16 Ounces of Hope
Charity: is an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about extreme poverty, educating the public, and provoking compassionate and intelligent giving.
Founded only a year ago by former nightclub promoter Scott Harrison, the organization’s first campaign, Charity: water, addresses the lack of access to safe drinking water in developing nations by educating the public and fundraising to build freshwater wells for communities that need them. The initiative already has raised $1 million, thanks to a unique fundraising approach.
FundRaising Success: How does your organization raise money?
Scott Harrison: We sell a $20 bottle of spring water and give 100 percent of the money to water projects in Africa. We buy them for 41 cents each from a private spring upstate and label them. They have seven different educational messages on them — water facts, etc. We cover our administration, fundraising and all educational programs from a separate set of donors, so we’re able to give 100 percent of the money away.
FS: How do you sell the water?
SH: We produce global exhibitions about the water crisis. So we use images and videos to show people the need of the 1.1 billion people living without access to clean water, and then we ask them to make a $20 contribution and receive a bottle of water that then empowers them to tell the story. We did outdoor locations in New York at Central Park, Union Square. … We did an exhibition at Sundance. We also raise a lot of money by selling virtual bottles.
FS: What is a virtual bottle of water?
SH: For instance, you would send a Valentine’s Day card to a loved one and you would pay $20 and then they would receive the card. … And that’s been successfully done.