This year from November 23-25 Americans will spend an estimated 50 billion dollars while shopping after Thanksgiving on Black Friday weekend. Hydrex Philanthropic, a division of Peter Beaton, Inc., is hosting a pledge drive during this time asking for a portion of these dollars to bring water suitable for human consumption to under-served communities in Africa where lack of access to clean drinking water is a crisis. In a world of 7 billion people, 884 million of them lack access to a clean, safe water source. “Your Money Has Power. Spend it Making a World of Difference” is the name of this dynamic pledge event in Kiio Kenya. http://pifwpledge.dojiggy.com/
The unique approach that this pledge fundraising website involves, in addition to the traditional method of raising funds through individual pledge pages, is the inclusion of selling products such as watches and wrist bands. These products have been designed by and generously donated by Peter Beaton Inc, a company who has a passion for helping solve the worlds contaminated drinking water crisis. The products may be purchased from the pledge website online store, or they may be purchased directly from pledge participants who sign up to sell products at the time of registration. For a $1 registration fee, pledge participants will receive $500 worth of wristbands to sell. Participants sell the wristbands and enter the offline donations via their personal pledge page. Monies not received or wristbands that are not returned within 7 days of the close of the fund drive are charged to the participants account.
Another effective strategy that Darcy Creech of Hydrex Philanthropic has employed to meet her fundraising goals (last year’s goal was $46K in 30 days) is to create personal pledge pages for herself and each person who had traveled with her to Tanzania and saw the need for clean drinking water firsthand. With 30 people and a need to raise $46K, she set each person’s pledge goal to $1500. She found that each participant felt compelled to meet or exceed their goal as a matter of healthy competition with their peers. Darcy and her participants used Facebook and their own personal email lists to spread the word. Additionally, Darcy used Constant Contact to reach out to Peter Beaton customers and also ran two print ads in local magazines during the holiday season.
As Darcy meets or exceeds her fundraising goal this year, the wells will be built by Compassion International on church properties with which they already have existing child development programs in place. Partnerships with these churches worldwide allow the new source of clean water to extend to farming and selling crops to sustain each community. In her words, “Without clean water not much else matters or can move forward”. The incredible change that her annual pledge drives have upon entire communities of people is astounding as they use the water as a way to break the cycle of poverty and create self sustaining enterprise.
“Aside from parenting my children, being able to plant water wells in partnership with Compassion International is the most gratifying use of my time that I can imagine. I do what I do out of sheer gratitude for the blessings that have inundated my own life.” Darcy, who founded Hydrex Philanthropic, sponsors three children in Africa through Compassion International. One of them recently wrote these words to her as he experienced a changed life within his community as a result of the wells Compassion International has built through her fundraising efforts: “Thank you Darcy Creech for taking me out of poverty…we now have a town like those I have only heard about in books”. The joy Darcy gets from lifting others out of extreme poverty is what keeps her on track with her pledge fundraising website, “Your money has power. It’s time to spend it making a world of difference.”.