charity:water, a friend of GlobalGiving, recently demonstrated both amazing transparency and use of video technology to communicate with its donors in the face of difficult circumstances.
The organization had planned to celebrate its 4th anniversary by broadcasting live from Moale, Central African Republic, where charity:water would be drilling a well. The village had gone for more than a decade without access to clean water, making this an exciting and monumental event. Unfortunately, after 30 hours of drilling the team’s second bore hole caved in. Scott Harrison, the founder, said “It was a heartbreaking and messy day. We’d hoped to show you footage of a joyful village celebrating a successful drill, but we didn’t achieve that today. We’re committed to transparency at charity: water, so instead, our Live Drill video will show you the reality and challenges we face on the ground.”
Footage of the drill can be found here: http://www.charitywater.org/september/?video=livedrill_day1.
The video demonstrates how charity:water communicated honestly and frankly with its supporters despite the day’s disappointment. The organization clearly recognizes that transparency is crucial for building donors’ trust and establishing long-term, beneficial relationships. By publicly acknowledging the failed drill attempt, charity:water assured its donors that the organization is truthful about its successes and failures and provides genuine feedback about the ways in which donors’ dollars are spent.
Success is not always about finding out what works. It’s also about learning what doesn’t work and quickly moving on to find the right solutions for the communities in which you work. We encourage you to be honest with your supporters. GlobalGiving’s project reports are a great way to share the lessons that your organization has learned with your supporters. Learn how to post a project report here.