By Mor­ée Lambeth, Lead Content Creator + Writer, Water.org


As a non-profiteer of many years, I have known donor giving programs to be described via a myriad of terms; sustainment, long-term, continued, recurring – all ways to describe the length of the relationship a donor establishes with a non-profit. And, while the terms may describe a donor’s giving, what can non-profits say about the results of their donors’ commitment? Is their repeated generosity creating the kind of long-term change a long-term donor expects? Water.org’s approach to empowering people with safe water and sanitation delivers on long-term impact expectations and makes it convenient for donors to create the change they wish to see in the world.

Creating powerful solutions

One of the major barriers for the billions of people who lack safe water and sanitation is access to financing to fund the solutions they need to survive. When they do not have access to funds, families in poverty depend on getting the water they need through temporary, charitable fixes, or they walk hours to find it from natural sources, or they may pay up to 20% of their income to buy it. What they really need are affordable, lasting solutions.

Water.org’s monthly donors are a powerful driver of long-term change and scale because their sustaining gifts create sustainable solutions. Each month, they help create financial opportunity that previously did not exist for people in poverty. Families in need can access small, affordable loans and expert local resources to make household taps and toilets a reality, immediately. Then, every repaid loan can be lent to another family in need of safe water or sanitation.

The sustainability of this approach resonates with the philanthropic interests of Water.org’s monthly donors who are:

  • Smart – They invest in global progress through efficient and scalable solutions.
  • World-changers – They want to make a sustainable, lasting difference with their giving.
  • Forward-thinking – They believe in creating systemic change that will help solve one of the greatest social challenges of our time, and in doing so address: women’s empowerment, global health, access to education, and economic opportunity.

The value of efficiency

Water.org’s monthly donors are truly transforming poverty to possibility one person, one family, one community at a time. And their relationship with Water.org starts in a fairly simple way; by checking a box.

Online or via a tear-off mailer, donors can choose to make their donation monthly simply by clicking on or checking a box. The amount of their monthly contribution is informed by Water.org’s cost to create change for one person in need. Today, a $5 donation will empower one person with lasting access to safe water. This metric in mind, monthly donors know the measure of their impact when they check the box to make their donation monthly.

Why monthly giving matters

Designed to create an ongoing, reliable source of revenue for the organization– monthly donations are a worthy pursuit for non-profits. According to MobileCause, recurring donations are often the most sustainable source of income for non-profits. While the individual, monthly contributions may not be equivalent to a one-time grant from a foundation or multi-million-dollar corporate commitment, they add up. So, when you’ve got numbers and a committed base, that revenue becomes a big piece of the impact-making pie. What a non-profit does with the funds is critical to serve the interests of their cause and their donors.

Water.org holds itself to a high standard of fiscal responsibility and accountability and it is this mindset that guides the organization’s approach to doing the most good, sustainably and at scale. According to Melanie Mendrys, Director of Brand + Marketing, “We know with our solution called WaterCredit, we’ve gained efficiency and reach more people faster at a lower cost. So, when one chooses to give to Water.org, every dollar donated creates greater impact.” Mendrys went on to explain why giving every month matters, “The present cost to change one life is due, in part, to the success of the past. As we increased access to small, affordable loans for water and sanitation, our cost to change lives went down.” This means that, as donors continue to give, Water.org can continue to decrease the costs of changing lives and in doing so, reach more people faster.

Monthly donations to Water.org create the kind of long-term change a committed donor expects, and the repeated gifts mean the impact gains momentum. Water.org is dedicated to becoming more efficient, not just for the sake of efficiency, but for the purpose of reaching more people with safe water, faster. If you share a passion for solving one of the world’s most critical social issues, join them. To learn more about how you can support our work, visit water.org.

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Water.org is a global nonprofit organization working to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible, and cost-effective.

Water.org helps people get access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing, such as small loans. We give our everything every day to empower people in need with these life-changing resources – giving women hope, children health, and families a bright future.


How a Community of Long-Term Monthly Donors Make a Long-Term Difference