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Funder Toolkit

This toolkit aggregates resources for both new and established funders to inform their grantmaking related to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) promotion.

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  • Foundation Funders

    • Funders' Forum

      Collaborate, share resources, and engage with other funders in the password-protected Funders' Forum, to be launched in Fall 2012. This online community allows funders to coordinate their work more effectively, share pertinent resources, and discuss challenges and opportunities in the sector. The Funders' Forum also offers new and prospective funders an opportunity to engage with more established funders as they embark upon the process of developing their strategy.

    • Profiles

      Check out a growing catalogue of funder profiles to learn about the strategies of a diverse set of WASH funders, including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and PepsiCo Foundation, Inc.

    • Funding Map

      Visit the WASH funding map to see which organizations and issues foundations are funding in which countries. Grants data are updated on a monthly basis.

    • Getting Started

      For funders getting started in the WASH sector, an excellent resource is the Stone Family Foundation’s report, A Funder Journey. Part narrative, part guide, and part toolkit, the report tells the story of the UK-based foundation’s entry into the WASH sector.

  • NGOs and Partnerships

    • NGOs

      There are a range of NGOs working on the ground, from multi-sector NGOs like CARE, World Vision, and Save the Children, to organizations solely focused on WASH, like, Water For People, and charity: water. Philanthropedia recently released a list of the top nonprofits making an impact in the WASH sector. For more information on these organizations and others at work in the WASH sector, visit’s list of non-governmental organizations.

    • Networks and Partnerships

      Strong partnerships among NGOs, institutional funders, public charities, local governments, and other stakeholders in the WASH sector are critical to providing lasting solutions to the world’s water and sanitation crisis. For information about collaborations such as Global Water Challenge, Sanitation and Water for All, and Millennium Water Alliance, visit’s list of networks and partnerships.

      Below are some additional examples of networks and partnerships in the WASH sector.

      • Coca-Cola, Diageo, WaterHealth International, and the International Finance Corporation have announced the launch of the Safe Water for Africa Partnership, which is expanding WaterHealth International's innovative water service delivery model across the continent, initially focusing on communities in Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia.
      • The European Water Partnership is an independent, value-based non-profit structured as an open and inclusive member association. The partnership harnesses European capacity, helps coordinate initiatives in international water issues, and undertakes worldwide promotion of European expertise related to water.
      • Freshwater Action Network is a global network designed to implement and influence water and sanitation policy and practice around the world. The network seeks to improve water management by strengthening civil society to influence decision-making.
      • Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE), a consortium of five organizations, aims to generate the knowledge needed to improve sector performance and drive progress on sanitation. SHARE is a global partnership, with partners in Africa, Asia and Europe.
      • The U.S. Water Partnership, launched on World Water Day 2012 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is a public-private partnership that will unite and mobilize U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address water challenges around the globe, particularly in developing countries.
      • Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor builds long term partnerships with service providers to plan, design and deliver urban water and sanitation programs that contribute to achieving universal service coverage, are sustainable, and can be scaled up across cities and towns.
      • WaterSHED-Asia, a public-private partnership led by UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and supported by USAID, promotes increased access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in Southeast Asia using commercial channels.
  • Research and Policy Organizations

    • Research and Policy Organizations

      Learn more about WASH research at IRC’s International Water and Sanitation Center, the Pacific Institute’s Water and Sustainability Program, and Stockholm International Water Institute. Check out’s list of research and policy organizations for more links to relevant organizations.

      In addition, a number of academic institutions are conducting research to address global WASH concerns. Select organizations are listed below:

      • The Center for Global Safe Water  at Emory University conducts applied research, evaluation, and training to promote global health equity through universal access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for the world's most vulnerable populations.
      • The Columbia Water Center of Columbia University’s Earth Institute tackles the issue of global water scarcity through innovations in technology, public policy and private action. Combining the rigor of scientific research with the impact of effective policy, the center aims to design reliable, sustainable models of water management and development that can be implemented on local, regional and global levels.
      • The Global Water Program at Johns Hopkins University focuses on solving the global water challenge of providing safe, sufficient water through innovation, education, and collaboration.
      • The Project on Global Water Policy at The Center for Strategic and International Studies is in the initial stages of hosting a consortium of U.S. universities involved in international WASH activities. The aim of the consortium is to increase coordination and communication among academic institutions and external partners who work in global WASH and provide opportunities for collaborative learning and research.
      • The UNC Water Institute focuses on research, teaching, and information/knowledge management. The Institute seeks to bring together individuals and institutions from diverse disciplines and sectors and, through its academic leadership, empower them to work together to solve the most critical global issues in water and health.
      • The University of Oklahoma WaTER Center seeks to develop sustainable solutions by integrating technology, business and social understanding.