Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A New Kind of Non-Profit Operates in Ethiopia's Tigray Region

The New York Times Magazine ran a long article on 8 August 2013 titled "A Save-the-World Field Trip for Millionaire Tech Moguls" by Max Chafkin.  It is a journalistic account about a different and controversial non-profit organization called charity: water that is operating primarily in Tigray Region of Ethiopia.  Founded in New York City in 2006, charity:water acts as a fund-raising clearinghouse for locally based charities, which it subcontracts to drill water wells or buy water filters. 

Charity: water offers two basic "products."  The first is a social network that allows persons to set up a Web page to encourage Twitter and Facebook friends to donate in honor of an event or cause such as a birthday or marathon.  The second is a "Well membership", which is a promise to donate at least $24,000 a year for three years to charity: water's operational bank account.  This is obviously designed for wealthy donors. 

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