By Becky Fitzpatrick, Digital Marketing Manager
It’s World Water Day, one of my favorite advocacy-based holidays! Today marks the 24th year of nonprofits and environmental agencies celebrating our Water Planet and fighting for sustainable management of water resources. With hundreds of groups using the holiday to tackle the water crisis by raising funds and awareness, I took a look at some of the most effective World Water Day campaigns throughout the years.
UNICEF launched its Tap Project encouraging donors to give $1 or more for the tap water they normally enjoy for free. The money then went to fund clean drinking water for children in impoverished communities. The campaign grew and took a new shape in 2014, encouraging campaign participants to go as long as possible without touching their smart phones. Every 15 minutes of an untouched phone would donate the equivalent of one day of water to help children in need. For the full history of the Tap Project, visit their site.
Water.com took over social media by encouraging supporters to "create a buzz around water for the entire month of March". A donation ask of $25 was encouraged along with signing a petition. Free social media banners were available for donors or advocates. They also have the coveted URL WaterDay.com where you can get involved this year!
Charity:Water is one of the most widely known, water-focused organizations in the US. Each year, their World Water Day campaigns take over my social feeds, follow me from site to site and encourage my friends to get involved.
The first campaign that caught my attention was in 2009. The video combined the popular block letter fonts, quick animation, and bright contrasting colors that were popular at the time and mashed it together with live video from the field. Still one of my favorite video campaigns!
In 2013, they used their crowdfunding platform to encourage individual fundraising campaigns among their loyal donors called the Pledge Your Birthday project. They featured stories from other donors who gave up their birthdays to raise funds and awareness for clean water. Again, a video was used to promote the campaign. This was also the year they created the Waterwalk event in Times Square where individuals could “walk in their shoes” to show how far people have to walk to find water in remote regions.
In 2015, they created yet another video (one of many, at this point) that drove home the message that water is life and is necessary for all living beings. The campaign used video from the field, a voiceover from the perspective of water, and used the messaging that water is unavailable for 748 million people each year.
This year’s theme is Waste Water. To learn more about World Water Day and to take action, visit the World Water Day website.