Well Wishes $2 You

by Laura Fitton on December 18, 2008

Happy Holidays from Pistachio

Happy Holidays from Pistachio

1. What can $2 do?
2. How can I thank and honor clients and friends of Pistachio Consulting this year?
3. What do I want most of all for Christmas?

Well Wishes.

I want to make a big difference. To save kids lives. It’s a tough year though. I don’t want to ask much of any one person. I realized just $2 from each of my Twitter readers would be $25,000. If everyone who reads this – YOU – gives just $2, Charity: Water can build an entire water project for a school or hospital in Africa.

Betaworks and Tipjoy liked my idea and will 1) waive ALL fees for their “micropayments via Twitter” tool, and 2) match up to $10,000. Twitterers can donate NOW using this widget:

Fill in your Twitter username and password. Click “give & tweet.” Then click “Pay” to fund your tipjoy account ($5 minimum, you can pay anyone on Twitter with it). Or tweet

p $2 @wellwishes for (your message here) via @tipjoy

and then set up your account at TipJoy. The $10,000 match is on the @TipJoy donations only, so PLEASE give it a try. Follow our TipJoy progress here. You fund your @tipjoy account with a simple PayPal transfer, $5 minimum, and can tip anyone at all with your balance.

or donate via PayPal or Credit Card to our page on the Charity: Water site. (Charity: Water has asked for a $10 minimum due to their fees).

When else can you make SUCH a difference for just $2? Are you in? Can you spread the word? Can this become a new way of “many hands/light work” using new tools and communities?

C L E A N   W A T E R

Last year I returned from India with dysentery. I was easily cured. But I’d seen so many kids living in squalor there, and I learned that for impoverished kids (like baby beggar whose insistent touch demolished my resolve the night I shot this) diarrhea can be a death sentence. 5,000 kids die EVERY DAY for a lack of clean drinking water.

Today 5,000 children will die of totally treatable illness because they lack clean drinking water. Tomorrow, 5,000 more will die. and the next day… and… That’s 35,000 children between now and Christmas. Yeah.

Safe water is a fixable problem touching MANY important issues:

  • children’s health and welfare
  • women’s rights
  • environmental degradation
  • international development in impoverished nations
  • equitable access to education

Unsafe water ruins health and opportunity and leads to military and economic conflict. Children suffer worst. Infant mortality is severe. Girls are kept from school to carry water for their families. Women suffer violent attacks and rape at remote water sources. Thousands of children, 90% of them under 5 years old, die from related infections. Every day. 

These videos from Charity:Water provide even more answers: why water?

W H A T  C A N  W E  D O  W I T H  $2?

Though I’m asking YOU to donate, this project is my holiday token of thanks FOR YOU. Backwards, HUH? I could just donate to thank Pistachio’s clients, blog readers and Twitter friends. In honor of all of YOU.

But my donation alone isn’t enough to make a difference. We need leverage. We need you. We need $2.

Give because my tweets make you laugh or think. Give for the holidays. Give because I’m tilting at windmills again. Give a re-tweet or a blog post. Give me lip about this insane idea. Just. Take. Part?

From this moment until midnight on Christmas Day, EVERYONE who reads this, PLEASE chip in $2 and spread the word. I’ll personally donate 1% of the total no matter how high this goes (at least $250).

H O W ?

You can use Tipjoy to donate AND spread the word right on Twitter.


  1. Sign up for tipjoy at: http://tipjoy.com/createaccount/platform/twitter/. You have the option to sign up using only your twitter credentials.
  2. Copy and paste this Tweet: p$2 @wellwishes to build wells and save children’s lives (via @tipjoy)
  3. Be sure you have funded your Tipjoy account. Start with as little as $5 and tip it to whomever you wish.

Direct: You can donate ANY amount via credit card or PayPal right at the Charity: Water site.

I’d be so incredibly stoked to see 12,500 tiny donations from all over the web come together to make my Well Wishes dream come true… It just takes $2. Won’t you?

W H Y  C H A R I T Y :  W A T E R

Charity: Water allocates 100% of donations to its projects and oversees each one. We’ll get to see the fruits of our effort directly. Our fundraising page at their site is here. Also, please watch and share some of these incredible videos.

W H Y  T I P J O Y ?

I Twitter-researched our options. Tipjoy stood out for: 1) for tiny donations 2) contributions right on Twitter. With an account you can pay anyone with a Tweet. 3) They are matching $10,000 of your @tipjoy donations!!! You do it with the widget above, or just by tweeting:

p$2 @wellwishes to build wells and save children’s lives (via @tipjoy)

Then you set up and fund ($5 minimum, but spend it anywhere) a TipJoy account.

