I attended the UK launch of Charity Water in London on Monday June 13th last.
Charity Water is a simply amazing charity headed by Scott Harrison. Scott’s story is really incredible. Having spent 10 years on the ‘club circuit’ in New York leading a pretty decadent lifestyle, he decided to just quit, and has since dedicated his life to bringing clean water to people around the world. And boy has he delivered.
Of course the story is a lot more interesting than I am can do it justice here, and his interview with Bill Simmons really brings the entire story to life.
What makes the charity so interesting for me are a number of things:
1/ Charity Water are tackling an issue we can all relate to, the provision of clean water. Dirty water is a root cause of so many other problems, and if you can provide clean water you can reduce the amount of sickness (at its most basic), as well as improve the lives of so many people (in particular women).
2/ Recognizing the apathy many felt in terms of donating to charities (particularly due to a lack of transparency) he tackled the issue head on by ensuring 100% of proceeds raised went directly to the cause. They achieved this by having a separate set of supporters pay overheads. A simple idea yet highly effective!
3/ The charity has also embraced modern technology incl social media, digital marketing and even Internet of Things (IOT). Donors can get GPS coordinates for the wells they helped build, receive regular updates on what their donations have delivered, and see first hand the impact of their donation (however large or small).
At the London event, attendees were invited to try out Oculus VR headsets to experience a story from a village in Ethiopia. This film was incredible as it took viewers on a journey from life ‘before the well’ and after. Such was the power of the story, and the delivery method (VR) used, you felt a real connection with the beneficiaries. As an aside, this is one of the more compelling use cases for Virtual Reality headsets, I have encountered so far.
All in all a fantastic evening, a truly inspirational charity, and one I hope to support in a more meaningful way moving forward.
Alan Gleeson is a B2B Marketing Consultant based in London with a passion for helping SaaS businesses to grow.