UNICEF Turns on Taps During World Water Month


These days, if you want to engage supporters and increase awareness of your nonprofit organization, a tightly organized social media campaign is a must. Doctors Without Borders   relies on Twitter to convey the on-the-ground urgency of its work to its supporters. Operation Smile  uses Pinterest to paint a visual picture of its work with kids born with cleft palate syndromes.   Water.org has partnered  with Zynga.org on Facebook on more than one occasion to draw attention to its safe water campaign.

The UNICEF Tap Project

This year, United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will use Facebook to launch its seventh annual Tap Project in New York City. The Tap Project, which raises money to expand access to potable water and sanitation for kids around the world, originated in New York in March 2007 with the modest request that people donate $1 for a glass of water on World Water Day. This year, with the help of Manhattan-based advertising agency Droga5 which helped create the Facebook page, the Tap Project goes global. Its new social media “home” will not only make it easier for supporters to donate to the cause, but effectively make it possible for UNICEF to gain support for the program anywhere in the world.

How the Water Network Works

UNICEF_tap_project_Julien_HarneisThe ingenious Facebook concept turns supporters into “taps” who in turn, by reaching out through their own network of Facebook connections, help create their own water network of supporters for UNICEF’s efforts. Supporters can raise money for the project by donating $5 either through PayPal or text and then selecting two friends to receive the water. They in turn will have an opportunity to further the “pipeline” by donating and selecting two more people to receive water and a note about the Tap Project’s efforts.

The International Year of Water Cooperation

The UN has branded 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation in recognition of the considerable challenges that lie ahead in ensuring that communities throughout the world have adequate access to clean and potable water. March 22, next week, marks World Water Day, which will be celebrated with educational events in different parts of the world. With a global push and a little help from social media, this month promises great opportunities for UNICEF’s much needed Tap Project.

Photo of woman retrieving water by hdptcar

Photo of Tap Project depiction by Julien Harneis

Jan Lee

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.

One response

  1. Water is such a precious resource and it so unbelievable to think that so many people on the planet do not have access to potable, safe, clean water. I am glad that the initiative is going social this month, we really take water for granted here in North America. Also I was in NYC a few weeks ago and I saw a commercial for the Tap Project playing in a cab – it got my attention which helps feed the social media machine. I hope that more people become aware of this issue and support the cause.

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