Last week I had the privilege of attending the 5th Anniversary Celebration for charity: water. charity: water hadn’t done a party like this since 2006, when founder Scott Harrison hosted what would become the first September Campaign. Scott hosted his birthday party and asked a few hundred of his friends to donate $20 to his new non-profit. …..Five years, 4,282 water projects, 42 million dollars and 200,000 supporters later, charity: water is continuing their mission to provide clean drinking water to developing nations.
To celebrate their birthday on September 7th charity: water usually broadcasts a live well drill via satellite to show their donors how their dollars are working. But this September 7th, instead of saying happy birthday to themselves they wanted to say thank you to their supporters. And they did so with hundreds of phone calls and emails and 250 personalized videos! charity: water also decided to change the focus of this year’s September Campaign by turning our attention to well drilling equipment. Countries will soon be able to provide clean water year after year- but more about that in a second.
You see, the success of Scott’s birthday party back in 2006 raised $15,000! Every dollar of the money raised went to drill a water well in Uganda. Every supporter witnessed his or her dollar in action via messages to their mobile phones with special GPS tracking from the well location. charity: water’s 1st September Campaign success spread to the next year and they were able to drill a well in Kenya. The next year even more people wanted in on the giving and gave up their September birthdays to fund Ethiopia’s first charity: water well. By 2009 charity: water opened up the September Campaign to all months. With hundreds and thousands of people sacrificing their birthday month to host fundraising campaigns, charity: water served their one millionth person with clean drinking water! In 2010, the September Campaign got even more crazy and it raised 1.7 million dollars to bring clean drinking water to central Africa!
This year with most of their partners working at capacity, charity: water decided to start making provisions to fund well drilling equipment. The 2011 September Campaign is starting with Northern Ethiopia. 1.2 million dollars will buy a new drilling rig that will last over a decade and provide water to 400,000 people per year! Yes, per year! The smart folks at charity: water estimate they need at least 1, 200 supporter-driven campaigns to reach their goal. The best part about this year’s campaign is, if they reach their goal a donor is going to match their efforts with a second drilling rig!
Is there still time for you to join the 2011 September Campaign? Of course there is! Just “give up” your birthday now thru September 30th and make a pledge in any amount to fundraise towards the clean water drilling equipment. Wait, your birthday isn’t in September? Oh, that’s fine! Remember back in 2009, the September Campaign opened it’s arms to all birthdays? So joining the campaign is a breeze. You’ll have three months to make your goal and thousands of people on board to help you succeed.
You’re not sure you can lead your own September campaign but you still want to give? No problem. Just take a look at the campaign’s home page and scroll through the now 400 plus projects and choose one- or three- to donate to! I mean, how can you not donate to Ella’s 5th Birthday Campaign? She’s SSOOO cute!
charity: water has made taking part in global change easy, so why not join the movement? Join the 2011 September Campaign today and watch your dollars change how water changes lives.