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.

The Power of Thank You

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Marketing | Posted on 25-09-2011

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This September charity: water turned five. Here’s how we celebrated:

We made hundreds of personal thank you videos for our donors and supporters. You can see them all on a special YouTube channel here, and our staff favorites are up on the blog here.

It was cool to get a great response from Alyssa Milano for this video:

And my personal favorite was getting to say thank you to Andrea Harrison’s dog, Sabin:

I’ve rarely felt as happy and professionally fulfilled as I did on our 5th birthday as we got to say thank you to our donors and show them what they mean to us.

This comment from Beth Kanter stood out, and shows why I was so proud of my team for their work on this:

The videos feature staff and you can just feel the love they have for people who share the organization’s passion for its mission of getting clean water to people around the world.

I view digital and marketing strategy through the sphere of relationships, and there is no better way to build a strong relationship than to give back to those who give to you!

Talking September on Pulse TV

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 26-08-2011

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My good mate Steve Garfield invited me onto his segment on Pulse.TV to talk about the charity: water September Campaign.

Steve’s been a great supporter of the September Campaign. Back in 2008 when I first gave up my September birthday Steve was my biggest donor. This was the second year in a row he had me on his show as we launched the campaign. As I wrote this post he gave another tremendous donation to my current campaign.

Steve’s a true gentleman and knows more about online video than anyone. Follow him!

Watch the full interview here:

I’d love YOU to help support the campaign! Either by visiting the September site and sharing it with your friends, or by donating for my upcoming birthday.

100% of donations will contribute to the drilling rig, and a matching donor will double what you give. For the next decade the rig will go to work in northern Ethiopia digging hundreds of wells, and we’re going to stick a GPS unit so you can see where your money goes to work!

September Campaign 2011

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Internet | Posted on 24-08-2011

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I’m proud of my team today as we launch charity: water’s 5th anniversary September Campaign.

In 5 short years charity: water has provided access to clean water for over 2 million people in 19 countries. But with nearly 1 billion people living without safe water we’ve hardly even started. And we need to go faster.

Some of our best partners are starting to run at 100% of their capacity to bring people water, so this September we’re funding a drilling rig that can bring another 40,000 people each year water in northern Ethiopia.

Watch our video here for the full story:

The 2011 September Campaign. Our 5-year-anniversary video from charity: water on Vimeo.

I’d love it if you’d consider fundraising for the Rig this September. If you can’t fundraise, please donate for my September birthday instead of buying me a birthday beer.

And today – please share this video anywhere you can!

Nick Kristof: Rachel’s Last Fund-Raiser

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Internet, Life | Posted on 11-08-2011

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Rachel Beckwith’s story has touched me deeply. She was trying to raise $300 for charity: water her 9th birthday when she was tragically killed in a car crash. Strangers have since donated nearly $1 million in her name.

So it’s all the more inspiring to see one of my favorite journalists, Nick Kristof, cover her story in the NY Times:

“In the midst of this grim summer, my faith in humanity has been restored by the saga of Rachel Beckwith. She could teach my generation a great deal about maturity and unselfishness — even though she’s just 9 years old, or was when she died on July 23 … Yet this is a story not just of one girl, but of a generation of young people working creatively to make this a better world.”

Read the piece in full here.

Presentation: Social Media for Nonprofits

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Internet | Posted on 02-08-2011

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This Thursday I’m speaking at the Social Media for Nonprofits conference in NYC, talking about charity: water’s digital approach via a case study of the 2010 September Campaign.

If you can get to the event on Thursday in NYC please join us, but if not – never fear! I covered similar content earlier this year at the Fundraising Day conference and the awesome folk at SankyNet were good enough to record and share my presentation.

Here’s the video:

And here’s the slides on slideshare:

Water Brings Hope

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Life | Posted on 25-07-2011

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At charity: water we always say that Water Changes Everything. But even working for the cause it’s hard to visualize what nearly 1 billion people without clean water means.

But after visiting the village of Moale, deep in the jungle of Central African Republic, the water issue for me is always going to be these three beautiful girls:

It’ll be a mother like this:

Or a smile like this:

I took each of these photos while they gathered water at this dirty spring, miles from their village, as they’ve probably done for every day they can remember:

The injustice I feel that people are surviving on water I wouldn’t let my cattle drink from, is balanced by the hope, joy and happiness I found with everyone I met in Moale and several villages like it.

The same hope you’ll see in this video we filmed last week, on the day Moale finally got clean water after more than a decade of trying:

We promised we’d be back. from charity: water on Vimeo.

Heading to Central African Republic

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Internet, Life | Posted on 12-07-2011

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Today’s a big day for me as I embark on my first trip with charity: water (and first trip to Africa) to visit the water projects we funded in last year’s September Campaign for the Central African Republic.

C.A.R. has become a nation I care deeply for. A country I couldn’t have found on a map a little over a year ago, I’ve personally fundraised to help people there, and I’ve worked hard to help our partners on the ground, ICDI led by Jim Hocking, make a difference in thousands of lives.

The highlight will be visiting Moale, a village we care deeply about at charity: water that was the site of a failed drill on our fourth anniversary last year.

Here’s the video of that sad occassion:

Live Drill – No water for our birthday in Central African Republic from charity: water on Vimeo.

We’re returning to Moale and we’re looking for a different story. Stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook for updates this week, and make sure you’re signed up to our email list.

We’re also visiting Jerusalem, the scene of the successful drill last year that you’ll see in these two videos:

Live Drill Day 2 – We Hit Water! from charity: water on Vimeo.

Day 3 – Live Drill Finale – September Campaign 2010 from charity: water on Vimeo.

I’m not sure exactly how this trip will change me, but I’m sure it will. I’ll share thoughts here on my return. If you want to keep up with my travels I am testing a Spot GPS unit that will share my location each day.

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