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How to Raise $210 Million With Transparency and Great Social Media

Authors: Jay Baer Scott Harrison
Posted Under: Social Pros Podcast
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Hosted By
Jay Baer

Daniel Lemin

Convince & Convert
Jay Baer

Hannah Tooker

Jay Baer

Leanna Pham

Convince & Convert

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Scott Harrison, Founder and CEO of charity: water, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss how compelling visuals, strong storytelling, social branding, and a passion for water saves lives.

Scott Harrison - InstagramUsing Social to Fight the Water Crisis

Shockingly, 52% of all disease through the developing world is caused by bad water and lack of sanitation. These epidemics are preventable with the one thing we take for granted every day: clean water.
But for the roughly 700,000,000 people that live globally without access to clean water, something as seemingly common as diarrhea can be a death sentence by dehydration. So, how can one person living thousands of miles away in a developed nation help a remote village in West Africa drill a well? Well… Scott has just the thing.
charity: water is coming up on its 10th birthday of fighting to realize a world where no one drinks dirty water. In that time, the organization has helped bring the number of global citizens without access to clean water down by 300,000,000.
Scott isn’t an expert in hydrology. He doesn’t have a degree in non-profit management or training in well-digging. What he has is a passion to help people and a good eye for social storytelling.
By re-envisioning how non-profits raise and spend money, engage with their donor base through social platforms, and communicate success online, he has cultivated an impressive $210,000,000 from one million people. With the ability to have a direct impact through an affordable monthly subscription plan and actually see where your money goes through their donation tracking (down to geotracking the well-digging drills), Scott has effectively remade the charity model to fit the modern donor through social storytelling and effective visuals.

In This Episode

  • How brand awareness and social marketing paired with a passion to positively impact the world can lead to a multi-million dollar life-saving charity
  • Why audience accountability might mean creating two different companies that work together
  • How reengaging jaded donors leads to reframing the non-profit organizational model
  • Why transparency means literally reporting on every dollar spent
  • How tastefully executed visual storytelling drives connection quickly and effectively


Quotes From This Episode

“You will reach into your wallet out of a deep sense of shame and guilt and give. But that’s not how a lasting brand is built.” —@scottharrison
“We’ve tried to be very intentional about framing the brand, framing the storytelling around inspiration, opportunity, and not guilt.” —@scottharrison
“You have to re-inspire and figure out how to not only get back to last year but then grow again.” —@scottharrison
“It’s one thing to tell someone and it’s another to show them.” —@scottharrison

“We’ve always tried to use social media to make our supporters the hero. charity: water is nothing without the million people that have given $210 million and brought the best of themselves, their birthdays, their lemonade stands, their creativity, to this issue. We are trying to take those dollars and make the greatest impact on human lives around the world.” —@scottharrison

“The super power of the organization has been storytelling. The platforms have helped get the story out.” —@scottharrison
“In a world of partial attention, that immersive experience is irreplaceable.” —@jaybaer

“We’re trying to use social media to bridge that couple thousand mile gap for so many people, the gap to an issue that has never affected them and a problem they’ve never experienced, to drive compassion and empathy.” —@scottharrison


See you next week!

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