Charity:water is an amazing non-profit organization founded in 2006 by Scott Harrison. In 2004, Scott left his lucrative career promoting fashion and nightclub events in New York City to spend time serving the poor in West Africa. He had realized the spiritual bankruptcy of his life and was looking for a way to have a more meaningful impact on the world. Charity:water was born from his experiences on this trip.
Having spent a lot of time promoting events, Scott was disturbed by the lack of excellence in promoting charities. He saw that people put more thought into promoting junk food and toothpaste then they did into promoting charitable causes. He knew the task of promoting an organization that aimed to provide clean water to those who lived in the most impoverished areas of the world deserved a lot more attention than promoting potato chips. So he set out to create an amazing marketing plan that would win the hearts and minds of millions of people motivating them to donate over $200 million as January 2016.
Charity:water deploys a content marketing strategy that for-profit businesses could learn a thing or two from. If you are running a non-profit or a social business, and want to get your message out more effectively, here are five tactics that charity:water uses that might help you.
Have a Unique Value Proposition
When Scott Harrison sat down to develop charity:water, he wanted to make sure that the organization alleviated the concerns that people have about giving to an international charity. The first concern is that too much money goes to pay for the operations of the charity and not enough goes to help people. Scott alleviated this by fund the operations of charity:water with a separate foundation. 100% of the money given to charity water goes to actual projects that help people. The second concern is verification. Charity:water provides proof that the promised project are actually being funded by posting pictures with GPS locations as well as other kinds of proof. This way donors can be confident that the projects being funded are real. Finally, charity:water identifies its local partners. Sometimes people worry that an organization based in the US does not have the knowledge to effectively help local people in the developing world. By partnering with local organizations, charity:water shows that is providing projects that are most needed in the local area.
These three points represent the value proposition for a donation to charity:water. Donors know that their money will be used to effectively help people in the developing world and more willing to donate because of that. You need to identify and articulate your own unique value proposition that will motivate people to donate and support your own organization.
Show Your Personality
Scott Harrison is for charity:water what Steve Jobs was for Apple. He is the personality of the brand. It is his personal conversion story that is at the heart of the charity:water brand. His Twitter and Instagram feeds are mostly devoted to stories about charity:water. In your charity, there are most likely people whose personality embodies the brand. Give these people permission to get out the message and promote the organization with their personal platforms.
Tell a Good Story
The conversion that Scott Harrison experienced from selfish nightclub promoter to international philanthropist is the most important part of charity:water’s content. But it does not stop there: charity:water is constantly crafting amazing stories about its work. Take the story about the 15-year-old girl who is the president of her water committee in Mozambique. This amazing story of a committed young woman who is capable of taking charge of the water supply for her village is inspiring. But it also presents a picture of the work that charity:water does every day in developing countries. It makes people want to be a part of these amazing projects.
In addition to powerful stories, charity:water uses great copywriting, powerful images and stunning video to tell these stories. All this works together to create a compelling case for donating to charity:water.
Your non-profit or business should imitate charity:water by becoming an amazing storyteller. Show how your organization is the hero of the story and use a wide variety of channels to present your success stories. Make it real by offering actual testimonials from the people you help. This will help you to get out a powerful message.
Empower Brand Ambassador
When customers form a deep personal connection with a brand, then they can become some of the best promoters. Charity:water does a great job at allowing this to happen. They allow anyone to set up and promote a fundraising campaign. People ask for donations instead of birthday gifts, give free concerts and many other things. Charity:water empowers anyone to start raising money.
Your non-profit could do this as well. You can provide your audience with the tools to spread the word about your message. When you convert your audience into brand ambassadors, then you add a powerful tool into your content marketing.
Although charity:water is a non-profit organization, their content marketing is top-notch. It rivals the best content marketing in the for-profit world. It worth paying attention to what they are doing whether you are non-profit, a social business or a traditional business.