A new philanthropic marketing startup based out of Austin, Texas is providing companies with a way to advertise while doing good. FreeWater provides beverages in eco-friendly, BPA-free packaging paid for by the ads printed directly onto the bottles. Companies can choose to either distribute them for free or sell them for a profit.

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Two cartons and one bottle of water sit under the "FreeWater" logo.

Beverages are packaged in aluminum bottles or paper cartons. FreeWater will donate 10 cents from each beverage to charities that build water wells for people in need in Africa. “When you do the math, we only need 10% of Americans to choose our free product so we can solve the global water crisis permanently,” said Josh Cliffords, Founder + CEO. “That’s water wells or systems put in place for 800 million people in need. And each time we introduce a new product it will donate to a different charitable cause.”

Related: Nonprofit Washed Ashore crafts art and jewelry from ocean plastic

Cliffords created the startup after volunteering with refugees who had little access to clean water. According to FreeWater, 800 million people are living without safe drinking water, and 3.6 billion people live in areas that suffer from water scarcity at least one month per year. “I wanted to change the experience of giving to charity and giving back to society and make it as simple as drinking a free bottle of water or eating a free slice of pizza,” Cliffords explained. “Because if saving a life or the environment was that simple, everyone would do it.”

A carton of water resting on a green leaf background.

FreeWater has two separate business models. Its B-to-B model lets advertisers choose to distribute products for free or for a profit, while its B-to-C model features only free water options. Advertisers can connect QR codes to the packaging for consumers to scan for coupons, videos, food orders, surveys, download music, movies, tv shows, video games, augmented reality and more.

Two people standing against a wall holding cartons of FreeWater.

The company also forms partnerships with other nonprofit organizations and community outlets. These partners can use FreeWater as fundraising material by selling the ad space themselves, and FreeWater will grant between 10 cents and 25 cents per beverage to the partner.

+ Juice Consulting

Images via Juice Consulting