Quoted in the WSJ #humblebrag

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Current Affairs, Humour, Internet, Life, Marketing | Posted on 28-11-2011

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Humblebrag (urban dictionary): Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or “woe is me” gloss.

Somehow winded up in the Wall St Journal twice today.

First was for work, quoted in an article on the new trends in online philanthropy. 18 words made the quote, 2 of them “Justin” and “Bieber”.

Read the whole article here, here is the section on charity: water

Like some other nonprofits, charity: water, a New York-based organization dedicated to providing clean drinking water to people in developing nations, uses traditional and nontraditional fund-raising methods for separate purposes. Big gifts from private and corporate donors fund the charity’s operations, from staff salaries to ink for the printers. That allows 100% of donations from alternative channels, such as social media and the organization’s various websites, to directly fund water projects—an assurance meant to appeal to potential small donors concerned about where their money will go.

Seventy percent of donations to charity:water come from digital channels, mainly from individuals donating on its main website, by pressing the “donate” button, or going to mycharitywater.org, where anyone can set up a fund-raising campaign and ask friends to donate.

Mycharitywater.org has raised $11.5 million since August 2009. Individual fund-raisers have done everything from running marathons to setting up lemonade stands. The average campaign has raised $1,000, says Paull Young, director of digital engagement at charity: water. “Justin Bieber had people donate for his birthday,” he says. “Little girls have friends donate $7 for their seventh birthday.”

charity: water is experimenting with a new site, waterforward.org, that also relies on people’s social connections to expand the charity’s reach, but in a different way. The site maintains what it calls a “book”—a compilation of photos of people who have had a $10 donation to the site made in their name by someone they know. Once a person is in the book, he or she can bring in any number of other people by making a $10 contribution for each of them. Those people can then do the same, and so on. In effect, every donor becomes a fund-raiser.

The site is designed to make donating fun and engaging, and to allow donors to see that their contribution goes beyond the amount they can give, since each donation can lead to so many more donations, says Michael Birch, a major fund-raiser and contributor to charity: water who has helped the organization build its websites.

The second was more amusing. For 4th of July this year I embarked on a Texas trip with a bunch of rugby mates. For the occasion, I was in search of a stars’n’stripes Speedo… a surprisingly difficult item to acquire.

I turned to Zaarly, an awesome iPhone app turning commerce on its head, and a few hours and $50 was delivered a US flag speedo by a very confused personal shopper.

That same confused personal shopper appeared in a WSJ video today talking about his experience with Zaarly… his most awkward moment (you guessed it), my speedo.

Watch from 1.40:

charity: water in Sydney

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Business, charity: water, Events, Internet | Posted on 21-11-2011

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I’m currently home in Australia visiting family and I’m taking the opportunity to host an event in Sydney to share the story of charity: water.

If you’re in Sydney this Thursday, November 24, I’d love for you to join us at the Exchange Center at 6pm for drinks and a presentation.

RSVP here to join us!

Start With Why: Simon Sinek

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet | Posted on 03-11-2011

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I’ve recently had the pleasure to meet and learn from Simon Sinek as he has been doing some work with our charity: water executive team.

Simon’s clarion call is to ‘start with why‘ – he boils down the need for purpose to be at the core of businesses in today’s web-based business world into a simple, but highly compelling framework that will change how you think about your brand.

I strongly urge you to take 5 minutes to watch his TED Talk:

Then, think about what the ‘why’ is for your organization.

For charity: water, our ‘what’ is to bring clean and safe drinking water to the nearly one billion people living without.

We’re still working on firming up our ‘Why’, but you can guarantee it will revolve around helping people see their impact.

That’s why we mark every water project on Google Maps. That’s why we devote energy, time and resources to developing features like Dollars to Projects. And that’s why we’re different from every other cause out there.

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