1 in 10 people lack access to safe water
1 in 3 people lack access to a toilet
Women and children spend 125 million hours each day collecting water
Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease
Every $1 invested in water and sanitation provides a $4 economic return

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for visiting Water.org. We appreciate your interest and hope we are able to answer questions you may have about our organization, our work and the global water and sanitation crisis.

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Donating to Water.org

What is your postal address?

Water.org, 117 West 20th Street, Suite 203, Kansas City, MO, 64108-1909 USA

What is your Tax-ID number?

Our Tax-ID number is 58-2060131. Water.org is a US registered 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are deductible under applicable laws. Please consult your tax professional if you have any questions.

How do I change my credit card for my recurring monthly donation?

Thank you for your continued support. If you need to change your credit card, please reach out to our donor care team by email at donorcare@water.org or by phone at 816-877-8451.

How do I cancel my recurring monthly donation?

We appreciate all you have done to help us. You can cancel your recurring monthly donation by contacting our donor care team at donorcare@water.org or 816-877-8451. We hope our paths cross again in the future.

Can I get a gift receipt?

Yes. If you would like to receive a gift receipt for your donation, please fill out this request form.

Are there ways to donate with Paypal, stock, debit, or corporate matching gifts?

Please visit our donor care section for more information about the various options available.

Can I make a donation from an international address?

We welcome donations from around the world. If you are having troubles donating from an international address, please fill out this form.

Does Water.org have planned giving options?

Yes, and thank you for thinking of Water.org. We offer multiple options when it comes to planned giving. Please visit our planned giving page to learn more about how you can leave a legacy of clean water.

I'd like to make a gift in honor of someone else. How can I do this?

Many donors choose to make a gift on behalf of a loved one. You can give the gift of water in someone else's name by sending an Ecard through Water.org.

Can I donate a portion of proceeds from my business to Water.org?

Yes, and thank you for your interest in supporting Water.org through your business. Water.org offers a cause marketing program that allows companies to donate a percentage of sales or services. Please visit our cause marketing page to learn more and register.

Can I raise money for a specific project or geography?

Water.org strongly encourages you to make a general gift because it gives us the ability to apply it to the area of greatest need. Additionally, there are administrative costs involved when allocating gifts towards specific projects and locations, which can decrease the overall impact of your gift. Please contact donorcare@water.org for more information.

Where can I order Water.org stuff?

If you would like to purchase a product that supports Water.org, visit our Shop to Support Pinterest board.

Why should I donate to the water crisis?

Because water is the way. The way to break the cycle of poverty. To achieve global equality. To make a bright future possible for all. That’s why we are here and why we hope you will join us in making our vision – safe water and the dignity of a toilet for all – a reality. Want another reason to donate to the water crisis? On average, every $1 invested in water and sanitation provides a $4 economic return. Water is a smart investment – in people, in futures, in possibility.

Why should I choose Water.org?

An investment in Water.org is an investment in brighter futures. We recognize that charity alone cannot solve the water crisis so we implement a portfolio of solutions to finance and deliver access to safe water and sanitation. From WaterCredit, our program that empowers individuals with small loans to access safe water and sanitation solutions, to our New Ventures Fund, a source of innovation funding to help find ways to address the underlying causes of the crisis, we are committed to developing solutions that most effectively and efficiently meet the specific needs of each community. Today we view access to affordable financing as our most promising opportunity to accelerate an end to the water crisis.

How do I know my money is being well spent?

When you donate to Water.org, you can be assured that your donation is making the largest impact in the area that needs it most. We are excellent stewards of all gifts we receive, which is why so many institutional foundations, like the IKEA Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, Caterpillar Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation support our work.

Water.org maintains a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, meets the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ Standards for Charitable Solicitations, and holds the Independent Charities of America’s “Best in America” seal of excellence. Of the thousands of charities operating in the United States today, fewer than five percent meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than two percent have been awarded this seal.

