According to a report by the Foundation Center, in recent years the number of US charitable foundations awarding grants for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects around the world has more than tripled. Between 2009 and 2010, foundation funding for basic drinking water supply was 17% of all grants made to WASH projects. Latin America, in spite of the great need for improved sanitation and water supply, continues to receive the least amount of funding for these areas—about 12% of international aid for water projects goes to Latin America. We are actively engaged in increasing the amount of foundation grants to further our work in water and sanitation supply.
Recently, a huge increase in requests for assistance, reports from our field volunteers about the urgent need for improved water and sanitation, and requests for our expertise in some very complex projects caused WEFTA to re-think its original approach of helping “one community, one village, and one household at a time.” Although we will always work through intense personal engagement with communities, in 2011 the board of WEFTA decided that in order increase its ability to meet this demand, it needed to engage professional help. In 2012, we began seeking modest funding to cover general support, including modest fees for a marketing and fundraising consultant; travel by volunteer experts to projects; outside assistance with website redesign and hosting, graphics and print materials; and membership, subscriptions, and conference and training fees to connect with potential supporters and expand our knowledge to promote our work.
More support from foundations will allow us to diversify and increase our funding for projects and increase awareness of our work to the public and partner organizations in a professional and competitive manner. This will increase our capacity to deliver clean water and sanitation to more and more families in Latin America in the years to come. If you are a foundation that is interested in supporting the work of WEFTA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org