Practical Bravery: HANNAH BELLAMY



How can innovative partnerships transform global health initiatives? What role does transparency play in building trust and driving impact in charitable organisations?

This episode delves into these questions through the lens of global organisation, charity: water.

charity: water, has revolutionised how charities operate and engage with donors. The organisation operates on a 100% model, where all public donations go directly to funding clean water projects, while private donors cover operational costs. This model ensures that every contribution has a direct impact, fostering greater trust and engagement from donors

We ask why, and how this affects the world of fundraising and accountability.

This is The Possibility Club, and our special guest is Director of charity:water UK, Hannah Bellamy.

Key quotes:

“Growing up in the 1990s we thought about businesses like The Body Shop for example, but they were outliers. We didn’t necessarily think about other businesses and how they behaved. So it was a whole new world to me, and that’s how I got into the charity sector.”

“We’ve always had this different model where 100% of funds raised on our website, anyone who gives me £10, whatever it is, that will all be spent within the countries where we’re working, and then we will prove that work.”

“We put every single project on our website, you can see them, and that holds us to account.”

“charity: water  founder Scott Harrison was a nightclub promoter for ten years in New York. Lots of drink, drugs, probably a lot of fun but started to be much less fun over time. He decided to give that up and volunteer. Eventually found himself on a hospital ship in Liberia.”

“He realised that so many people were coming to emergency hospital with illnesses or other types of situations that came from not having any water where they were living.”

“He was talking to people who traditionally don’t give to charity. He jokes that he was talking to his drug dealer about giving and he said, well I don’t trust charities. So people who perhaps had never trusted or supported charities. He said, I guarantee you, give me your money and one hundred percent will be invested in the project and I will show you.”

“It seems huge, it is huge, it’s a massive problem but we are making progress. We do know how to fix it — and we can.”

“It’s one of the few problems in the world that we can all agree on. So we can look at it and say at the extremes, everyone still agrees that every human should have access to clean and safe drinking water.”

“If I’m fundraising, I know I’m not fundraising for my salary. It makes it more comfortable. The difficulty is, it’s really hard to scale.”

“Climate change is actually all about water. It’s a drought, it’s a flood, it’s too much, it’s too little.”

“It impacts women and girls: when a home and a family don’t have clean water, the people having to go and collect water, usually from a dirty source and having to walk a long distance, it’s the women and girls.”

“If people want to make their maximum impact, what does that look like?”

This episode was recorded in April 2024

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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