Jin Zidell, who ran his family's steel business before he retired to concentrate on philanthropy, wanted to help people who lack access to clean water, so in 2002 he established Blue Planet Network and has given $7-million (half of his wealth) to support his group's goal of helping 200 million people get permanent access to clean water over the next 20 years.
Blue Planet has distributed $1.5-million to more than 135 water projects. Mr. Zidell and corporate sponsors pay for the group's administrative costs so that all the money Blue Planet raises from individuals will go directly to the water projects.
Blue Planet has an unusual process for how it distributes grants: Charities seeking money must first review and rate other grant applications; they must also agree to provide their expertise to other groups that work on water issues.
The organization places a lot of emphasis on sharing ideas: It created the Peer Water Exchange, an online network through which donors, grant makers, and development groups can share information about water and sanitation.
Join us on Wednesday, August 24, at noon U.S. Eastern time for a live online discussion with Mr. Zidell and learn more about how his group's creative online grant making works. The discussion is sponsored by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Bolder Giving, an organization that works with philanthropists.