Most philanthropic galas are designed to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and generate a new round of donations. But for Charity: Water’s annual Charity: Ball last December, CEO Scott Harrison had something unique planned. “There is a big binary risk,” he said as he watched attendees who had paid $2,500 per ticket stream into New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I’m either going to look very stupid in front of 400 people or maybe make them cry.”
At the sound of a gong, minglers made their way from the entrance hall to a glass atrium containing the dimly lit ancient Temple of Dendur, candle-topped dining tables, and dozens of neon-yellow jerry cans, used to carry water in the developing world (and the company’s logo).
Ben Paynter, Fast Company