Someone recently said that Charity: Water has the best marketing in the business (meaning nonprofit community). He may very well be right.
Their marketing works on so many levels. It is interactive. It is focused and presents a clear value proposition. It is energizing and makes you feel like you are part of a movement. Marketing is core to the design of everything they do and not a second thought as it is for most organizations.
At Charity: Water, the mission is super simple. Take US charitable dollars and leverage them in the developing world where the donor is astonished by the impact. It only takes a few dollars to change a life.
The value proposition is really shocking.
In a society where you have a $50 co-pay to visit a doctor about an acne flare up, the idea of saving ten lives for that same amount seems so exciting. In a society where it costs over a billion dollars to build a ballpark, it is exhilarating to pay $5000 to build a library for an entire village. It also makes a $5000 donor feel like a billionaire.
Nonprofits have been using this equation for generations. Before Charity: Water there was Room to Read, and before that there were all those Christian infomercials about adopting kids in Africa. Growing up, there were UNICEF boxes that showed how the $2.53 you raised would give a kid access to medicine. Donations to these charities demonstrate the compassion of our society but also show some kind of rejection of inflation in our lives where cost and value don’t feel aligned.
Charity: Water gets this formula. Their innovation is not their product. It is marketing that they do better than anyone else. It may be the easiest value proposition to market, but they hit it out of the park.