Frequently Asked Questions
Donating to Water.org
How can I donate to Water.org?
Does Water.org have planned giving options?
Yes, and thank you for thinking of Water.org. We offer multiple planned giving options. Visit here to learn more about how you can leave a legacy of safe water.
I'd like to make a gift in honor someone. How can I do this?
Many people choose to make a gift on behalf of someone else. When you make a donation on our online donation form, select the box that says, "I would like this donation to be made in honor of someone." You can then write a custom message that we will email to the person you are honoring.
I'd like to give someone a donation to Water.org for their birthday. How do I do this?
It is always a good idea to give the gift of safe water - for a birthday, Mother’s Day, retirement or any other special occasion. When you make a donation online, select the box that says, “I would like this donation to be made in honor of someone.” You can then write a custom message that we will send to your recipient.
Can I donate a portion of proceeds from my business to Water.org?
Yes, and thank you for your interest in changing lives with safe water through your business. Please visit our cause marketing page to learn more and register your business so you can begin donating today.
Can I donate money to a specific project or geography?
The most efficient and effective way to make an impact today is to make a general donation to Water.org. Your financial gift will be leveraged for the most urgent needs. Our more than 25 years of experience gives us the insights and learnings needed to maximize our impact together and we are recognized for our financial effectiveness. Further, there are administrative costs associated with directing your funds to a specific project or geography which can decrease the overall impact of your gift.
Can I make a donation from an international address or with international currency?
We welcome donations from around the world. All donations are in USD. If a donation is made from an international bank account, there may be additional fees incurred with that transaction.
What is your postal address?
117 West 20th Street, Suite 203
Kansas City, MO 64108-1909
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Gifts are deductible under applicable laws. Water.org is a US registered 501(c)(3) organization. Our Tax-ID number is 58-2060131. Please consult your tax professional if you have any questions.
How do I change my credit card for my monthly donation?
Thank you for your continued support. If you need to change your credit card, please reach out to our donor care team at [email protected] or 816-877-8451.
How do I cancel my monthly donation?
We appreciate all you have done to help change lives with access to safe water and sanitation. You can cancel your monthly donation by contacting our donor care team at [email protected] or 816-877-8451. We hope our paths cross again in the future!
Can I get a receipt for my donation?
Yes. Please send your request to [email protected] and a receipt will be provided.
Why should I donate to help solve the water crisis?
Because opportunity starts with water. Access to safe water can protect and save lives, just because it's there. Access to safe water has the power to turn time spent into time saved, when it's close and not hours away. Access to safe water can turn problems into potential: unlocking education, economic prosperity, and improved health. 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 help us end the water crisis for families in need? 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?
We believe water is the way. To break the cycle of poverty. To protect and save lives. To make a bright future possible for all. We recognize that charity alone is not a long-term solution to the water crisis, so we focus on sustainable financial solutions that empower people with access to the water and sanitation solutions they need. We are the smart way to make a big impact, and our solutions are working and gaining momentum. We have changed as many lives in the last quarter as we did in the first two decades of our work. Our solutions break the cycle of poverty and are built to last and grow. Choose us because there is a smart way to solve the water crisis and we believe access to small, affordable loans is the way to get us there.
Where can I get information on Water.org’s financials?
Our financial statements and annual reports are available here.
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 an impact in the area that needs it most. We are excellent stewards of all gifts we receive, which is why so many partners, like the IKEA Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, Caterpillar Foundation and the Bank of America Foundation support our work.
Water.org maintains the highest rating from Charity Navigator. We also hold 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 here. 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.
How does $60 give one family safe water?
On average, across all of our programs, it costs about $60 to provide safe water or sanitation to one family. This cost is derived from the total organizational costs divided by the total number of people served during the fiscal years of 2014-2017. A household is defined as 4.75 people. This equals $59.66, however for the purposes of our messaging we round up to $60. This number may continue to evolve as we seek to develop the most effective ways to reach more people with safe water and sanitation
Ways to get involved with Water.org
How do I sign up for Water.org emails?
Click here to sign up for email updates and keep up to date on the life-changing work you help make possible.
How can I help Water.org beyond donating?
