merchandising for a good cause | charity: water

Almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Bono was the first. Selling cool stuff to promote good work was redefined (no pun intended) with the (red) campaign. I rushed out for my inspi(red) t shirt and have been wearing it ever since. Lots of folks are doing lots of great work, but some groups have a level of design and  marketing savvy that make their projects even more accessible, and dare I say it, cooler.

Check out charity:  water.

Their projects are important…but what is equally impressive, at least within the context of this blog, is their approach to marketing. The website is clean and intuitive. The video is powerful. And they sell stuff, lots of stuff.

I have a small issue with the fact that their “store” has a higher web presence than the information about clean water (and I hope that’s about holiday fundraising). But they make it easy to support their work, and to add their banners to your blog or website. They are using social networking for social good, and folks are truly excited about the opportunity to be engaged. I know I am. (By the way, that statement in bold at the top of the post….writing a clear positioning statement like that isn’t for the wimpy. The middle line “That’s one in eight of us”, brilliant. The us part. I have been part of defining what an organization does, so that it resonates with donors, and we weren’t this successful. Will learn from this.)

They’re smart. They’re doing the work.

And they are using design. Simple type and a clear message. And a pathway for us to be part of their passion. Sure, it’s slick. But it’s really, really good.

Check out this video. I promise, you will appreciate your next glass of clean water.

For a little more on the organization’s start and their really, really good promotional hook (hint, it will change your concept of a birthday party).

I know design works. And I know folks are doing great work for the world. And when the two of them join up, we’ll it’s something to support.

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