Amanda Patterson, WellDone
WellDone
Organization profile

WellDone is an organization of young individuals working to raise awareness on the global water crisis and provide clean water to communities in need by leveraging design and technology solutions.

WellDone Headquarters
175 Harvard Ave
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
www.welldone.org

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Amanda Patterson

While running an event planning company in Vancouver, Amanda Patterson didn't think all that much about water. She certainly would never have predicted that down the road it would be the main focus of her career and tied up with some of her most ambitious goals.

Then, in 2008 Amanda went to Nairobi, Kenya, to join her sister who was volunteering with an orphanage there. She spent five months working at the orphanage, and she fell in the love with the children and the country.

"The experience completely changed my perspective on life and how I choose to live it. I wish everyone had a chance to take a journey like mine," Amanda says. "I truly believe the world would be a better place."

From then on, Amanda realized she wanted to make a positive different in the world in her work every day, not just periodically or on volunteer vacations. She often worked with nonprofits through her event planning business, and at one of her events she was introduced to the founder of WellDone, a nonprofit organization that raises water awareness locally in order to fund water projects globally.

Amanda was instantly intrigued by WellDone's fundamental mission as well as how they go about achieving it – through the use of design and technology. She was impressed with their modern approach to a centuries old problem.

In May 2011 Amanda joined the team at WellDone as the Head of Outreach. She's responsible for all marketing, fundraising, promotions, event planning and relationship building. It’s a daunting task list, but for Amanda it’s all in a very energetic day’s work. “I cannot begin to describe the satisfaction in working with a nonprofit, especially one like WellDone. I am surrounded by incredibly talented, creative people - it’s impossible not to feed off each other's energy and passion! We all genuinely care about the success of the organization, and the majority of our staff are volunteering their time on the side of full-time jobs.”

WellDone was founded in 2007 with a simple goal: to drill one well in one village in Ghana. At that time, there were no strategic plans, no corporate sponsors and no administrative burdens. But as the organization grew, its needs did as well, and soon WellDone turned to VolunteerMatch to recruit volunteers to help with all aspects of the nonprofit's operations.

With only one paid staff member, the organization is only sustainable with the support of its volunteers. Amanda believes the most valuable thing these volunteers bring to the table is their unique life experiences. "It's fascinating to learn everyone's story and what led them down a path of volunteering, or how they came to involve themselves with a particular area of nonprofit work," she says.

WellDone has already succeeded in funding 50 different water sanitation projects with 7 on the ground partners - resulting in clean water for almost 10,000 people. Yet with this tremendous growth and achievement, Amanda feels that the founding spirit of the organization has remained intact: that lasting impact can be made through the collective effort of a group of regular individuals.

So what's next for WellDone? They have some partnerships in the works both on the ground in the developing world and here in the United States. "We want to not only focus on our global water projects," Amanda explains, "but also raise water awareness locally so that our solutions are not only to build a well in Africa but also to teach North Americans how to be more water conscious."

And as for Amanda?

She’ll continue to do what she does best. “Having worked in the nonprofit world for three years, I now know how hard it would be to go back to corporate,” she says. “There is something very special about nonprofit work and the people that are part of it. You get to go to sleep every night feeling like you have made a difference. It sounds cheesy but its true. I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity.”

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