A world where every person has access to reliable and safe water and sanitation services.
Water For People exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments.
Our values are based on demonstrating integrity in all we do.
Accountability – to communities, partners and each other
Courage – to innovate, to risk, to lead
Empowerment – of citizens, families and local institutions
Partnership – on the ground, in the sector and at all levels of government
Transparency – in what we do, what it costs and what is working
Water and sanitation infrastructure isn't just part of what we do, it is in our DNA. Born out of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the largest nonprofit, scientific, and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, Water For People was established in 1991.
In the early 1980s, Ken Miller, with CH2M and a former president of AWWA; Wayne Weiss, with Black & Veatch; and John B. Mannion, a former executive director of AWWA, shared the vision of a world where all people have access to safe water and adequate sanitation. The three joined forces to support Water For People’s creation and future as a leader in social responsibility and innovation in the sector.
We continue to have a very strong partnership with AWWA, the Water Environment Federation, the Water Quality Association, the National Association of Water Companies, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies.
Partner Water Associations
As our name suggests it all comes down to people. Our mission is about people and our work is for people. And the most important resource we have to succeed at our mission is the incredible people who work for, with and in conjunction with us. We’d like to thank all the volunteers, staff, board, field partners, funding partners, donors and strategic partners for their dedication, tenacity and selflessness in helping us work to solve the challenges of unsafe water and poor sanitation in the developing world.
Sara Orens has spent the majority of her career in global Human Resources (HR) having found the path to HR through working in immigration. She has an insatiable desire to learn which complements an organization with employees across eleven countries. Sara’s experience spans a variety of fast-paced, dynamic work environments in both private and non-profit sectors. She is passionate about people and culture, and truly enjoys contributing her HR expertise to support WFP’s mission. Sara loves spending time with her little family, enjoying the beauty of Colorado’s outdoors, and photography.
Sandra Hillenbrand comes to Water For People with 10 years of experience as the executive assistant in the operations and maintenance division at CH2M. She is passionate about inclusivity, and strives to ensure that the Water For People company culture extends beyond Denver headquarters. Sandra is a Colorado native, and enjoys any opportunity to hike, bike or ski her way around The Rockies.
Eleanor Allen is fiercely passionate about improving the state of the world with respect to water and sanitation and has dedicated her career to this goal. First as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, then as a consulting engineer (at CH2M and ARCADIS), and now as the CEO of Water For People. As a professional civil engineer, Eleanor has lived over half her professional life in Latin America and has worked all over the world. Currently she is dedicated to leading Water For People to bring reliable and lasting access to safe water and sanitation in Latin America, Africa and India. With her family (husband and two boys) she loves to explore the outdoors and to travel to new places. She also loves fast cars. Eleanor holds a BS from Tufts University and a MS from the University of California at Berkeley.
Nick Burn has spent nearly 30 years of his life managing international development programs. Trained as an agriculturalist, he lived in Indonesia and Tanzania for 10 years, and traveled for work extensively in countries across Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Over the past five years he has been working with Water For People to implement programs he believes in, programs that build lasting systems and promote aid independence. He believes that Water For People’s work can bring real change to the poorest of the poor.
Patrick Hayes built his career around a resolve to positively impact the condition of those who may suffer or lack opportunity. He has raised funds for local, national and international organizations throughout his career. His professional highlights have included work with the Campaign for Female Education, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, and the Denver Parks and Recreation Foundation. Patrick has built resource development operations from the ground up and led established organizations to even greater success. Before joining Water For People, he completed a Kiva Fellowship in Zimbabwe supporting young women entrepreneurs, and later in Cambodia monitoring micro-finance programs, including those to expand sanitation and hygiene resources to the rural poor. Patrick earned his undergraduate degree in journalism, and holds a master’s degree in environmental policy and management.
Shauna Giddings Schmitz
Shauna has over 20 years of finance and accounting experience, in the for profit and not for profit world, both domestically and overseas, including her tenure as the CFO of Room to Read, an international nonprofit focused on literacy and as a Small Business Volunteer for the US Peace Corps in Mongolia. Her passions are: “giving back” through work and volunteer activities, travel (having lived overseas in Asia and Latin America and traveled to more countries than she can count) and sharing these passions with her husband and two young daughters! Shauna received her BS (summa cum laude) in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and her MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Finance and Systems
Marketing and Communications
People and Admin
Water For People is one of the leading innovators in the water and sanitation space, in big thanks to our team. We’re made of storytellers and researchers, engineers and fundraisers, and more. We come from business and academia, and nonprofits and the arts. We’re creative, passionate, motivated, and always ready to take risks and change things up a bit. We know that global impact is only possible if we live and breathe our core values: to believe in people, keep it local, keep good company, and keep our promises.
