charity: water stories

22 Reasons to Celebrate '22

Last year proved the power of community.

by Bailey Jurgens

  1. At the beginning of every year, our first big event is World Water Day, and 2022’s campaign pulled out all the stops. We launched The Colors of Dirty Water alongside brand-name partners like Pantone, filled social feeds with heartbreakingly beautiful images, and got our message in front of millions.
  1. We formed a new Marketing & Growth team, and they wasted no time piloting, testing, and scaling their ideas. One of which — a trio of “recipes” advertised across social media platforms — garnered over 1,200 comments, 2,300 post shares, and 2,200 post saves. You can watch one of the videos here.
  1. We slid a first-of-its-kind storytelling experience into our Instagram DMs. Friends and followers like you simply had to DM “let’s go!” to be taken on a virtual journey to Zimbabwe. Shoutout to our partners at Huxly for making the interactive experience possible.
  1. Our UK team launched a variety of brand awareness engagements, like sending a giant Jerry Can cruising through the streets of London, power-washing our mission into pavements, and lighting up landmarks with videos of women walking for water. The result? Millions of media impressions, double the website traffic, and a 583% increase in email subscribers compared to 2021.
  1. The UK team also introduced The Drop — a limited edition collaboration program with some of the trendiest brands around. So far, the charity: water name and cause has been spotted with the likes of Jim & Tonic, FINLAY, Jollie’s, and SMILEY.
  1. That’s enough about us, let’s talk about you. More than 14,000 of you joined The Spring, our monthly giving community, in 2022. Together, you’re currently funding clean water for over 45,000 people each month!
  1. Water Project Sponsors fund clean water for at least one community, and last year, 316 first-time Water Project Sponsors joined our mission. Thank you to every individual, family, small business, and faith community that made such an awe-inspiring gift.
  1. Another 70 people joined The Tributary and made clean water part of their legacy. Combined, those 70 commitments totaled an additional $5.6M in both planned and realized giving.
  1. Ten new supporters joined The Well. In total, 128 generous Well members are funding our operating expenses so that 100% of public donations can go directly to clean water.
  1. Speaking of The Well, we are thrilled to say that we hosted our first in-person Well Dinner since 2019. We turned the dinner into a series, traveling to Austin, Sonoma, Miami, and New York to host small, community-centric events. And we saved the best detail for last: Well members and other attendees raised $4M throughout The Well Dinner Series!
  1. Our Brand Partners continued to step up, with Aveda raising over $1M for Earth Month, Swedish Match returning with another $1M gift, and Smile Generation breaking a seven-year campaign record by raising $722,000.
  1. More than 60 content creators teamed up with our friends at Domino's for #StreamForClean, funding clean water for over 3,200 people.
  1. Another half a million people — yes, 500,000 and counting! — played "This is a True Story," a stunning game that features art-gallery-esque illustrations and follows one woman’s daily walk for water. A huge thank you to our talented partners at Frosty Pop and Netflix for creating and collaborating on this video game for good.
  1. Athletes laced up their tennis shoes and ran for clean water at the New York City Marathon, Hood to Coast, and countless other 5Ks, 10Ks, and half-marathons. (Tired yet?) With every mile logged and every dollar raised, their steps ensured that thousands of people will no longer walk for water.
  1. The cutest update of all: We inaugurated a new class of Tiny Heroes. These kids assembled furniture, wrote letters, baked cookies, and started businesses all in the name of clean water.
  1. Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we had the capacity to expand our programming. Our Water Programs team vetted and onboarded nine new local partners, bringing charity: water to a total of 55 active partnerships in 22 countries around the world.
  1. We’re committed to keeping clean water flowing, so we’re excited to share that 1,500 India Mark II water sensors were manufactured last year. In 2023, they will be installed on hand pumps in Uganda.
  1. Passports were filled yet again as our Water Programs team visited multiple partners in 14 countries throughout 2022. These visits are critical to program oversight and allow our team to monitor and audit water projects, problem-solve with partners, and build trust among our teams.
  1. The Creative team trekked to both Zimbabwe and Nepal, meeting people who have been directly impacted by your generosity. If you get our emails, you may have already read a few of their stories. But don’t worry, more are coming soon!
  1. While visiting Zimbabwe, charity: water’s Creative Director Tyler Riewer realized that it was his 20th trip with the org. He recorded this short video for The Well Dinner Series, and we’d love to share it with you, too. (Fair warning: You’ll need tissues.)
  1. As we neared the end of the year, we gathered our community together for the virtual “Remarkable Together” event. We were honored to have 284 guests tune in as we told stories of remarkable people like you: Spring members, Well members, Brand Partners, Water Project Sponsors, fundraisers, and everyone in between.
  1. What did it all amount to? (Get ready to cheer.) Two million more people will get clean water because supporters like you kept showing up! Put another way, you helped us fund clean water for 5,479 people every day last year. That’s 228 people every hour and approximately four people every minute.

We truly can’t say thank you enough. As we look back on 2022, we see you — our generous supporters — behind each and every reason to celebrate. You’ve made charity: water part of your story, and you’ve helped us fund clean water for more than 16 million people around the world.

Thank you for making our work possible, for being by our side, and for helping us finish last year strong. We have only the highest of hopes for 2023.