I give because I care - because I believe that I have a role to play in making this world a better place. If you're reading this, you probably feel the same way. I want to challenge you to take that further. Giving with your heart alone simply isn't enough - your mind has a role to play too.
My perspective? It really is the thought that counts
We need to make smart choices in the causes we support, based on our personal motivations for giving. It's not just about satisfying our emotional need, but also about ensuring we're giving in a smart way - that we have a strategic goal. All it takes is a couple of questions to determine what you want to achieve with your donation. Do you want to...
...help one person or family?
...help lots of people - communities, districts, countries?
...have an immediate, tangible impact even it isn't long term?
...have lasting impact, even if it isn't immediate?
There are no wrong answers to these questions - each person's will be different. But we should all be finding our personal balance, and non-profits should look for balance too.
Consider EWB - 5 years ago, volunteers went to support the drilling of wells in Malawi, but research revealed that the country already had over 40,000 wells, over 25% of them weren't working, and they weren't getting fixed because there wasn't a monitoring and maintenance system in place.
EWB's volunteers asked the questions above and realized that, while drilling wells would feel good and have an immediate impact, it wouldn't be the lasting impact they want to achieve. After some major soul searching, they decided to focus on fixing the bigger problem - ensuring the government has the data required to know where broken wells are so they can make sure they're fixed.
It's a more difficult and time consuming approach. Five years later, after many milestones, successes and learnings, they're still working on it. But they're also seeing the fruits of their labour. The mapping and monitoring tool EWB developed is already being used in one quarter of the country. It's been used to guide over $6 million worth of new wells and water infrastructure investments. And the national government has selected the system for nation-wide adoption - a big step, but not the last one.
EWB made a strategic decision - as donors and supporters, we should too. After considering these questions and doing some research, I decided I wanted to solve the problem, not provide temporary relief, and that EWB is the organization for me. I encourage you do the same. If you want to support work that aims to unlock human potential and end unnecessary poverty, I encourage you to click the donate button and support EWB today.
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