The Clean Water Charity That Gives 100 Percent [Q&A]

A chat with charity: water content strategist Tyler Riewer.

Jan 28, 2016


A charity: water trip to West Africa

Tyler conducts an interview in the Sahel region of West Africa (Jeremy Snell)

When people donate, there’s generally one big question that they’d like answered - where is my money actually going? Clean water organization charity: water has addressed that issue with its 100% model, which makes sure that every cent donated goes directly to clean water projects. That’s all the more reason to get on board with the organization’s mission to bring clean, safe drinking water to every corner of the globe.

In this week’s 10 Good Questions, content strategist Tyler Riewer talks to Goodnet about charity:water’s inspirational work, where he fits into the organization and how you can get involved.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

We're on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every single person on the planet. And we want to do it in our lifetime.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

I think the biggest thing is our 100% model. We rely on private donors to fund our operating costs, so when you donate or fundraise, 100% of your money actually goes to clean water projects. But another cool thing is that we prove every project. Each time we complete a water project, we report back with photos and GPS coordinates on Google Maps so you know exactly where your money went and who it helped.

3. What three words describe your organization?

Transparent. Innovative. Determined.

4. What inspires you?

I'm constantly re-inspired by the people who support our work. Kids mailing in their piggy banks or selling art to raise money for clean water. Incredible teams biking across the country to raise awareness about the water crisis. Seeing that kind of generosity and compassion and belief in a better world... nothing makes me hungrier to come to work.

Tyler Riewer in Mali

Taking cover from a sandstorm in Mali - just another perk of the job for Tyler! (Jeremy Snell)

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

I love this new, young, well-grounded generation of wealthy people. Like Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan and Sheryl Sandberg. But my favorite good doer of all time is a little girl named Rachel Beckwith.

Rachel gave up her ninth birthday in hopes of raising $300 for clean water, but was killed in a tragic car accident before she could finish fundraising. As her story spread, strangers started giving to her campaign in her memory. Hundreds became thousands. Ultimately, this 9 year old girl raised $1.26 million, brought clean water to more than 37,000 people in Ethiopia, and turned a beautiful birthday wish into an incredible legacy.

6. What is the best part about your job?

I have the amazing privilege of traveling around the world to meet the people we serve and see the impact of our work. I get welcomed into homes for coffee ceremonies and meals. I get to hear teary-eyed mothers talk about how clean water has saved their family. I get to witness families singing and dancing as clean water erupts from under a drilling rig. It's absolutely impossible to top those moments.

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

As a fundraising organization, we obviously measure success by the amount of money we raise, but it's certainly not limited to that. Part of our mission is to end the water crisis - the other part is to reinvent charity. In order to do that, I think we need to make our supporters feel closer than ever to their impact. To make the families and communities we serve as real as possible. And to make the idea of ending the water crisis more attainable. If we can inspire you to believe that you truly can make a difference... that is success.

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Instagram and Snapchat!

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization? 

Some 663 million people on our planet drink dirty and dangerous water. It's a massive number, but it's getting smaller. Ten years ago, it was 1.1 billion. Last year it was 748 million. We, as a planet, have nearly cut the water crisis in half. And we truly can solve this problem in our lifetime.

10. How can people get involved?

A) Give $30, bring clean water to one person, and change their life forever.
B) Fundraise for charity: water and make your impact even bigger.
C) Join our mailing list.

As well as managing, Elana writes happy headlines with a particular focus on yoga, meditation and family matters. She has a background in online journalism and web content.