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great charities to donate to
Richard Guarnuccio
Water Charity

9 Strengths of a Good Water Charity

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The best charity to donate to is the one that ticks the nine boxes.

With over 58,000 registered charities in Australia in 2022, finding the best is daunting. Fortunately, our responsibility is only to compare the 60 or so Australian charities that work in providing charity water for communities in greatest need.

“As a charity researcher of water charities, we measure around one hundred charity traits.”

These are the 9 core characteristics that reflect the best charity for water.

1. A Clear Purpose Clean Water Charity

To be most effective and remain on task, a water charity must have a clear purpose. By defining the objectives and communicating them to all, everyone, especially donors, can know what to expect. This certainty aids the water charity in its quest while clarifying funds allocation. A charity for water that embraces the mission defines its path. 

Employees, donors and partners can work in alignment with an organisation’s vision that makes sense.


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When working in communities with additional needs, it is easy to be pulled in different directions from your core purpose and try to help in other ways. However, good charities will remain on task and address these other essential needs by introducing partnering charities who can help.

A charity for water that embraces the mission, defines its path.

2. Good People

Charities with outstanding leadership maintain an environment of transparency, accountability, and purpose. A strong leader is decisive, reliable, adaptable and continually communicates their vision to all with intent.

Staff and partners must be knowledgeable and skilled. In good charities, efficiency is of the utmost importance. The water project is delivered efficiently and skilfully if good people are involved.

Water charities need to be driven by people who can balance being frugal and deliver outstanding results. A constant challenge is finding the sweet spot between lowering costs and increasing quality. 

Good people can walk this tight rope and find the balance.

3. Organised & Professional

Charities for water that are organised and have documented systems, checklists & internal procedures are more likely to deliver consistency and reliability. The reason is that they adhere to good governance.

Good service standards rely on well-designed manuals and processes created to avert errors. Water charities that are highly organised must also embrace a good attitude and high standards. We refer to this as professionalism.

Professional water charities aspire to do two main things:

  1. To deliver a water program that maximises effectiveness.
  2. To offer a superb donor experience.

Regardless of the water charity size, top charities to donate to distinctly segment the many different roles within their organisation and apportion time purposefully.

Charities for water that are organised have documented systems & good governance.

4. A Strong Research Water Charity

The sustainability and endurance of a water project are crucial considerations for the best Australian charities. Starting with the end goal of a water project in mind and reverse-engineering the process leads to achieving the best-desired outcome. The smartest water charities research practical sustainability and employ best practices.

The best charities to donate to are ultimately curious, creative and determined to deliver the best outcome.

5. Obsessed with Improvement

most efficient charity

The best charity for water investigates thoroughly to select the places most in need. They keep abreast of the latest approaches and technologies most suited to the given location. They formulate methodologies for improving the water project delivery more efficient.

In addition to needs analysis, location solutions and efficient delivery, they also research and find excellent partners on the ground. Partner assessment and selection are an integral part of organisational strength.

Water charities that collaborate proactively with industry peers and consult with experts better understand the best practice. In addition, through the experience of others, they can significantly improve their efficiency and knowledge.

The need for continuous improvement of a water charity is not an option; it is a necessity. A charity for water with a culture of constant improvement remains humble enough to understand that no matter how good you are, you can always be better.

Advances in technology and innovation dictate that a water charity must keep looking to evolve. The best Australian charities stay ahead of new regulations and drive better standards. As a charity for water grows, it seeks to employ new people, always to improve as an organisation. 

Improvement can be in communication, time management, operations, team building, problem-solving, and financial management, to name a few. Ultimately, a good water charity understands the correlation between continual improvement and achieving its objectives at a faster pace.

6. Source excellent partners who work economically

Water charities working in developing countries need to accomplish two things:

  1. They need to work economically;
  2. They need to have excellent local knowledge & contacts.

Both these, in most cases, are achieved by finding suitable local partners based within proximity of the communities. Usually, the charities partner with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). Being based in the area, the NGO can advise the water charity and manage the work. A reliable NGO partner is invaluable by understanding the local situation, speaking the language, knowing the culture, and having contacts. A good working relationship with an NGO is one where the NGO is open to direction from the water charity in terms of meeting standards and working to a budget. Conversely, the charity for water should rely on sound advice provided by the NGO.

As the NGO partner is an extension of the charity, they must align in values and objectives. Therefore, the partner should similarly display these characteristics of strength.

Even the best small charities select strict criteria, insist on specific work practices, monitor and periodically review partner performance.

7. Reliable Communicators

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Charity water organisations that focus on the donor experience put great thought into inspiring donors and communicating effectively.

The best water charities plan and execute well from the first contact on a website to the first conversation with the charity, right through to the donation and concluding report. They see things through the eyes of a donor and build their systems on that basis. Good charities get back to you immediately; they make interactions effortless and leave you feeling inspired.

Good communication is about five things:

  1. Making it easy to people to find information.
  2. Responding quickly with accurate facts.
  3. Engaging the donor in the decision-making process
  4. Reporting back proactively throughout the project.
  5. Having solid systems to make this all happen consistently.

Excellent water charities follow up with donors well after completing projects to inform them on how the community is progressing.

8. Transparent & Collaborative

Transparency is the cultural value of sharing information openly for the benefit of all. The best Australian Charities that embrace transparency help and support donors to make informed decisions.

Transparency breeds trust and trust is the foundation for all good working relationships. Top Australian charities are as open about their failures as their successes. They seek collaboration with partners, donors, other charities and policymakers. They are proud of baring all and showing their true values.

The most reliable charities tell you what you get for the money you donate, allowing you to compare their effectiveness to alternative organisations.

9. A Water Charity that Operates Efficiently

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In business, making use of funds to keep administrative costs low is important; in water charities it is critical. 

A clean drinking water charity that can spend less on ancillary costs can spend more on helping people in need of clean water. However, the most cost-effective charities remain vigilant on expenses.

Charities need funds to operate, and it would be unfair and unsustainable to expect them to work on token funding. The best water charities find efficient ways to operate cost-effectively and maximise impact. They keep administration costs reasonably low but focus on maximum impact.

A good charity for water finds the right balance between evidence-based quality and efficiency.


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