charity: water's 2013 charity: ball

December 2013. Brooklyn, Duggal Greenhouse

Over the past 7 years, charity: water has been on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person on the planet. Thus far that has included 9,458 water projects in 20 countries. Every December, charity: water brings together its biggest donors, supporters, volunteers and staff to celebrate its accomplishments at charity: ball, an event recognized as one of the most innovative not-for-profit events in the world. This year they raised a record $4M towards new water projects in Malawi.

For the second year in a row, we had the great honor of producing charity: ball. When the original venue suddenly became unavailable three weeks before the event, we worked quickly to find a suitable replacement, The Duggal Greenhouse. Together with charity: water, we re-designed the creative for the new space. As a result of the new venue’s unique location in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the party started as guests boarded private water taxis to bring across the river straight to the venue. The added bonus was time savings as we checked them in upon boarding with a quick swipe of their RFID wristbands.

As guests entered the Greenhouse they found themselves inside a giant gallery. Through interactive scenic installations and larger-than-life pictures from the field, charity: water told just a few of the many stories of the individuals affected by charity: water. The organization’s signature Waterwalk, where they ask guests to walk a fraction of the distance that people in developing countries walk to bring water home to their families, became the focal point of the event. Utilizing the RFID responsive technology, we tracked each participant that walked the Waterwalk, with Caterpillar Foundation donating $1,000 per person totaling $1M raised. We also refined the live auction pledge experience designed last year to encourage as many guests to donate as possible, again utilizing the RFID bracelets to pledge and track donations ranging from $100 to $90K.

Throughout the night, up-and-coming New York City DJ duo The Knocks kept guests dancing, including HRH Princess Beatrice, Tony Hawk and Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley. Once again, catering company Pinch brought in their creatively designed pop-up stations to satiate guests throughout the evening. With more and more non-profits following in charity: water’s footsteps redefining how they raise funds, create ROI, and tell a compelling story, we’re grateful that they continue to choose to partner with Empire to deliver these results.

To learn more about their work or to get involved please visit

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