One day left for my charity: water campaign

Tomorrow is the last day to donate to my charity: water birthday campaign.

I came across charity: water after seeing a video of founder Scott Harrison’s dynamic presentation telling his story and explaining how the charity got started. This charity, unlike many non-profits, is aggressively transparent and promises that all donations go directly to serve its primary purpose: providing clean water for those who otherwise would not have it. Administrative costs are paid through separate fundraising efforts, and individual contributors are sent follow up details of exactly where their money was spent, including GPS coordinates for wells.

And charity: water has created a brand identity that compares favorably with some of the best in the for-profit sector. Their birthday campaigns, where donors give up their birthday celebrations for charity: water, have been a touchstone for raising the profile of their cause and tapping into social media to spread the word.

There’s a very interesting long article in today’s New York Times profiling Scott Harrison and his efforts to get people of influence and means on board.

Consider giving up your next birthday. I’ve enjoyed connecting with friends and family through my birthday campaign, and it’s been rewarding to see several who contributed to my effort also pledge to give up their next birthday.

And, if you’re so motivated, you’ve got until midnight tomorrow to add to my birthday campaign.

charity: water

Update on my charity: water project

I gave up my birthday for charity: water, and, so far, 36 contributions have been made totaling more than $1,600. That’s enough to bring clean water to 25 people. Even though my birthday has passed already, donations can still go toward my campaign until August 9.

I am amazed at how many of my friends and family have donated. When I started my campaign I was asked to list a goal. I put down $1,000, thinking that was high enough to be a real challenge. There aren’t that many people in my life who would normally give me a birthday gift, so I didn’t expect much of a response. When donations started rolling in pretty quickly I realized I needed a bigger goal. I would rather aim high and fall short than aim low and reach it. I wrote down $2,000 and divided that by 49, the amount I was asking for my 49th birthday. That’s almost 41, so I decided to just multiply 49 by 49 and reset my goal to $2,401.

Several who donated to my campaign have already created their own birthday campaign. Looks like I’ll be giving back again, and gladly, when all these other birthdays roll around. Seeing my friends get excited enough about this charity to donate their birthdays, too, is as gratifying as them donating to my campaign.

Last week I came across the Charity Navigator web site which provides an independent, objective evaluation of charities. It’s an interesting site and well worth exploring to find out how they rate any charities you support or are considering. I was pleased to see charity: water was rated as one of the top overall charities in the nation.

And, just this morning I received an email from charity: water with this great new 3-minute video telling the founder’s story:

If you’re looking for a charity to support that you can be proud of, one that’s taking on a big problem and doing it in a transparent and awesome way, please check out charity: water.