Whoa, we raised a whopping $89,740 for Rwanda and Charity:Water in September

By Sarah Lacy , written on October 17, 2012

From The News Desk

If only raising money for awesome causes was a business model, we'd be set.

On a whim, I decided that we'd spend September participating in Charity:Water's annual fall fundraising drive. I was inspired by the fact that the campaign was targeted to Rwanda this year, a country that's been close to my heart since I traveled there for book research several years ago.

What started out as simply doubling the prices of our monthly event tickets and giving the extra to Charity:Water ended as part of a glitzy Vegas promotion where $1,000 could get you dinner with me, Paul Carr, and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Our goal -- which seemed a massive stretch at the time -- was to raise $20,000. We did more than four times that, thanks to our generous readers and the largesse of Hsieh, who matched the donations for the Vegas high-roller package.

It was particularly generous of Hsieh given how many more people took us up on the Vegas offer than expected. I thought one or two people would dig this deep. More than 30 of our readers did. One even donated $5,000, just because.

This created a massive logistical challenge for all of our admins, but I'm told we have most of the dinners squared away and all the hassle was for a great cause. I'm really looking forward to meeting all of you who donated. If we couldn't accommodate the time you wanted to come, I apologize. It's hard to find the three of us in town at the same time.

This whole experience has been stunning to me. It says a lot about our unique readership. These are not snarky twelve-year-old tech fanboys sitting in their parents' basements soaking up the latest Apple rumor. These are socially conscious founders and investors who want to make the world a better place -- either through their day job or donating their hard earned cash to a good cause. I'm honored we get to write for you everyday.

Thanks to everyone who made raising this much cash possible, and of course, to Charity:Water for doing the hard work. As a result of our combined efforts nearly 1,400 Rwandans -- like the little girl above who I met on my last trip -- will now have access to clean drinking water.

(If anyone would like to get us to a clean $90,000 the campaign is still open.)