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Scott Harrison, CEO of Charity: Water, Social Entrepreneur, Scott Harrison Biography,
Social Entrepreneur

Scott Harrison: From Nightclub Promoter to Founder of Charity: Water

Early Life and Career

Scott Harrison was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. His father was a businessman, while his mother suffered from debilitating illnesses throughout his childhood. Raised in a household that adhered to Christian values, Harrison left home at 18 to study design and communication at New York University. During his time in New York, he became involved in the nightlife scene, eventually working as a nightclub promoter in Manhattan for a decade, organizing parties for big names like MTV, VH1, Bacardi, and Elle. Despite the high-energy lifestyle and financial rewards, Harrison found himself unfulfilled and yearning for a deeper purpose.

Scott Harrison

A Life-Changing Experience

In 2004, a trip to Uruguay marked a turning point in Harrison’s life. A traumatic event—a nightclub shooting—combined with the influence of A.W. Tozer’s book The Pursuit of God, gifted by his father, led him to reevaluate his life choices. He realized he needed a significant change.

Volunteering with Mercy Ships

Harrison quit his lucrative job and began volunteering as a photojournalist with Mercy Ships, a Christian charity operating hospital ships that provide free healthcare in developing countries. Despite having a high salary previously, he had to pay $500 a month to volunteer, living almost broke. This transformative period saw him quitting smoking, gambling, and other vices. His time with Mercy Ships deeply affected him, shaping his perspective on life and igniting his passion for humanitarian work.

Founding Charity: Water

Upon returning to New York, Harrison decided to use his 31st birthday to make a difference. Instead of asking for gifts, he requested donations to fund clean water projects in Uganda. This birthday campaign raised $15,000, which funded the construction of three new wells and the repair of three broken ones in a Northern Ugandan refugee camp, helping thousands gain access to clean water. This success led to the birth of Charity: Water in 2006. Since then, the organization has helped over 2.5 million people in 24 countries access clean water.

Impact and Vision

Charity: Water’s mission is simple yet profound: to provide clean water to those in need. Harrison’s innovative approach, including impactful PSA videos and empathetic storytelling, has drawn widespread support. His dedication to transparency and efficiency ensures that 100% of public donations go directly to water projects.

Personal Transformation and Advocacy

Scott Harrison’s journey from a nightlife promoter to a social entrepreneur is a testament to his resilience and vision. His transformation was not just professional but deeply personal, driven by a desire to lead an authentic life dedicated to helping others. Today, Harrison continues to inspire as the founder of Charity: Water, demonstrating how passion and commitment can change lives and make a global impact.


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