I’ve personally met John Borthwick of Betaworks and Ivan Kirigin of Tipjoy. Both responded to my Twitter question out and, err, tipped the scales by waiving their fee AND promising to match $10k worth of donations dollar-for-dollar. Thanks to Betaworks and Tipjoy, this could mean $35k – nearly TWO entire water projects – for Charity: Water.

Betaworks is a well-known and reputable incubator in New York, and John is an early investor in Twitter, Summize, Bit.ly and many other startups. Your credentials are safe. This is highly legit.


Other water resources links (I will build this out from your comments!)

…PS: You guys know me. Frankly, I’d be as happy if you put that $2 into a Salvation Army bucket or the charity of your choice. I just hope you will consider standing up for something YOU believe in, and will believe in your own ability to make a difference. I do.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Stales December 18, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Good Luck! I’ve sent my $2.
Is there a way to track your progress?

Laura Fitton December 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm

THANK YOU Alica! Yes, Ivan is working on a tracking widget to show the amount donated via Tipjoy (crucial because that’s how we get the $10k match!). Hopefully it will go up later today.

We are also waiting on our page at Charity Water itself. Not sure if that will include tracking or not…

Stales December 18, 2008 at 1:42 pm

AWESOME! All the best… You can do this!!!!

Rachel Weidinger December 18, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Heads up…if you don’t already have a Tipjoy account, you can’t set one up without transferring in at least $5 from Paypal “to minimize overhead”


Ivan Kirigin December 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Thanks Laura!

@Rachel, the payments industry has pretty much set the price of a cash transaction to be ~$0.25 + 2-3%. We get around this by aggregating transactions.

This might the first time you’ve heard of Tipjoy, but there will be more coming, especially in the non-profits space. So you can fill your account, give $2 now, and the rest will be safe in Tipjoy.

Laura Fitton December 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Yes, that is true. But PayPaling us $2 directly (which anyone is also invited to do) will incur $.36 fee. @tipjoy 1) had the lowest fees we could find (range was 3% for PayPal to 10% for one of the “let’s all kick in” sites. and 2) is waiving its fees entirely for this drive.

My understanding of normal TipJoy Payments, is that the way their fee is deducted (when there is one) means that the payments you make lose proportionately less to the fee portion. They have a visual explanation of this at their site.

Beth Kanter December 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Ah, should have read the comments before donating. This is great! I pledged $2 to the campaign but when I went to pay, the minimum tip is $5, so I had to prepay for $3 tip. I ended up doing a second donation of the $3 — maybe cleaner to let folks know that up front or revise the ask to $5

Donna December 18, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I kind of stumbled on this and am very intrigued. Of course $2 is doable for almost everyone and I am happy to give. I wonder though if you could help me with a question? I had heard someone (don’t recall now) interviewed regarding all the aid efforts directed to Africa that disturbed me deeply. The person said that most of the people in Africa would rather just take all the aid (food, clothing, etc.) from organizations than to learn how to provide for themselves. They say it’s so easy. That was very upsetting to me as I am of the philosophy of “helping those who help themselves”. You know the adage, “Teach a man to fish”…..etc.? Do you think this really how the people of Africa feel? I am all about educating and teaching for a variety of reasons, not the least how it makes you feel to accomplish a task. I personally would do whatever it takes to provide for my family and help others rather than handouts. Of course many people are not physically capable and I understand that, but there are other ways to contribute to and support your family and community.
Thanks for listening!

Steve Jennings December 19, 2008 at 12:15 am

astonishingly simple – a stroke of brilliance – this is the best micro-donation campaign sinceTweetsgiving

Laura Fitton December 19, 2008 at 11:01 am

@Donna hi and thanks for your support/concern. I’m definitely not an expert on development aid to Africa, perhaps some of the videos at http://www.charitywater.org would answer your concerns? They have videos of the actual well drillings, etc. where the affected communities seem to be pretty involved in the project. Not sure but you may find that they *are* more of the teaching to fish ilk. Helping get a well built seems a much more sustainable/integrated solution than water treatment packets, etc.


Rocky Turner December 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Sent in my $20. I love Charity Water. Such a great organization. I’m going to be retweeting all day for you!!

