How an Unconventional Charity Hopes to Raise $2-billion

Scott Harrison, founder of Charity:Water

Is it possible for a single charity to raise $2 billion in a single decade?

Although this may seem like an impossible goal for most charities, Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water believes that this ambitious goal is more than possible. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently interviewed Harrison on the success of charity:water and what it will take for his charity to reach its goal of $2 billion.

The most interesting takeaway from the interview is Harrison’s “secrets to his organization’s success”:

  • Demonstrate results
  • Good design and branding
  • Not charging donors for overhead
  • Broadcast your failures
  • “You are what you eat”

Although many charities probably won’t be able to emulate all of charity:water’s values, implementing a couple still can help your nonprofit achieve major results. With the social media space quickly making the shift to a more visual space (Pinterest, Facebook Timeline, etc.), a well designed website and brand can make a huge difference in donors’ minds. Donors want a simple and clean experience, which is something many nonprofits’ current websites do not offer.

The other main element donors want from a nonprofit is results. They want to know where their money is going and how your work is progressing. And even if you make a mistake or hit a road bump along the way, let the donor know. As long as they are truthful results, most donors will be happy (Just don’t make a habit of making mistakes with their money).

Is raising $2 billion in ten years a feasible goal for charity:water? What do you think they doing right and what are they doing wrong? 


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