Learning from charity:water - How One Organization Took the Mundane and Made it Inspiring

by Laurie Herrick, Mentor, JCamp 180

From the moment I was first introduced to charity:water, I was impressed. I was impressed with their mission: to bring clean and safe drinking water to developing countries. But mostly I was impressed with how they took a topic that was mundane and made it exciting. They took something that was terribly tragic and made the opportunity joyful. They made me want to play and be a part of what they were doing. They were cool. They were human. And they were making a difference!

Paull Young, Director of Digital for charity:water recently blogged about his tenure at the organization. What do camps have to learn from his "5 biggest lessons learned" blog?

I believe there is a lot to learn from this short article, but three particular things stand out to me:

  1. While Paull is the "Director of Digital" at charity:water, he doesn't let technology do all of the work. It's a tool that is used to get people interested in their work, but personal connections are what get people to stick around. How can camps utilize social media to bring in alumni and inspire them? What can camps do next to ensure those alumni feel they are an important part of raising money for your camp?
  2. He recognizes the value of donor engagement. He champions ordinary people and allows them - actually encourages them - to be creative in how they give back to the organization.
  3. He shows us the joyful impact of their work. Many camps do this well…but what could be the next deeper level? Brief testimonials from alumni who attended camp and incorporated Jewish values into their daily lives? Stories from parents who have been inspired by their children's connection to their Judaism?

We'd love to hear what you learn from this article. In what way have you already done what Paull Young is doing? What fresh new ideas do you have that you might take on this year?

Let us know on our Facebook Page!