2017-06-14). "Why Don’t You Donate for Syrian Refugees? Blame Bad Marketing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  7. ^ Floum, Jessica (Sep 15, 2013). "Silicon Valley 'well' backs world water charity". Retrieved Dec 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Scott's Story". Charity Water. 2006. 
  9. ^ Reader, Grace. "How This Founder Learned to Trust His Team". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2017-04-02. 
  10. ^ "charity: water". GiveWell. Dec 4, 2012. Retrieved Dec 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ "charity: water". Charity Navigator. 

External links[edit]