How to Kill Your Charity
Originally posted in 2013
My charity, Splash, is now 7 years old. We have all the stats to be proud of: we work in 7 countries; we do this while maintaining and leveraging great relationships with foreign governments; we build local businesses with local staff to ensure local stability; we promote and provide great levels of transparency and accountability at every level; and we daily serve nearly 300,000 incredibly poor children safe water. So yes, I am quite proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve done it. Yet there is a constant tension that underlies this aggressive international growth while also ensuring sustainable local success.
The two are nearly always mutually exclusive. That is why I am daily plotting, planning, and strategizing how to best kill my charity. To do that, well, it actually takes a lot more time, focus, intent, funding and sweat than one might expect. But the alternative- keeping myself in a job while keeping communities dependent upon us for their own solutions- is simply a dying model of self importance that is, at its very core, unjust. Check out Splash’s thinking on this topic, presented at TEDx Seattle.