By Scott Harrison
Founder and president, charity: water
Nonprofits like ours that are addressing enormous problems (a billion people without clean water) are told to make sure we don’t scare people off by communicating how big the whole problem is.
Author Seth Godin recently wrote that the problem with enormity in marketing is that it doesn’t work. He said “Enormity should pull at our heartstrings, but it usually shuts us down. Show us too many sick kids, unfair imprisonments or burned bodies and you won’t get a bigger donation, you’ll just get averted eyes.”
While all this may be true, it just seems rather boring. Visionless. I have to believe people want to sign up for something bigger than just one. I did.
There’s a proverb in the Bible that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” People are certainly dying all around us, but could that be because we’re terrified to tackle the enormous? Because we don’t have the faith to see the entire problem solved?
I can’t quite see to a billion people yet, but I’m getting closer. Your generosity has helped us do that. In only three years, 60,000 people around the world have donated $11 million. That means 750,000 lives will change. 750,000 people will get clean water to drink.
So in the spirit of solving enormous problems, we want to step it up this September, and serve our first million people. Then keep going until every single person on the planet has clean and safe drinking water.
McDonalds served a billion people, didn’t they?
We made a video that explains how we want to do that. Please watch it, and share it.
We’ve also built a new website that allows everyone to use birthdays, anniversaries, weddings… to run marathons, swim and dance — do just about anything to help. Every dollar given is tracked to the project it funded, and GPS coordinates and photos are posted on Google Earth when complete. Like always, 100% goes directly to the field.
In only eight days, individuals already raised $80,000 towards our goal.