Partnering with charity: water is a bit different from working with institutional donors, traditional foundations, or corporations. We want you to know about us so that you can better understand what drives our operations, how we review proposals, and why we have certain timelines and reporting requirements.
Getting the Word Out
From our beginning in 2006, we’ve embraced creative and innovative ways to tell people about the lack of safe drinking water worldwide. By connecting people to our work and brand, we’ve been able to create a huge network of supporters.
We’ve found that sharing messages and stories online works best. We use social media and a user-friendly website to explain our work and the impact we can have. We were the first nonprofit organization to have over one million followers on Twitter, and our staff frequently shares photos of the water points we’ve funded on widely-used applications such as Instagram.
We believe that simple storytelling can inspire people to support our mission. We generate web content, including videos, that shows how “water changes everything” for people who haven’t previously had safe access. This allows us to target a new demographic of donors, some who haven’t previously been involved with international development or who haven’t been aware of the need for safe drinking water worldwide.
charity: water takes a “crowdsourcing” approach to funding most programs, meaning that we aggregate contributions from a large group of people. We believe that individual contributions, no matter how small or large, are important, and we know that when many people come together to fund a program, the impact is much greater.
In order to raise funds, we encourage supporters to reach out to their personal networks on our unique fundraising platform called mycharitywater.
People who don’t start fundraising campaigns are also able to donate on our website. Since we fund our operations costs from a unique group of donors called The Well, we guarantee that 100% of money donated for water points can go to the country of implementation.
Every half, we take the donations we’ve raised and use them to fund a pre-determined group of proposals. Aggregating many micro-donations in this way means that there can be thousands of donors and unique donations in every grant we make. Matching projected fundraising to our planned grants is no easy task, so we ensure that our fundraising team is raising funds specifically for all planned water points.
In keeping with our mission to transparently show our donors their direct impact, we ensure that every single donor knows exactly where their funds were used. We map every water point funded on our website, and we show our donors photos of the communities they have helped. We also report back to online donors on the specific project they funded via a specialized platform called Dollars to Projects, or D2P. We promise our donors that the water points they sponsor will be complete and in use by daily water users 18 months from the end of the quarter in which they donate.