You hear it all the time — “Oh, what are you going to do… blog about it?”
There are lots of blogs out there. And we’ve noticed that blogs can sometimes get a bad rap — critics will say that bloggers are whiny, lazy and all they do is talk (ahem, type) about changing the big issues in our world without doing anything.
We disagree. And we think this year’s Blog Action Day can help prove that bloggers can make a difference in solving one of the world’s greatest problems: the water crisis.
This year, the topic for Blog Action Day is water. That means that more than 4,000 bloggers around the world — including the White House blog! — are talking about water today. So what? Here’s our case for blogging to enact real change.
What’s in a blog?
We blog to form and empower a community around fighting the world water crisis. And we think blogging about water connects, teaches and inspires people to take action. Here’s why and how we’ve seen blogging make a difference for us:
blogs share inspiring stories.
Almost a billion people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water. 42,000 kids die each week as a result. How do you connect individuals with such daunting numbers? It’s hard to. But that’s where blogs sharing personal stories forge connections.
Stories from those in need.
We’ve met moms, dads, kids, and entire schools and clinics without clean water. We listen and we share their stories. The concerns for women like Helen in northern Uganda are a lot like the concerns of moms here in the U.S. — they want their kids to grow up healthy and happy.
Read Helen’s story here >
Stories from those who help.
Back here in the U.S., we have some really incredible people rallying around our mission, people with real connections to the water crisis and how it’s affecting their life. Tariku, a five-year-old boy from Colorado Springs, Colo., is an inspiring example — he gave up his birthday and asked for donations instead of gifts. And he funded an entire water project.
Read his mom’s blog about the whole thing here >
Stories connecting the two.
Every once in awhile, we get the chance to show the connection between those in need and those helping to fight the water crisis. These connections are really unique — before blogging or social media, they were a lot harder (or even impossible) to form.
Watch the story of one of our contributing photographers meeting up with a village she helped by sharing their story >
blogs share unique ways to take action.
Our fundraising community has blown us away. Every day we find new and exciting ideas for individual campaigns — and fundraisers are coming up with them all on their own. So we run a series here on the blog called Campaign to Watch to recognize our fundraisers’ accomplishments, share their advice on how to run a campaign, and inspire readers and followers of the blog to build off these ideas in their own fundraising campaigns.
Here are a few blog posts about campaigners who have inspired others with their action:
Walk for waterThe second grade class of Haverford hosted a “Walk for Water” around the track at their school to raise more than $7,500.
Skydive for waterJesse said she’d jump out of a plane if she reached her $1,000 goal — you can guess what happened…
Scrapbook for waterJulie led a group of moms to raise more than $10,000 by selling bundles of their homemade crafts online.
Our simple model makes it easy for blogger or readers to turn into action-takers: 100% of money raised goes directly to water project costs. And much of what our 43,000+ members on mycharity: water raise is a result of bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers or emailers passing on the campaigner’s mission statement and campaign page link.
blogs help keep businesses and NGO’s accountable.
The blog platform has opened up a world of critique many organizations wouldn’t directly have heard before. But those organizations also have a place to openly talk back (if they have a blog). We use our blog to spark ideas and conversations. We ask questions, recap news about water and give shout outs to organizations we admire. Sometimes, we even use our blog to share the trials of development work — one example was our posting a video from this year’s September Campaign Live Drill, where we failed to hit water for a village in need.
Blogging can create dialogue and sometimes, conflict. But this can be a good thing, when readers and writers are challenged constructively. We, for one, love when people ask us tough questions here on the blog. We want to inspire inquisitive supporters that will hold us accountable for our work and make us better at what we do.
make blog action day count.
Why water? It’s the crisis of our lifetime. And your blog can help us solve it. But don’t just talk about the facts — talk about what we can do. Talk about new ways to fundraise, new ways to engage your friends, new ways to tell the water story. And lead by example — get involved yourself!
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