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Born in September?

Howard Lake | 8 September 2008 | Blogs

September, written on square paper with a dried leaf fallen on it in the top left.

Charities have special days, weeks or even months. But a new US nonprofit is trying a new twist on the theme by calling on everyone with a birthday in September to donate. It is also the birth month of Scott Harrison, who founded charity: water two years ago.

A year ago, when he turned 32, he asked friends and colleagues to donate $32 to help provide clean water to a hospital in Ethiopia. On his 33rd birthday, he is asking supporters for $33. That’s a nice reason to go back to donors to ask them to upgrade.

The nonprofit’s website is supporting this call by enabling people with September birthdays to create a personal birthday page and use it to get the word out to their relatives and friends.


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Harrison is keen to demonstrate the impact of people’s donations. Consequently the website is showing a series of ‘live drills’ showing the drilling for water, which were due to start yesterday. They’re not quite live, but the first video report is on the site on schedule.

It all looks like a very good example of a clear call to action, a novel approach to finding new donors, and a keen emphasis on using new media to offer transparency to supporters.

Watch Harrison’s introduction to the birthday campaign:

The September Campaign Trailer from charity: water on Vimeo.