Our financial statements are available online at http://water.org/about/finance/. We are confident that we deliver effective, innovative solutions that will transform lives with safe water and sanitation, and we’d love for you to be a part of our work.

What do you mean by $25 gives one person safe water?

On average, it costs about $25 to provide safe water to one person. This cost is derived from the total organizational costs divided by the total number of people served during the fiscal years of 2010-2013. This equals $23.23, however for the purposes of our messaging we round up to $25. This number will continue to evolve as we continue to look for the most effective ways to reach more people with safe water and sanitation.

Ways to get involved with Water.org

How can I help Water.org beyond donating?

There are many ways to help give safe water and sanitation beyond donating. Visit our Get Involved page to learn more.

How do I join the cause marketing program?

Thank you for your interest in supporting Water.org through your business. Please visit our cause marketing page to learn more about our program and register.

How do I start my own fundraiser for Water.org?

Thank you for considering using your passions, talents, and connections to raise money to transform lives with safe water. To set up a fundraiser, please visit give.Water.org and click on the “Start your fundraiser” button at the top of the page.

I want to share my online fundraiser with friends and family, where can I find the sharable link?

If you would like to share your give.Water.org fundraiser with your friends online, you have two options:

  • To share your fundraiser on Facebook and Twitter, go to your fundraiser page and click on the grey “share” button next to the contribute button.
  • If you would like to share the fundraiser via email or other social platforms, go to your fundraiser page and simply copy and paste the URL.

Are there any products I can buy that support Water.org?

Thank you for shopping with Water.org in mind. The Water.org Shop to Support Pinterest board offers many product options that are perfect for gifts. Each product highlighted in our Shop to Support board donates a percentage of proceeds to Water.org.

Are there any volunteer opportunities at Water.org?

Thank you for your generous offer to support Water.org via volunteerism. As much as we would like to have a volunteer program, we currently do not have the capacity to facilitate such a program. If you would like to support Water.org without making monetary donations, we encourage you to visit our Get Involved page.

Does Water.org have an internship program?

At the present time Water.org does not have an internship program; however, if there are any current individual internship openings you can find them on our Careers page.

Does Water.org have a campus ambassador program?

Water.org does not currently have an official campus ambassador program; however, if you would like to engage your campus community please consider the following options:

  • Start an online fundraiser for your school. It's easy to set up and share!
  • If you would like to take an athletic approach to raising funds and awareness, encourage your classmates to join TEAM Water.org.
  • While we don't have an official program for campus involvement, that's not to say you couldn't start your own Water.org club and get creative.

Are there any job openings at Water.org?

Thank you for your interest in working at Water.org. Please visit our Careers page to view all current job openings. Please note that this page is updated in real-time, and that both national and international openings will be listed in this location.

More about Water.org

What is the water and sanitation crisis?

Without water, life would not exist. It is a prerequisite for all human and economic development. Yet today, 663 million people – about 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water and more than twice that many, 2.4 billion people – about 1 in 3 - don’t have access to a toilet. At Water.org we are working to change this.

To learn more about the water and sanitation crisis, we invite you to explore our Facts pages.

What does Water.org do exactly?

For more than twenty-five years, Water.org has been delivering sustainable market-based solutions that change lives every day through access to water and sanitation. In short, we give women hope, children health and communities a future.

Listen to our co-founder Matt Damon explain our work in more detail in this short video.

How is Water.org different from other water and sanitation organizations?

We’re not alone in our mission, which is a wonderful thing. It takes all kinds to solve a problem of this magnitude. But there are a few things that set us apart:

  • We believe in the power and autonomy of the people we serve. They already have the power, the smarts and the rights to safe water and sanitation. So we focus on removing barriers, increasing access and empowering people. This makes it possible for the people we serve to own and grow long term water and sanitation solutions.
  • We have the experience and the passion to go the distance. We’ve been building solutions and making progress for 25 years. We constantly refresh our thinking, fine-tune our approach, engage the issue from every angle, and seek new and better ways to put water expertise to work.
  • We think in terms of practical economic solutions. Charity alone will not solve a problem of this magnitude. So we seek sustainable financial solutions. Our WaterCredit initiative makes small loans available, easy to repay (99% of loans are repaid) and made to be paid forward while unlocking deeper reserves of capital, so more and more people can equip themselves with access to the water and sanitation solutions they need.
  • We see an end to this problem. We created our New Ventures Fund to make sure we aren’t just making strides against the water crisis, but accelerating it into extinction.

