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Campaign Art: Kick Off Your Birthday by Bringing Fresh Water to the Sahel

Roxanne Bauer's picture

People, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.

charity: water, launched its annual "September Campaign" this month in which the organization selects a country or region for targeted support. This year, the Sahel region was chosen, and the September Campaign seeks to bring clean water to 100,000 people of Mali and Niger that are living in the strip of land between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanian Savannah to the south.  The area is frequently affected by drought and famine, and access to clean water is rare.

Unlike other nonprofits that speak about the organization and mission first, charity: water puts their supporters at the center of their communications and empowers them to tell personal stories and fundraise individually, using a method known as inbound marketing. Inbound marketing promotes an organization through blogs, video, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, and other forms of content marketing which attract the attention of key audiences and draw people to their website. By contrast, buying attention through advertisements, cold-calling, direct paper mail, and radio, are considered "outbound marketing."

Central to their inbound marketing method, charity: water appeals to supporters to start 'your own campaign.' The website offers visitors the ability to, "start a fundraising campaign and bring clean drinking water to people in need around the world." The personalized and social nature of the campaign allows people to share their own stories and encourage friends and followers to do the same. Supporters have been creative with their campaigns, starting birthday fundraisers, running marathons, and welcoming newborns with donations.


Charity: water has woven inbound marketing into other outreach activities as well, from Dollars to Projects, a program that “tracks every dollar raised, showing you the water projects you helped fund for people in need," to telling stories of people in need of water in video and on Instagram.

The mission of charity: water is critical because while over 2 billion people gained access to improved sources of drinking water and almost 2 billion people gained access to improved sanitation since 1990, more than 700 million people still lack ready access to improved sources of drinking water (nearly half which are in sub-Saharan Africa), and more than one third of the global population – around 2.5 billion people — do not use improved sanitation facilities.

This week also happens to be World Water Week. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), hosts the annual event to address water issues and related concerns, and over 2,500 participants and 200 organizations from about 130 countries participate in the event's activities that focus on five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, climate change and water, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics.

Source:  charity: water
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