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To Wear Charity
April 5, 2012 12:54 AM   Subscribe

Scott Harrison, the founder of charitywater.org, was in many ways "uniquely qualified" [his words] to set a life goal for global clean water with 100% of the donations to this charity transparently and deliberately accounted for via GPS photos and the random live stream of a well-digging! Interview [Warning: Kevin Rose inside]

At age 28, after a successful four-year-stint as a Club Promoter in NYC, Scott Harrison looked around and noticed, "There is not a redemptive thing in my life."

In this interview via foundation.kr
an interesting discussion project by Kevin Rose that utilizes his conversational access to persons of interest changing the world
Scott charmingly shares with us his story and how he fought to start a successful charity.
posted by TangerineGurl (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have a few friends who work at charitywater and from what I've seen they are doing really transformational work in places that desperately need clean water. I even had a similar experience to Scott - I wasn't a club promoter but I was in NYC and age 27 and basically had the same thought, which ended up changing my life - although I also didn't start an NGO.

That said, I've always thought of their "100% of the donations accounted for" shtick as a bit of (innovative) marketing management, and maybe fundraising / accounting management, to an extent. Theoretically, any NGO could seek alternative funding sources (private donors, government grants, etc.) and allocate those funds to cover administrative costs, and designate all general public donations to field projects. To take it a step further, its entirely possible that an NGO could designate all public donations to field work and even supplement that with additional funds raised in excess of administrative costs. Maybe charitywater even does this already, I haven't delved through their financials enough to know.

In any case, it doesn't seem that revolutionary of an approach to me, or one that sets them apart from other NGOs in anything other than how they keep the books and structure their funding messages on the website.

That said, good on em and keep up the good work.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:35 AM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good for him. I agree with akot that the accounting part sounds a bit markety (by which I am more expressing approval than criticizing; admin costs are a valid and necessary part of doing nonprofit work, but increased transparency is always good). The need in this world for water and sanitation projects is almost endless and I'm extremely happy he seems to be finding a successful model for implementing projects.
posted by Forktine at 5:38 AM on April 5, 2012


Kevin Rose: because you can't have beer or tea with out clean water.
posted by inturnaround at 5:45 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read the post and I can't quite tell if its sarcasm, but I smell it...
posted by Theta States at 6:19 AM on April 5, 2012


OK, no sarcasm, but my mind parsed it out of the phrasing. Maybe it was the exclamation mark?
posted by Theta States at 6:20 AM on April 5, 2012


Is Kevin Rose another guy we hate because of his success?
posted by crunchland at 6:39 AM on April 5, 2012


I think we hate on Kevin Rose because we resent people who made huge successes of fairly simple ideas the rest of us were not smart enough to implement.

But whatever - this is an amazing story. And yeah, I get the 100% thing is something of a gimmick but it's very, very effective marketing. Whatever; marketing is a super power and you can use it for good or you can use it for evil. I prefer it be used to deliver clean drinking water instead of, say, running shoes.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:16 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it OK if I like Kevin Rose but hate Digg?

This is an awesome group making real change in the world. I originally learned about these guys from this great post by Cameron Moll who was promoting a fund drive back in 2010.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:48 AM on April 5, 2012


I know a lot of folks who support this organization, glad to hear it's getting work done.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:00 AM on April 5, 2012


Is Kevin Rose another guy we hate because of his success?

He got hired by Google now so you can hate him for that.
posted by smackfu at 10:33 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read the post and I can't quite tell if its sarcasm, but I smell it...
OK, no sarcasm, but my mind parsed it out of the phrasing. Maybe it was the exclamation mark? Theta States


I was honestly moved when I watched this and kinda fell in love with Scott Harrison.
The Kevin Rose warning was a small joke. I REALLY AM a huge fan of his.
posted by TangerineGurl at 10:49 AM on April 5, 2012


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