A strategic imperative for change
Standing at the end of 2009, Water For People paused to look back at its recent accomplishments.
- The organization has grown significantly in revenue and impact in our programs.
- Water For People has increased the number of country programs from 5 to 11.
- And, had it not been for civil unrest in Honduras and a monster cyclone in India, Water For People would have exceeded its 2011 beneficiary goal of 1,000 new beneficiaries per day.
- Even with those two setbacks, over 325,000 new beneficiaries were served in 2009—a 77% increase over the 187,000 beneficiaries in 2008.
- The organization met its 2009 fundraising goal in the worst economic climate since the Depression.
Signs of success were everywhere no matter how you sliced it.
The organization and its board could have said, “We met the strategic plan goal two years early. Do it again, but do it bigger!” However, they didn’t. With the same creativity and problem solving used in Water For People’s programs, they did something else.
Staff and board came together and said:
Imagine if we could create a world where the cycle of water poverty is truly broken, where no family has to use an unsafe water source because their pump is broken, and where no child attends a school without access to clean water. Girls are free to carry books to classrooms, instead of missing school to carry water from distant rivers. Families are finally relieved of the social, economic, and health burdens associated with poor water supply and sanitation.
And then they asked, “Can we solve the world’s problem by just getting bigger?” The answer was clearly no. So they said, let’s create an aggressive, provocative, hopeful, but challenging strategic plan that will push us and push the sector to solve this crisis and create the world that we imagine—the one where no one dies from a water-related illness.
That Strategic Plan is here, and it will create a whole new current of change.