Archives For charity water

My Birthday = Clean Drinking Water

Kent Shaffer —  January 5, 2011

charity: water

Almost a billion people globally (1 in 8 people) do not have access to safe, clean drinking water. Remarkably just $20 can give one person clean drinking water for 20 years.

Let’s do something about it.

Give Clean Drinking Water

On January 12th, I turn 27 years old. I am giving my birthday to charity: water.
I am asking you to celebrate by giving the gift that keeps on giving – clean water.

For only $5,000, we can provide an entire village of 250 people with clean drinking water. That is an easy task if most of Church Relevance’s RSS readers donate just $1 each.

We can do that. Let’s build a well.

Give Clean Drinking Water

Give Clean Drinking Water

Give Clean Drinking Water

To donate, please visit: mycharitywater.org/kentshaffer

Thank you for making a difference!

Scott Harrison on charity: water

Kent Shaffer —  October 7, 2010

Scott Harrison at Catalyst Conference

During Catalyst Conference, Scott Harrison of charity: water discussed his pursuit of clean water.

After 10 years of living as a night club promoter, Scott Harrison transitioned to medical missions for two years. During that time, he learned how dirty water was the root cause of most of the diseases his team treated. When he came back, he started charity: water to build wells and train communities about clean water.

We live in a world where people will pay $16 for a margarita. They’ve just been being told the wrong story. However, charity: water’s story could not be about guilt.

1 billion people (1/6 of the world) on the planet do not have access to clean water.

Many people did not trust charities, so Scott Harrison and charity: water decided to build trust in 3 ways:

  1. Put 100% of donations into the cause (pay for administrative costs separately).
  2. Prove where the money went by adding GPS and photos to each well site.
  3. Create a brand.

As charity: water grew, it was clear that it was not about the brand but about the stories of the people raising money and the stories of the people getting clean water. The solution was mycharitywater.org.

Further Reading:
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Scott Harrison and Jamie Tworkowski on Running a Charity

Kent Shaffer —  October 6, 2010

Scott Harrison at Catalyst Conference

Jamie Tworkowski at Catalyst Conference

For the second session of Catalyst Conference labs, Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, and Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, discussed their causes and what they’ve learned.

Jamie Tworkowski on starting a movement:

I run into young people a lot who say, “I’m going to start my own movement!” My advice is it is important to reach out to older generations to learn from them and to learn from those who have been there. You can’t be humble enough in terms of admitting what you don’t know. Don’t cut corners

Scott Harrison on starting a movement:

Do everything right in the beginning. Get good lawyers who know how to setup nonprofits. Be tenacious. Find out who is strategic to making your vision come true.

Scott Harrison on storytelling:

I feel like most successful organizations know how to tell stories. Never lose focus on the stories. Share the exciting news in people’s lives.

Scott Harrison on sustainability:

People ask how we stay sustainable. How do you stay humble? How do you keep up with the pace? Not losing the excitement in what we’re doing is going back to the field to see the wells we build.

Jamie Tworkowski on criticism:

People have criticized our model. It is difficult to quantify how we help someone who is contemplating suicide. We had to focus on talking about what we do more clearly. It took us awhile to get to a place where we can communicate that.

Scott Harrison on criticism:

We have been criticized for privately funding administrative costs and marketing that 100% of donations go to building wells. When we started, many people I spoke to did not trust charities. This model has been right for us, and we have embraced the challenge. I don’t recommend that everyone should use the 100% model. It was an answer to a question that we felt people we’re asking at the time. But it is very challenging.

Scott Harrison on failure:

One of my personal strengths is crazy ambition, but it has also hurt us. When we started, we were just trying to pull people into the vortex. But we expanded too quickly and we started two affiliates overseas that have not worked well. We got too far out in front of ourselves.

Jamie Tworkowski on failure:

I wish that we had realized early that the most important thing for us to do is get organized and find people who can help.

Jamie Tworkowski on success:

A really good day for us is a day where we feel like we are moving people. It is a day when people are being challenged, getting resources, and having their lives changed.

Further Reading:
View Upcoming Church Conferences