I’m Joining charity: water

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Internet, Life, Marketing | Posted on 10-05-2010


Two years ago I gave up my September birthday to a new-to-me non-profit named charity: water, little did I know this would eventually turn out to be a life-changing event.

Through this process I learned the full extent of the shocking truth of the world’s water crisis. I learned that close to one billion people lack access to clean water. I learned that unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation caused 80% of diseases and killed more people each year than all forms of violence (including war). And I learned that via charity: water and their 100% model (with every dollar heading directly to water projects) that $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years.

And today, I’ll make this mission the purpose of my work life as I join charity: water’s executive team as Director of Digital Engagement and Fundraising.

There’s a host of reasons I’m ecstatic to join the charity: water team, and not the least the amazing people I’ll be working with, led by our Founder Scott Harrison.

If I had to narrow my motivation down to 3 key items though, it would be the following:

1. The Cause: 1 in 8 people in the world lack access to clean water. It’s a problem that can be solved with the right mix of ingenuity, hard work and cold hard cash. It’s a gigantic task, but there’s few out there more worthy of taking on – the gift of water can truly transform lives.

2. The Model: Every single cent donated to charity: water is used to fund water projects. No waste. Administrative costs are covered by other donors: everything from our team’s wages to the ink in the office printer. No confusion. It’s a new approach to charity.

3. Proven Digital Innovation: A website that looks better than nearly any corporate. Every well that is built is marked on Google Maps. 1.3 million people follow them on Twitter, they were the focus of the first Twestival and they’re even held up as an example by Twitter for other causes. In short, this non-profit is a true digital organization.

Paull Young charity: water from Paull Young on Vimeo.

And the best part of all of this? YOU can help. I want your money, your sweat, your voice and your brain… or any of the above :)

Your Money - Make a Donation

The most important element for the millions without water is access to your money. As I said, as little as $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. The first thing I’ve done as a charity: water employee is to ‘eat my own dogfood‘ and launch my own fundraising campaign – so if you were going to say congratulations remember there’s no better way to do so than by contributing $20 in my name! (and please do report back on the donation process – there’s nothing like feedback).

Your Sweat – Run a Fundraising Campaign

There’s only one thing I’ll love more than our donors in my new role, and that’s our fundraisers. There’s many ways you can raise money for the cause, you could give up your birthday for the cause just like Alyssa Milano, you could climb a mountain, heck, it’s so simple an 8 year old can do it! The only bounds are your creativity, and if you plan to fundraise for us do be sure to let me know!

Your Voice – Follow us Online and Spread the Word

Even if you can’t donate or fundraise right now there are a range of other things you can do to support us – importantly you can help spread the word and introduce us to your network. Please check out the links below and stay connected:

Your Brain – Share your ideas, your connections, your organizations

Please feel free to reach out to me with any of your ideas or thoughts on how you can help. I’ll always have time for you and every piece of support is valuable.

I know many of you are marketers or corporate folk – I’d love to find ways to get the support of your clients, your employers and your coworkers. Likewise I know I’d like to draw on your professional expertise no matter what your background and skill set.

So if you’re interested in lending your professional support now or down the track please leave a comment or drop me an email, at least then I’ll know I can reach out to you in future without fear of being needy.

I’ll be trying to blog regularly here and share insights on how we continue to develop charity: water’s digital program. I hope you can all subscribe and come along for the ride!


My mate Joe Ciarallo over at PR Newser covered the move, and my former CEO Rob Key wrote a nice post bidding me farewell over at the Converseon blog.

Comments (22)

congratulations paull – sounds like a fantastic role for a fantastic communicator. looking forward to following your successes here and on twitter. hope we can meet up soon!

Congratulations Paull! Sounds like a really great move and something you are passionate about. We’ll be donating this week and look forward to hearing more about it here!

Good luck to you Paull! Working in the nonprofit sector has many rewards!

Great news Paul and congratulations to charity:water for getting someone that will take them to another level.

Congratulations, Paull! It’s great to hear about young, talented people like yourself working for good causes. Good luck!

Congratulations, sounds brilliant


Congrats Paull!!

Congrats on the new gig Paull – a great charity.

I have made a donation and will be in touch about some ideas. I am off for a little while between jobs at the moment, so why don’t I drop you a line.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to make a comment, share this on Facebook or send a Tweet!

Your support means a lot to me! And I hope I can count on it more in future.

Very open to hearing any of your ideas, suggestions or general feedback – consider me an open book :)

Congratulations! I can’t think of a better person for the job!

Sounds like a great move Paull! Your friends at WOMMA are happy for you! Please keep us updated on how charity: water does WOM. We’re very interested.

Just catching up on the news, mate. Exciting. Good luck in the new role. I’m sure you’ll rock it. See you soon.

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Congratulations on the move, great news for the charity, let me know if there is anything I can do to help. If you are ever in the Greensboro area, we can organize a local event for you.

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I have just one more question – from the total pool of donations (I know you are saying that your salary and all admin costs are paid from donations, but I am talking a total of all donations, the admin’donations’ included) what is the % that goes to the cause directly?

I have all the respect in the world about how you are doing this, this is the only information that I couldn’t find.

You are talking about an innovative business model too. Can I pls get more details about this.

The reason I am asking this is : I am extremely interested in doing some charity world in the future and I am thinking about my options, so I’d like to get as much information as possible about how people do this in a smart and responsible way.

You can email me on t_pirkova@hotmail.com if you have food for thought for me :)


AMAZING Youngy!!!!

You have just reminded me why I am working in this sector and just how important and powerful social media is to creating real, positive social change.

I’d love to get involved in anyway from this side of the world – let me know!


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