In his book Thirst, Scott Harrison, founder, and CEO of charity: water, describes the 100 Percent Model as a commitment by his nonprofit organization to ensure all public donations go directly to the projects they run to bring safe, clean water to those in need. He explains that “Americans are known for being generous, but one in three say they have no confidence in charities.” He sought to change that.
At charity: water, overhead costs, such as employee salaries, marketing, and all other associated operating costs at the corporate level, are paid for by a separate account (funded by philanthropic individuals and groups that understand where their money goes).
From the beginning, the LumenSparQ board has believed strongly in this idea. As such, we vow to put 100 percent of the generous donations that we receive directly toward the work of our heroes. As Scott states in his book, “Take the number one objection people have about charity – how much of my money really gets there? – and obliterate it.”
At LumenSparQ, we run a small operation. Unlike charity: water, we don’t have a second account dedicated to overhead expenses, nor a philanthropic group with the ability to cover operating costs. However, being small allows for lower overhead costs. Each team member has an existing career in the education sector, so there are no paid employees. We all passionately volunteer our time toward this mission. Funding for items such as marketing materials, document filings, web hosting, and other associated costs are met through our personal monetary contribution to the organization. It is our way of giving back to LumenSparQ.
We are so grateful for our donors’ support and for everyone who shares in our mission. We hold firm to this level of transparency in our operations and welcome feedback from the community at large.