How Did Charity Water’s Site Help them Raise 30 Million Dollars? — Wanna Pixel

Charity Water is one of the most successful and well-known charities today. I believe one of their reasons for success is that they’re young. Older charities often have trouble embracing new ways of connecting and fundraising, because they are afraid they’ll lose the ground they already have. Charity Water is a millennial-started organization, and they shot to worldwide renown like a firecracker. (Baby, you’re a firework!).

Oh, and they also raised $27.9 mil for clean water in 2014 (every dollar of which went to clean water). I couldn’t find a 2016 report with the same detail as the 2014 report. In and of itself, this report is a work of love, creativity, and passion. Much can be learned from their organization and the design of its content.

I’m a student of design, especially UX design. Their website is one of my favorites. Here are some basic design and UX principles that nonprofits can learn from These are things we try to tell our clients all the time, so it’s encouraging to see a world-class nonprofit back us up.

They’re not afraid to be colorful.

They use negative space (the empty space around the graphics and text) beautifully and luxuriously.

They use the power of emotive imagery.

They are not afraid of calls to action, and the calls to action are varied. They work because they are interspersed with uplifting, exciting content.

Charity Water’s most moving image — a child carried a treasured container of water — is front and center (and above the fold) — an image that evokes both hope and joy. The child’s expression is a reflection of the life-giving water that’s being carried.

(Recently, they changed this image to a more sober image of the people who need water living in Adi Etot to celebrate World Water Day on March 22. Still moving.).

The donation box is inviting, positive, easy to use, and accessible.

Three bold yellow boxes with an unusual design educate the visitor on what Charity Water does, succinctly and with clarity.

A confidence-boosting statistic is thrown in to encourage donors to give.

Even if donors can’t give today, they encourage signing up for their e-mail.

And watching videos on how powerful a donor’s gift will be.

Other ways to get involved come next, for a total of eight calls to action.

It’s absolutely, fluidly, uncompromisingly responsive in all major devices.

All of this equals a powerful homepage. It gives you the feeling that you’re joining a band of warriors who are winning. And if you’re like me, that’s the kind of organization you want to join.

This is where many of our small nonprofits get hung up. “We’re not there yet!” they’ll say. “We just need money!” “We need to make people aware of the need.”

But it’s not big dollar signs that people look for, but big hearts. There must be at least one thing your organization has already done to impact the world in your area of caring. Make it about that. Make it about what you’ve already done and that you look forward to doing.

People join a nonprofit that is already going places.

They join one that reflects the cause they already care about.

Be that organization.

And here’s a quote that arrested me right from the get-go this morning and will probably ring forever in my ears. It’s about writing, but who cares?

“Do what you do consistently and excellently and you cannot fail.”

I hope this post helps you get one step closer to that excellence.

Originally published at on April 13, 2017.