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Ames 2nd grader, Nathan Hidajat, raises $1k for charity: water in 7 days

February 9, 2011 by

Video of Nathan Hidajat’s charity: water birthday announcement. Video from nathanzh.wordpress.com.

Not many can deny that Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, is a moving speaker. Harrison’s story of personal renewal, his dedication to providing clean drinking water to those who don’t have it, and his ability to redefine how we look at philanthropy has moved people all over the world; from the 500 people in the room at last May’s Big Omaha (video: “Big Omaha Video Series: Scott Harrison of charity: water) to President Obama who mentioned the organization’s efforts in a recent National Prayer Breakfast (video: “President Obama speaks about charity: water at the National Prayer Breakfast).

Now, it’s moving one seven year-old in Ames, Iowa. Nathan Hidajat recently watched the video of Harrison’s presentation at Big Omaha with his father Robert and was motivated to give up his upcoming 8th birthday in April. In lieu of asking for presents on his special day, Nathan asked his family, friends and anyone who came across his campaign to donate to charity: water (video above).

With his father’s help, Nathan registered with mycharitywater.org, created a blog, and has since recorded two videos to talk personally about his goal to help Harrison’s organization in their efforts to the tune of $1,000. In addition to educating people on how their donations will be used, Nathan used the site to encourage his potential donors to donate at a higher level, pledging to create an individual drawing for anyone who gave $20 or more. For everyone who donated $100 or more, Nathan would schedule a piano recital in their name at a local retirement home in Central Iowa.

Charity: water caps campaigns like Nathan’s at 90 days but this philanthropic second grader only needed seven. Robert tweeted the news of Nathan’s success this afternoon:

Screenshot from twitter.com/rhidajat

Part of the model of charity: water is that 100% of all donations are used in the field. A separate foundation takes care of things like payroll for the team, office space and even covers the processing fees incurred when you donate by credit card. Knowledgeable of this fact, Nathan setup an account with Des Moines-based cash transfer startup Dwolla. Dwolla has a flat $.25 per transaction fee, potentially saving charity: water’s foundation a considerable amount in processing. Dwolla caught wind of Nathan’s use of their service and blogged about it, pledging to contribute $1 to Nathan’s campaign for each person who shares their post on either Facebook or Twitter.

Congratulations to Nathan on his tremendous idea and reaching his goal in just one week. And, from everyone here at Silicon Prairie News and Big Omaha, we say “Happy birthday!”

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