Unilever launches charitable Facebook app

Unilever is to launch a Facebook Timeline app designed to connect consumers with aid workers in developing countries as part of a not-for-profit programme designed to raise funds for safe drinking water.

Unilever Waterworks

It has partnered withPopulation Services International to launch  the Waterworks app, which it claims is the first Timeline application used for charitable giving.

Users can sign up to the scheme and make small donations, as little as  10 Euro cents, by connecting with ‘waterworkers’ on the ground in “water-poor” communities.

The donations will go towards helping the organisation fund education programmes on the benefits of clean drinking water and distribute Unilever’s Pureit water purifier sachets .

Waterworkers will use smartphones to take pictures and share content from these communities with Facebook users to demonstrate how their funds have made an impact.

Unilever says that by developing a Facebook application, it makes  charitable giving “more social, more personal and more relevant” and makes it easy for users to see the big impact that even small donations can have.

Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing officer, says, “In July 2010, the United Nations declared that safe and clean drinking water is a human right; we share this belief and have made a public and ambitious commitment through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to provide safe drinking water to 500 million people by 2020. But to overcome a challenge of this scale, we cannot achieve this change alone; we need to work in partnership.

“At Unilever, we believe that small, everyday actions can add up to a big difference; and that the power of social connections can drive real change around the world. On Facebook, nearly a billion people take small actions every day, they connect to the individuals and organisations that matter most to them and they discover new things through their friends. We want to leverage the power of the social graph and the ripple effects that each person’s actions can create, to inspire and enroll many more to make a difference.”

Speaking to Marketing Week at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity earlier this week, Marc Mathieu, Unilever’s senior vice president of marketing talked about the need for a collaborative approach and partnerships in all areas of its business.

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