People raise funds a lot of different ways. It’s important to Melissa and I that we always try to conduct ourselves in a loving and optimistic manner, so we decided on a couple of things before we got started.
No Guilt. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand the relative value of our lifestyles. For instance, a $4 Starbucks mocha is literally worth a lifetime of clean water to a rural Indian. But it’s important to us that we don’t use information like this to make people feel guilty about their lifestyles, that’s not the game we’re in.
Guilt absolutely does produce results (that’s why it’s used by organizations so often), but it doesn’t produce deep results. It’s not our goal for you to feel bad, give up coffee for a week, throw a few dollars towards us, and then move on. It’s our desire for you to see a greater need, for that to deeply effect you and motivate you. In the end, that may lead you to give up coffee or pack a lunch, but hopefully that’s the result of compassion and love growing inside of you, not because you feel like a selfish jerk for a minute.
Zero Overhead. Melissa and I are often discouraged from giving to organizations when we look up the salaries of the directors, or realize how much money is going to fund a large bureaucracy instead of hitting the advertised cause.
That’s why it’s important to us to maintain a “zero-overhead” organization. When you give $1, I want you to feel confident that your dollar is really going to the cause.
The Water Cycle Project has no paid staff or directors, and no fund raising commissions. The Grove City Vineyard has graciously offered to administrate the funds transfer, and act on our behalf as an accredited 501(c)3 organization, without fee.
All labor is performed by volunteers, from cycling team leaders, to graphic and web design, to data entry.
Of course our organization does have some minimal costs, such as hosting this website, printing limited marketing materials, and miscellaneous expenses on the cycling trips. We pay these costs in a few specific ways: Someone donates for the specific need, corporate sponsors, and trip fees. I’ll cover these in more detail in a future post, as well as provide ways for you to participate.
Melissa and I, and the rest of the Water Cycle Project crew, feel very strongly that it’s not just about how much money we raise, but how we raise it. It’s our strong desire to produce deep, trustworthy results.
Please contact us with any questions.