It’s hard not to love charity: water. They’re a crazy successful organization that for the last ten years has been at the forefront of getting clean water to the people who need it most - and they’re constantly innovating in the nonprofit space.
And for all of the great things that charity: water (which from now on we’ll go between calling them that and CW) does, we are going to highlight one aspect of their work: why they are so effective on Instagram - and why we love that so much.
1. They make you care by humanizing their issues
So many places have the most noble of missions, but they don’t do a good job of making large issues small - and that’s what charity: water is great at. Access to clean water is a very far-removed issue for so many people, and one that would be easy to not care about it if it wasn’t impacting you directly. But CW taps into the human side of the story and shows that the people being affected are just like you: they’re human and often they could be your neighbor. And that's the first reason why we love charity: water.
2. Their imagery is beautiful
You don’t need us to tell you this, but Instagram is an image-driven platform. And you also don’t need us to tell you this, but the difference between a hi-res, perfectly-composed photo with an iPhone 4 photo from the nosebleeds at a Kanye concert 2 years ago is staggering. And charity: water only uses the best, hi-res images. They’re rich in color, sharp in contrast, they have compelling people and often use beautiful backdrops. Your eye is just drawn to the photos they post.
3. They understand the importance of brand consistency
Even if you didn’t know charity: water’s name you’d probably know their iconic symbol: the yellow Jerry Can. While these are ubiquitous across the developing world to carry fuel or water (very interesting read here), CW has made it part of their organizational identity. Across their Instagram page you'll not only see pictures with the yellow Jerry Can in the background of shots, you’ll see flashes of that vibrant yellow in most of their content. It’s a very subtle thing, but we love it so much.
4. They break down their issues in the clearest of ways
There was no pun intended there. Say you hear the name charity: water for the first time. You’re going to know pretty much what they do. And while this is admirable (think of all the places where you really have no clue what they’re all about by their name), but they also show you in stark terms the importance of their work and their issues: Dirty water versus clean water. It’s a no-brainer that's universal in its message. Just one more reason why we love charity: water.
5. They use their Instagram to promote their presence on other social media accounts
As everyone knows, diversification is the name of the game. And from playing the stock market to posting on social media, keeping your eggs in multiple baskets is the way to ensure long-term success and sustainability. In this case, they’re promoting their Snapchat page, which is a super smart way of a) letting people know they have a Snapchat account, b) subtly letting people know that they know what’s up, and c) broadening their audience as much as possible.
6. They highlight their supporters to the rest of the community
This is a big one. People love getting recognition and being shown appreciation for the work that they do. And while this is important in the workplace (where people have more of an obligation to be there because of the whole paycheck and benefits thing), it’s especially important to show people that you appreciate them when they are volunteering their time. They don’t have to spend their time with raising money for your organization - so give them a shout out here and there. To most people it will mean the world. And charity: water does an amazing job of showcasing their people.
7. They show their leadership with their sleeves rolled up
CEO Scott Harrison is a very active presence across CW and on many of their projects - and it’s really nice when you see leaders of businesses and organizations getting their hands a little dirty. Seriously, so great.
And that's why we love charity: water
Great, right? Show them some love and give them a follow over on Instagram today. And then Twitter. Then Facebook. And then Snapchat (username: charitywater). And then wherever else they are, because they’re a model of doing this stuff right. Especially Instagram, though. And that’s why we love charity: water.