Since 2006, Charity: Water has raised more than $375 million to provide clean water to more than 10 million of earth’s citizens. By 2025, they hope to achieve the hugely ambitious goal of raising $1 billion to provide clean water access to another 25 million people. Here are three strategies Charity: Water has implemented to help them achieve these impressive goals.
- Emphasis on Sustained Giving
Prior to 2016, a great deal of Charity: Water’s donations came from peer-to-peer fundraisers such as birthday campaigns on social media. What they realized is that while important and valuable, peer-to-peer fundraising efforts tend to be sporadic and don’t provide a sustainable influx they can count on each month. The challenge was to increase sustained giving without taking focus away from peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. In 2016, Charity: Water founded a group known as The Spring, who are members who commit to donating a specific dollar amount each month. The group now boasts over 40,000 active subscribers who collectively contribute more than $14 million annually, with an average monthly donation of $30.
- Social Media
Charity: Water has been hugely successful in leveraging the power of social media to spread their brand message and attract support. They were one of the first nonprofits to gather more than a million Twitter followers and are one of the most popular beneficiaries of Facebook’s peer-to-peer fundraising programs.
- 100% Model
Every charity or nonprofit still has almost all of the same expenses as any other business. These include things like employee salaries and benefits, rent for office space, hardware, software, and utilities. Most charities could benefit significantly from marketing and attracting top talent, but every dollar the nonprofit spends on overhead takes away from funding for their mission. This puts many charities in a bind.
On the one hand, strong marketing and attracting top talent will actually help them better achieve their mission, but donors can get very skittish when they see more of their dollars going towards overhead rather than towards the aims, goals or mission of the organization. Charity: Water solves this conundrum by raising money separately from a small pool of donors to cover their overhead and expenses. This means that 100% of the money that ordinary donors contribute goes directly towards achieving their mission.