Donor Support: Changing the Way We Change the World

Did your donation pay for this?

A well functioning water point in Ethiopia

Or this?

A collapsed well in Ethiopia

A collapsed well in Ethiopia

How would you know which one you funded?


According to the World Health Organization & UNICEF, nearly 1 billion people (or more) don’t have access to safe water and 2.5 billion don’t have toilets. But the saddest statistics of the global water crisis have to do with the solutions. On average, 30-50% of water systems and toilets fail within the first few years. Even worse, this failure rate hasn’t changed in the last 50 years. Let’s change the way we change the world by driving philanthropy towards high-performing organizations.

Fewer than 5% of water projects are ever checked on after construction by the organizations who built them.


You want your funds to have lasting impact. Improve International can help.  We can help you invest in high performing organizations with these services:

  • Independent evaluations of potential grantees
  • Proposal review
  • Help you understand best practices and state-of-the-art in water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Capacity building for current grantees

Contact us: we’ll help you fund approaches and organizations that lead to sustainable water and sanitation services and we’ll help you verify that.

Questions every donor should ask a charitable organization before giving

  1. Can you show me a map with all the water projects you ever built on it?
  2. Do you know the status of those water systems (working, not working)?
  3. What have you changed recently based on learning from your mistakes?
Handpump failures in sub-Saharan Africa (source: RWSN)

Handpump failures in sub-Saharan Africa (source: RWSN)

Why do water projects fail?

Some reasons are:

  1. No plans, responsibility or funds for maintenance
  2. No supply chain for spare parts
  3. No plans to protect water resources
  4. System is not designed with community input

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