Water is Basic Logo

How an International Nonprofit Raised Awareness and Funds to Aid 1.5M People

Since 2006, Water is Basic has provided simple, sustainable water solutions to 1.5M people in South Sudan. About 70% of the region suffers from inadequate access to safe water, and young children have a mortality rate of 25%, with half the deaths attributed to water-related illnesses.

Created alongside Sudanese leaders, the nonprofit NGO employs over 100 local residents and delivers training and vital equipment for drilling wells. One hundred percent of every dollar raised goes directly to fund these efforts.


People Provided with Access to Clean Water


Wells Installed and Restored


in Investment

The Challenge: Boosting Engagement with International Donors

Steve Harrell, the U.S. Coordinator for Water is Basic, wanted donors to be able to follow along and see the immediate impact of their gifts. International nonprofits inherently face dilemmas in showing tangible results due to extensive distances — and many simply rely on end-of-year mailers to keep donors in the loop.

This approach garners mixed feedback so Harrell was interested in engaging with his followers more fully. Sending emails and updating the website was helpful, but he sought more significant impact in which he could connect directly with donors.

Thanks to EZ Texting, our supporters know exactly where their money is going in real time.

Steve Harrell, US Coordinator – Water is Basic

The Solution

Harrell implemented SMS marketing solutions to publicize real-time alerts and announcements to WiB’s followers. Celebratory achievements such as newly built wells could now be automatically delivered via texts to mobile devices, with open rates of 98%. To build his subscriber list, Harrell reached out to WiB’s large social media presence, particularly on Facebook, as well as email campaigns. He also installed a widget on WiB’s homepage for more seamless signups.

The Results

Within the first four months, approximately 25% of donors opted-in for text updates. Regularly engaging with subscribers — and announcing successes — often prompts additional contributions. Engaged donors are also more likely to encourage the involvement of friends.

Thanks to EZ Texting’s cost-effective platform, donations continue to go to the areas most needed: building wells and training and hiring local workers.