by Richard L. Klopp, Water for Good CEO
In 2011, after several amazing years as the Associate Director at Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, I had the opportunity to lead an Indiana nonprofit by the name of Water for Good. In the past, I was involved with other water organizations, but found myself attracted to Water for Good due to its focus on sustainability through the creation of local water maintenance and repair businesses. Born out of the conflict that erupted in 2004, Water for Good works to end the water crisis in the Central African Republic, currently ranked by United Nations statistics as the poorest county in the world. Despite incredible challenges, Water for Good implemented 1,600 water projects to provide water to over 800,000 people in this country of 4.5 million people. Through local repair teams who do regular preventative maintenance and repair on over 1,000 pumps, Water for Good provides clean water to over 500,000 people daily.
The generosity of people of faith in responding to the call to step outside of themselves inspires me. However, at Lake Institute I had the opportunity to learn how faith can, and very often does, inspire philanthropy. Philanthropy is deeply rooted in the consistent call to deny a common yet often unhealthy focus on the needs of self by willingly shouldering and attending to the needs of others. Fundraising is so much more than the deployment of techniques aimed at extracting maximum dollars from donors' pockets, but is instead the philanthropic opportunity for expressing one’s deepest longings such as the creation of a better world for the futures of one’s children and the children of others.