Visit Ways to Donate to learn about other options to help.
How can my business give back to Water.org?
Thank you for your interest in changing lives with safe water through your business. Please see the business and group donation options here.
Can I raise money for Water.org? How?
You can raise money to change lives with safe water! Thank you for considering using your passions, talents, and connections to do so. To set up an online fundraiser, click here and choose “Start your fundraiser” and invite your friends and family to donate.
Are there any products I can buy that support Water.org?
Yes! You can support us by shopping with businesses that give back. From concert tickets to online games to carpet cleaning to jewelry – shop online with these businesses and your purchases will support our work to bring water and sanitation to families around the world.
Can I volunteer for Water.org?
Thank you for your genuine interest in volunteering. Because our smart solutions rely on local in-country partners and the people in need to implement, we don't have volunteer opportunities at this time. If you are looking for additional ways to provide support, we encourage you to visit our Ways to Donate page.
Does Water.org have an internship program?
At the present time Water.org does not have an internship program. All current job opportunities are shown here.
Does Water.org have a campus ambassador program?
Water.org does not currently have an official campus ambassador program; however, you can engage your campus community through one of the following ideas:
- 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.
- Run/Walk for Water - Host a 6K run or walk and charge a $25 entry fee which is donated to Water.org. The entry fee gives two people safe water and the 6K references the average distance women and children in the developing world walk to collect water.
- Movie night at school - Donate the proceeds from ticket sales and concessions.
- Bake sale or Un-bake sale (give out goodies, and people donate of their own free will)
Are there any job openings at Water.org?
Check here and see. You'll find both national and international openings listed. We’d love for you to join us and help change the world.
Requests for Information
Can someone from Water.org speak at my event?
If you would like a Water.org employee to speak at an event, please fill out this form . Please be as specific as possible with your request so that we can best serve you. Please know we are not able to respond and fulfill every request; however, we will reach out to you if there is a fit.
Can I interview a Water.org team member?
If you are looking to interview a Water.org team member, please fill out this form . Please 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 his time and assistance. We forward these requests to his publicist on a regular basis. Submit your request or invitation here. Please know that Water.org is not an agent of Mr. Damon and we cannot guarantee a response.
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". Please also feel free to share facts about the water crisis to support your efforts.
Can you send me pamphlets or brochures to hand out at my event?
To minimize our costs, we do not print and send materials. Feel free to print resources you may need, such as About Us, facts about the water crisis, as well as photos and stories of the people we empower.
Can I interview someone at Water.org for a class project?
We are honored to be considered for your project. Due to the high volume of requests we get from students conducting research, we are unable to answer individual questions. We do provide many helpful resources on our website to learn about our work – the water crisis, our WaterCredit solution, where we work, and hope these support your needs.
What is the water and sanitation crisis?
Today, 844 million people – about 1 in 9 – lack access to safe water and 2.3 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, click here.
Who founded Water.org?
In 1990, Gary White founded WaterPartners International. In 2009, Gary and Matt Damon met and joined together to create Water.org. For more than 25 years, we’ve made it our mission to bring access to safe water and sanitation to the world. We are an international nonprofit that has pioneered market-driven financial solutions to end the global water crisis.
What does Water.org do?
The scale of the water crisis demands many different approaches. Providing water and building wells is one approach. We have a different and entirely unique approach.
Our solutions focus on empowerment through access to affordable financing. We connect people in need to small, affordable loans so they are empowered to access safe water and sanitation solutions. For millions around the world, access to funds stands between them and safe water in their home. Our solutions focus on breaking down this financial barrier and bringing hope and opportunity to those in need.
What is WaterCredit?
One of the major barriers to safe water and sanitation is affordable financing. That’s why we created WaterCredit to address this barrier head-on. WaterCredit brings small, easily repayable loans to those who need access to affordable financing and expert resources to make household water and toilet solutions a reality. When given an opportunity to pay for water and sanitation improvements with loans, families opt to finance long-term solutions versus struggle day-to-day to find that next liter of water.
It’s a proven, powerful solution that is working. Learn more here.