Who founded Water.org?

Co-founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org is a nonprofit organization that has transformed millions of lives in Africa, South Asia, and Central and South America by providing access to safe water and sanitation. Water.org traces its roots back to the founding of WaterPartners International in 1990. In July 2009, WaterPartners merged with H2O Africa, resulting in the launch of Water.org.

Does Water.org do any post-project monitoring and evaluation?

Water.org has developed a rigorous monitoring process over the past 25 years. This monitoring and evaluation protocol is followed to proactively identify potential risks, address challenges in project implementation, and to help ensure the program has positive impacts. Specifically, the following procedures are executed on a regular basis under this program:

  • Water.org staff conducts office and field visits with each partner organization on a semi-annual basis.
  • Field and financial audits are conducted by a third-party institution on an annual basis.
  • Specific borrower visits are conducted by financial institution field officers (for WaterCredit programs) and Water.org staff members, to ensure funds are used specifically for the water or sanitation improvement.
  • Monthly and semi-annual progress reports are submitted to Water.org from partner organizations.
  • Loan-tracking reports are collected from all WaterCredit projects on a monthly basis to effectively monitor loan performance as well as collect project information on WaterCredit outreach, loan products, and borrower profiles.
  • Annual partner meetings and regular communication occur between Water.org staff and partner organizations.
  • Weekly reports are required as needed for projects that are at risk or behind with regard to program work and financial plans.

Our certified local partner organizations or, in some cases, a third party organization, also conduct baseline data collection before the programs begin. Sometimes the baseline information is collected with surveys and other times it is more qualitative. It depends on how Water.org and its partners would like to measure a given program. We expect all partners to modify program implementation as needed after collecting baseline data. Each partner organization, program, and geographic area is different, so Water.org doesn't prescribe to one type of data collection or baseline and evaluation methodology.

How does Water.org select and certify partner organizations?

Water.org first identifies a priority country based on its water and sanitation needs. Next, we screen for potential partner organizations. For those that appear most promising, we visit and evaluate completed and in-progress projects. Field visits include interviews with the field staff of potential partner organizations, community leaders, and beneficiary households of water and sanitation projects. Our proven evaluation process examines many aspects of partner organizations and projects, including:

  • Organizational structure
  • Engineering expertise
  • Community organization and participation
  • Health and hygiene promotion
  • Water source protection
  • Operation and maintenance
  • Finances and fiscal stability

In addition, the beneficiary communities must be at the center of the project planning and be invested as stakeholders. Any project undertaken with the community must be structured to complement existing programs and integrated into and coordinated with all political and social structures.

What is WaterCredit?

WaterCredit is our market-based solution that provides people in need with small loans to address their water and sanitation needs. As the loans are repaid, the capital is recycled, allowing WaterCredit to reach five to ten times as many people as a traditional grant over a ten-year period. In 2014, we increased the number of people reached with WaterCredit by 74% and entered into four new markets – the Philippines, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Ghana. To date, through WaterCredit, we’ve empowered more than three million people in six countries with access to safe water and sanitation, giving women hope, children health and communities a future.

Learn more about WaterCredit from our Co-Founder Gary White in this short video.

Why does Water.org only work in certain countries?

At Water.org, our vision is the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water. Currently, we serve in countries that have the most critical water and sanitation needs. We hope that someday, we will be able to put ourselves out of business, but we felt that it was best to start with those most struggling for these precious commodities. Water.org currently has programs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines and Uganda. We are extremely disciplined about expanding to new countries due to the expense to explore and assess the conditions of a new country, as well as the expense to seek out, certify and monitor new partner organizations.

