An Update From charity: water

See your full potential with Lifetime Impact

by Chris Danner

charity: water has always enjoyed the support of a broad, committed, and creative community that is bonded by a common goal: to celebrate the end of the water crisis in our lifetime. So far, this community has come together to fund projects that will bring clean water to over 11 million people. That is amazing.

I joined charity: water last August as a Product Manager, and in my first meeting with Scott, he told me that one of the great strengths of this community is that each supporter gives in their own way. Some live-stream concerts for their birthday or ride a rickshaw across India, others have joined The Spring and generously donate every month, and some inspire their friends and family to join the mission. Our supporters, he said, have found their own way to get involved, and regardless of the path, everyone is making a valuable contribution and deserves to be celebrated.

As our team developed a new product strategy, we kept coming back to the frustration that, often, only those who give the most are celebrated. We wanted to develop a way to recognize different types of support equally: whether you donate, fundraise, or refer someone to join The Spring. As we discussed the total difference anyone can make as small, simple actions accumulate over time, we formulated the concept for something called “Lifetime Impact.”

Whether it’s proving every project we fund or developing sensor technology to track water flow and maintenance needs from afar, charity: water is always exploring new ways to connect supporters to their impact. With Lifetime Impact, we want to demonstrate how rallying your community can change lives. It’s easy to feel like emailing some friends or asking for support on social media isn’t going to make much of a difference. But that’s actually not the case. Just like small savings compound over time, so does your impact. Inviting a few friends to give monthly creates an expansive legacy over time.

Lifetime Impact is a metric that recognizes all of your contributions. Here’s how it works: Every dollar you raise or donate increases your Lifetime Impact. Also, when you refer someone to join The Spring, your Lifetime Impact grows every month they’re a member. If you invite five friends to join The Spring and they each give $20 a month, in five years your Lifetime Impact will grow to $6,000. That would bring clean water to 150 people. With very little effort, you can make an incredible impact.

By default, your Lifetime Impact is private. If you’d like, you can display it on your new profile page by changing the setting to “public.” You can see what it looks like on my profile. I’m a little behind Scott.

Chris Danner charity: water profile
Scott Harrison charity: water profile

Tracking Your Lifetime Impact

You can track your Lifetime Impact on your account dashboard. The new Lifetime Impact section shows how your impact has grown in the last six months and projects how it will grow, broken down by your donations, the amount you’ve fundraised, and the monthly gifts your referrals have made to The Spring. There’s even a tool that shows how much your Lifetime Impact could grow if more of your friends and family join you in The Spring. You’ll also see an estimate of how many people could receive clean water as your impact grows.

Growing Your Lifetime Impact

We’ve recently made a lot of changes to make it easier to grow your impact. The biggest is that you no longer need to launch a campaign to raise money for clean water. Campaigning will always be a great way to support charity: water, but we didn’t want the pressure of doing something crazy — like riding across the country (shout out to Ride for Water!) — to keep you from fundraising. Now, you can just share your profile with a few friends and ask them to make a donation to charity: water or join The Spring.

You have the power to change someone’s life. It doesn’t matter how much you can give, whether you give in dollars or pounds, or even if you can give at all. What matters most is what we’re able to achieve together. However you contribute to this cause, please know that it makes a difference. I have the privilege of working alongside a great team of people who ensure that 100% of every donation funds clean water. Every dollar has the same potential, no matter how it comes in, and we want to celebrate you for doing your part to end the water crisis.


If you have suggestions or feedback, please reach out to me. My email is chris.danner@charitywater.org.

Chris Danner is a Product Manager at charity: water. You’ll often find him working with his team to develop new tools and features that connect you to your impact and prove that everyone can make a difference. At all other times, you can find Chris and his wife raising their twin daughters, who are the cutest little fussbuckets you’ve ever seen.