Snax December 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

@Donna – I had the same concerns the first time that I visited Charity: Water, as there was little information on their website. However, when I looked at the site for Laura’s campaign I noticed that it’s improved significantly. It appears that several of Charity: Water ‘s partner programs work to empower the communities. For instance, Living Water International (LWI) http://www.water.cc “employs the three-pronged approach of train, consult, and equip, empowering local people to implement solutions in their own countries”.

Your concerns are valid – one international organization had installed pumps for water wells but did not teach the community members how to maintain and repair the pumps. When the pumps broke down, the community quit using the wells.

In regards to “how the African people feel” – Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay was moved to do something about the HIV crisis he witnessed during a visit to Africa. He held crucial conversations with elders in several villages Blood: Water Mission was founded. Their primary mission os to support Africans “as they use their knowledge and wisdom of their people, geography and customs, to create sustainable ways to rise out of poverty”.

And finally – as a water professional, I support and am involved with Water for People http://www.waterforpeople.org, another organization that works to empower communities to develop sustainable drinking water resources and sanitation facilities.

uuummmm December 19, 2008 at 3:01 pm

where is the GIVE NOW button…..?

You’d get more donations if it were more prominent, As it is I cannot see anything here. Normall I would click off, but this is such a great cause, I figured I’d post this msg. Hope it helps.

uuummmm December 19, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Forgive typos, just really busy.

Bradley Wilkes December 19, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Why the the $2.00 minimum? Is a $1.00 donation meaningful? What about $.50?

Laura Fitton December 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

@uuummmm GREAT idea. I will ask TipJoy if they can add that to the widget somehow. Thank you!

@bradleywilkes $2 is a suggestion. @tipjoy will permit donations as small as $.25, and we’d appreciate every last one! :-)

Tre December 20, 2008 at 2:18 am

Thanks so much Laura. Your work to use new tools to promote this Cause is teaching me/many how simple steps can impact so many. At a time when headlines weigh heavily and the atmosphere of thought seems burdened, efforts like these, remembering how much our small efforts can give much hope and healing is huge. Thanks for making this so simple. I’m reminded of Sarah Machlachlan’s choice to create a simple video for her ‘world on fire’ single…and by showing how she opted to allot funds that would have otherwise gone to typical costs of making a standard video. blew me away. she gave to several organizations many of which i hadn’t heard of before. but then i felt that ‘well she has so much funding and can do this’…flash fwd to today..efforts like this show me what IS doable by a few simple steps. just after retweeting, the ups guy showed up in the snow. i offered him a cup of hot tea w/o thinking anything of it. microfunding should be that easy and simple and your efforts are helping make it so. :)
hugs of joy and here’s to reachin’ the goal! :) Tre~

greenskeptic December 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Great idea — will spread the word! And pledge my $2.

Gabe O'Neill December 21, 2008 at 11:40 am

I’m not sure if you know of Ryan’s Wells in Canada. It was started by a 7 year old boy. In the last 10 years they have built over 461 wells in 16 countries and are serving 600,000 people. We feature him and Finn case on our KidsAreHeroes.com web site – Finn is now 7 and pursuing the same goals. Charity water looks like such a great cause I will try and promote them as well.

AnnRan December 24, 2008 at 4:16 am

WOOOO HOOOO!!! Over $ 3K – this is amazing! :D

Sandy Wiles December 25, 2008 at 11:58 am

Fantastic idea! Good luck and thank you for caring so strongly.

Kurt Swann December 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm


Am a volunteer with Rescue Task Force, a 20 year old humanitarian non-profit. RTF has a very simple but highly effective water filtration program for remote areas of Honduras. YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3071I5QQ2Q

Please consider adding RTF to your list of links for water programs.

Also, as a coincidence, I recently went to Afghanistan where RTF operates literacy programs for women. Upon return, I was thinking of using the internet to ask for micro donations and joined Twitter. And then? I found you (or you found me!) so now I have lots of new ideas/info! Thanks so much! Will send some $$$ to tipjoy for your charity!


Michelle Greer January 2, 2009 at 1:02 am

I’m old school and just went the PayPal route. I hope you reach your goal, and feel free to ping me if you want it retweeted more or blogged.

Michelle Greer January 2, 2009 at 2:12 am

No worries, Laura. You are just trying to get the word out about the donation match. I should slow down and read.

Hope your whuffie/good mojo/karma pays off in some form or fashion and thank you for doing this ;-) .

Donate for free April 20, 2009 at 4:15 am

This is a great tweeter initiative. $2 and so much money can be raised. It would be a good idea to have the total raised amount on your page. At http://www.neoaid.com where our members donate for free we have such a counter on the home page.

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