How does Water.org select what technology to use?

Water.org is technology agnostic. Therefore, we do not endorse or disseminate any particular water treatment or water distribution products or processes. With all of Water.org’s projects, the community selects – with technical input from our local partner organizations – the type of project, what local products and materials to use, and where it will be located. Further, all of these parameters are subject to budget constraints and what communities can afford to operate and maintain without external funding. This ensures that the technology selected for the project is appropriate to the local community and the community’s particular situation. After over two decades of successfully supporting community-led water projects, we believe this approach best meets the needs of those in the developing world.

I have an idea or product that I think could help, can I partner with Water.org?

Thank you for your dedication to the water and sanitation crisis. Unfortunately, Water.org does not utilize or endorse commercial products. Instead, we work through high-quality, in-country partner organizations that follow our development model and have passed our rigorous certification process. In our experience, the knowledge and hardware for a successful project are readily available regionally. Water.org provides the needed capital to support these locally-driven solutions.

Can Water.org provide me funding for my project?

Because Water.org is a 501(c)(3) organization, all of our funding goes directly through our certified local partner organizations. The projects that we support come from proposals generated by our current partner organizations. Because of this, you would need to work directly with one of our partner organizations in order to receive consideration for funding. Please contact us to obtain a list of our field partners.

Can Water.org come to my community and help?

If your community is in a country where we work, we encourage you to reach out to our field partners directly. Please contact us to obtain a list of our field partners in your country. Currently Water.org works in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines and Uganda. If your community does not fall within this list, we are unable to provide assistance. The following are directories that may be helpful in locating other organizations in the water and sanitation sector that may be active in your area:

Media and educational requests for Water.org

How do I submit a speaking request?

If you would like a Water.org employee to speak at an event, please fill out this form. Please try and be as specific as possible with your request so that we can best serve you. Please know we are not a very large organization and are unable to fulfill every request; however, we will reach out to you if there is a fit.

How do I submit a media request?

If you are looking to do an interview, please fill out this form. Please try and be as specific as possible with your request so that we can best serve you.

How do I get in contact with Matt Damon?

Mr. Damon receives an extremely high volume of requests for media interviews, invitations to conferences and events, as well as other requests for his time and assistance. While Water.org is not an agent of Mr. Damon and not able to guarantee a response, we forward requests received to his publicist on a weekly basis. Submit your request or invitation and Mr. Damon’s publicist will follow up with you if there is a fit.

Can I get permission to use your photos, videos and facts?

You are welcome to use any of our photos or videos as long as you give Water.org proper credit by stating "photo (or video) by Water.org". Furthermore, please feel free to share the facts about the water crisis within your networks. We cannot do this life-giving work without your support.

Can you send me pamphlets or brochures?

To minimize our costs, we try to avoid sending things through the mail, but ask instead that you print any of our resources you may need. You can find handouts, such as our About Us and Water Crisis Facts handouts on our Press page and Resources page. Furthermore, feel free, with proper attribution, to use any of our great photos and facts to create your own handout.

Can I interview someone at Water.org for a class project?

We are honored to be selected as part of your project. To best help you, please submit your request along with the specific questions you want answered. Please know that despite our reach, Water.org has a relatively small staff. In our efforts to send the most donor dollars to our programs, we unfortunately cannot always respond personally to each request submitted through this system.

I’d like to teach my classroom about the water and sanitation crisis, where do I access lesson plans?

Thank you for wanting to teach your classroom about the water and sanitation crisis. We have lesson plans for elementary, middle school and high school classrooms. Please visit our lesson plans page to find the proper resources.

Can't find the answers to your questions? Contact us. In our efforts to send the most donor dollars to our programs, we unfortunately cannot always respond personally to each request submitted through our system.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about Water.org and, more importantly, the water and sanitation crisis. We cannot do this life-giving work without you.