“Water” You Waiting For?: A Narrative Analysis of How Charity:Water, Water.org, and Generosity Water Create Organizational Identities on Their Websites

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Schoenewald, Lauren C
nonprofit; narrative; organizational identity; website; Other Communication; Speech and Rhetorical Studies
thesis / dissertation description
The water crisis is a significant problem that affects millions of people around the globe. The nonprofit organizations of Charity:Water, Generosity Water, and Water.org are among the many organizations that are working to solve this crisis. The purpose of this study was to determine how water-focused nonprofit organizations use narrative on their websites to create an organizational identity. In looking at the elements of characters and themes on these organizations’ websites through a narrative criticism lens, the study led to three main conclusions. First, the organizations convey attributes of competency, diversity, and passion on their websites to encourage audience identification with the organizations. Second, the organizations depicted themselves as engaged in effective collaboration with a variety of groups and people in order to eliminate the water crisis. Finally, the messages on the websites culminated in the organizations asking for action from the audience member as a means to expand networks and increase potential identification with the organization.