2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Charity Porn: Sell Programs, Not People

#sxsw #ChangeThat

Sell programs, not people – you know exactly what we’re talking about and likely have examples in your inbox. It’s the story about a girl named Diana who walks 4 hours a day to get clean water. You're then told your $20 donation will change her life. But does $20 really change a life? No. These simple messages create short-term engagement, but in the long-term actually hurt the cause: selling a person’s story of tragedy and triumph rather than the work and solutions needed to really solve the crisis. Hear from Ned Breslin, a social entrepreneur who is sick of the same story and is ready to disrupt the norm with digital campaigns that focus on how we can make an impact – not temporarily, but forever.



Ned Breslin


Water For People

Edward D. (Ned) Breslin joined Water For People as its Director of International Programs in January 2006 after working for close to 20 years focused on water and sanitation development in Africa. He was appointed Water For People's CEO in 2009.
For over two decades, Ned has seen firsthand how conventional humanitarian approaches to safe water and sanitation access in the developing world are not scalable or sustainable — helping some but not others and often failing shortly after implementation. Finding this unacceptable, he has led innovative programmatic efforts that test new approaches to service delivery and that demand, among other things, greater accountability of water and sanitation programs.
His focus has been on tackling key sustainability challenges and trying to find creative ways to eliminate community dependence upon charitable organizations. In 2011, Breslin received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for his commitment and proven work in the water and sanitation sector.

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