"Bring clean water to communities in need." It's a mission you've surely seen before. Plenty of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations have taken on this global issue and have seen success. So what makes Chris Long's Waterboys Initiative so special?
First, it is rare to see an American pro athlete advocate for a global cause. Most players keep their charity work local and with good reason. Chris also supports domestic causes like homelessness and military appreciation. But Chris made a personal connection with the people and culture in Tanzania, and decided to dedicate a portion of his foundation work to clean water projects in East Africa.
What makes Waterboys so successful is not Chris' passion alone, but the buy-in he was able to secure from every team in the NFL. Chris recruited one player from each team to act as a "waterboy" and mobilize their fans and resources to raise funds for clean water. Chris recognized the competitive spirit of his collegues and their fanbases, and tapped into that energy as a way to create social impact. He pits the waterboys against each other in playoffs - the waterboy who raises the most gets to award one fan a roundtrip ticket to his city. His strategy is simple but effective. Additionally, he has partnered with WorldServe International to properly implement the water projects his waterboys have fundraised for.
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