Charities and non-profit organizations have always had to walk a very fine line. On the one hand, they have much of the same overhead and expenses as for-profit businesses. While many may rely heavily on volunteers, most organizations need a solid infrastructure of paid employees. They need offices, technology, equipment, supplies and all the same things as any other business. Conversely, however, their entire organization is generally dependent on donor support, and donors (quite rightly) want more of their donation dollars going towards achieving the aims of the organization rather than paying the light bill.
Individuals that work for and run non-profits and charities generally have to have the same skills and education levels as their for-profit counterparts but are often expected to work for significantly less by donors. Conversely, however, charities are expected to produce the most spectacular results with the least amount of money, but can’t always offer the most competitive wages to attract the best and brightest talent to accomplish their mission. On the one hand, most charitable organizations want to be transparent, but at the same time, many donors balk at just how much of their donation dollars end up going towards overhead.
Ironically, however, much of this is changing. In even the for-profit world, there is growing pressure for transparency and to be less concerned with paychecks and profit and more concerned with social impact. This is creating a greater and greater bridge between the non-profit and for-profit world. One organization that is taking full advantage of this bridge is Charity: Water. Charity: Water is redefining philanthropy and helping to bridge the gap between the effectiveness of for-profit businesses and the transparency of charities.
When donors give to Charity: Water, they know exactly where their donation is going and exactly the kind of impact their dollars are creating. Possibly even more importantly, however, they are also kept apprised of the long-term impact of their donation, which in turn can encourage them to give more.
Charity: Water is also helping give Philanthropy a better name by how they receive funding. Their offices and overhead are all paid for by families and individuals who give specifically towards that. That means that 100% of all individual, private and outside donations can go directly towards the mission of Charity: Water – to provide clean drinking water to every man, woman, and child in the world.