I have talked recently about Charity Water. I am a big fan of not just what they do but more how they do it. They really stand for something, use the new tools available to them online and they have become a real force in the sector. It is probably no wonder that Charity Water, a favorite cause of the dot-com set.
On Monday night, at the annual benefit gala for the nonprofit Charity Water, Bebo founder Michael Birch, one of the event’s co-hosts along with the likes of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and entrepreneur Sean Parker, made a surprise announcement. Shortly before the event’s live auction to solicit donations for new wells, Birch declared that he would personally match all donations up to $1 million.
Michael Birch is starting to emerge as an active figure in philanthropy: Charity Water founder Scott Harrison explained to the 1,200 attendees on Monday night that a crucial donation from Birch had kept the organization afloat last year. (It operates on a “100 percent” policy, meaning that all donations, many of which are very small-scale, go directly to building wells, whereas separate benefactors fund the staffing and operations of the nonprofit itself.) Birch also helped with a redesign of the site that lets interested members set up their own fundraising campaigns, encouraging donations in lieu of birthday gifts or as pledges for a goal (i.e. “If you help me raise $10,000 for Charity Water, I will legally change my name to ‘McLovin.'”)
The goal was met: the $1 million was raised via auction in a matter of 30 minutes.