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 think in terms of smart economic solutions. Charity alone is not a long-term solution. We seek sustainable financial solutions that will last and grow. We use philanthropic funds to attract additional commercial capital from financial institutions, setting us up for success, sustainability and maximized impact that will endure.
- We believe in the power and autonomy of the people we serve. They are people with financial power, rights, and the capabilities to define their own futures. They know the specific needs of their own homes and communities and what will work; we have resources that can help make it happen.
- We know what works long-term. We’ve been dedicated to this issue for more than 25 years, building solutions, making progress, and looking at the problem from every angle to find new and better ways to change lives with water.
Where does Water.org work?
Water.org currently works in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda. Water.org has previously had programs in El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti. Click here for more specific information about our work in each country.
Why does Water.org only work in certain countries?
Currently, we serve in countries that have critical water and sanitation needs as well as a market that supports our financial solutions. Water.org currently has programs in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda.
How do you monitor and evaluate your work?
We design and manage a robust monitoring, evaluation, and learning strategy for all programs. This strategy is designed to track partner progress, identify potential risks before they are realized, detect and address challenges in project implementation, recognize promising trends and incorporate best practices, and help ensure that program targets are monitored and impacts are measured. 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. The following procedures and activities are examples of some of our efforts that we perform on a regular basis before, during and after a program:
Prior to the start of a new program:
- Water.org works closely with partners to design a program that is right for them and conducts assessments to help ensure the program is successful and meeting household needs in the area. This groundwork can include baseline studies, market assessments, independent research and more.
During the program:
- Partners are required to submit monthly impact and quarterly operational reports – Monthly impact and loan tracking reports allow us to know our impact in real-time, and frequent reporting ensures we are addressing challenges as quickly as possible. Further, in-depth operational and financial reporting is provided by the partner on a quarterly basis.
- Water.org staff conduct visits with our partners and the households that we serve – these visits help to validate the work our partner is doing, ensure borrowers are being treated ethically, confirm that water and sanitation improvements are being installed and are functional, and also help to improve partner operations so that they can reach even more people with safe water and sanitation.
- Water.org hosts annual partner meetings, forums and conferences in the countries where we work to encourage collaboration between Water.org, our partners and local, state and national governments.
- Water.org staff communicates with partners on a weekly, and often daily basis.
After the program:
- Water.org contracts third party research firms to evaluate the impacts of our programs – These evaluations help give us a good picture of before and after, and hiring a third party helps us remain impartial to the results. This comparison of pre and post program helps us measure our true impact and continue to make improvements to our work.
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 families in need of water and sanitation solutions. 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 families and communities are at the center of the project planning and are invested as stakeholders. They are people with financial power, rights, and the capabilities to define their own futures. They know the specific needs of their own homes and communities and what will work; we have resources that can help make it happen.
How does Water.org select what technology to use?
Water.org currently empowers families with access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing. We work through high-quality, in-country partner organizations who have passed a rigorous certification process. With this in mind, we do not endorse or disseminate any particular water treatment or water distribution products or processes. With all of Water.org’s projects, the people in need selects – with technical input from our local partner organizations – the type of project, the local products and materials to use, and where it will be located. This ensures that the solution is appropriate to the local, particular situation.
I have an idea or product that I think could help, can I partner with Water.org?
Thank you for your support of and interest in solving the global water and sanitation crisis. Water.org currently empowers families with access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing. We work through high-quality, in-country partner organizations who have passed a rigorous certification process. In our experience, the knowledge and hardware for a successful project are readily available regionally. With this in mind, we do not utilize or endorse commercial products. Learn more about WaterCredit here.
Can Water.org provide 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. These microfinance institutions establish water and sanitation loans in their portfolio of offerings to provide affordable loans to families in need. Therefore, we do not give funding for special projects outside of our organization.
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 microfinance institutions directly for financing opportunities. Please contact us to obtain a list of our partners in your country. Currently Water.org works in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania 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:
Can't find the answers to your questions? Contact us. In our efforts to send the most donor dollars to our programs, we cannot always respond personally to each request, but we will try.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about Water.org and the water and sanitation crisis. We cannot do this life-giving work without you!
Give the gift of safe water today.Donate