Our team is based in Denver, but we have employment opportunities around the world.
Employee benefits include paid time off, health and dental insurance, retirement compensation, and much more. We enjoy working in a team-based environment and value the benefits of a diversified workplace. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply. Water For People is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on age, race, disability, ethnicity, marital status, religion, sex, veteran status, or other unlawful factors, with respect to recruiting, hiring, job assignments, promotions, discharge, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
At Water For People we know that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the incredible support of our partners. These corporations, nonprofits, foundations, and individuals make our work possible through their unwavering commitment to Everyone Forever.
Craft of Water is the internal term Water For People uses to differentiate consumer-facing brand partners who are outside of the traditional Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene sector. Craft of Water partnerships allow for a positive, highly impactful philanthropic endeavor for the partner, while raising funds for Water For People’s work, and awareness around the global water crisis, through product sales, marketing campaigns, and collaborative fundraising efforts.
The Skoll Foundation presents the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship each year to a select group of social entrepreneurs whose innovations have already had significant, proven impact on some of the world’smost pressing problems, and invests directly in the promise of even greater impact at scale. By investing in organizations when an innovation is ripe for accelerated and scaled adoption, the Skoll Awards help unleash the full global potential and reach of social entrepreneurs.
Water For People and then CEO Ned Breslin won the Skoll Award in 2011.
Water For People appreciates the loyal support of all our donors, including individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments. A strong and generous donor base helps us further our mission throughout the developing world.
From our guiding principle of keep good company to our efforts to monitor all our work in the field, to our program to internally audit our country programs in addition to external audits, we're serious about accountability.
Water For People welcomes inquiries from prospective donors. For more detailed financial information, please click on the links below to download Water For People's current Audited Financial Statements and Form 990s.
Water For People is a 501(c)(3) organization (EIN 84-1166148)
Where does Water For People work?
Water For People currently works in nine countries around the world: Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and India. Our employees in-country know the culture, language, and communities we serve. However, based on special grants and funding, we have worked in more than 40 other countries over the years but have found that a targeted approach is more effective and efficient.
What makes Water For People unique from other water and sanitation organizations?
Water For People works towards ‘full-coverage’
This means, every family, every school, and every clinic receives access to safe water and sanitation.
Capacity-building is critical to our work
This means Water For People ensures that when something breaks, someone has the capacity to fix it.
Water For People, along with local communities and governments must invest in their own water solutions. Everyone pays.
Monitoring and evaluation
Water For People guarantees 10 years of monitoring and evaluation to ensure sustainability.
Water For People works closely with the private sector (local businesses and entrepreneurs) to ensure ongoing service is provided. This helps to create jobs.
Replication and scale
Water For People will demonstrate a model that others can take on to create a global movement where everyone has access to water and sanitation!
Focus on sustainability
Water For People thinks about the long-term every step of the way. We want these communities to be independent of ongoing foreign aid for their water and solutions. Just like you and me, we want these communities to have reliable access to water and sanitation for generations.
We believe that in order to truly solve the water crisis we must be accountable for our programs. Therefore we share all of our financials and investment numbers with the public through our reporting platform.
How does Water For People choose communities/projects to assist?
Water For People performs a special data collection and analysis survey of any new areas that it considers working in. This data collection process ensures that all factors are considered in working in a new area. At this time, there are no new countries being considered.
When new countries are considered, the first factor is a clear need for improved water supply and/or sanitation. A variety of factors are considered in choosing a country and region in which to work: community motivation, costs, the availability of a trustworthy NGO partner, the support of local government, and a safe environment. To ensure system sustainability, Water For People requires a commitment from the beneficiary community.
Water For People’s country coordinators carefully target specific regions (county-sized) within their countries where work will be focused. The goal is to bring 100% coverage in water and sanitation within each region, and then replicate this model in new regions.
Where can I find information on Water For People's impact?
Water For People works to reach every family, clinic, and school in the areas where we work with reliable access to water. This means we work to reach every single person—the most vulnerable, hardest to reach and marginalized—Everyone, with safe drinking water and sanitation services that last not just today but for years, for generations, forever. Our Impact is measured over time by assessing the increase in access to water and sanitation and the likelihood that access can be sustained over-time. Please visit our reporting portal for more information and to see your impact.
How can I volunteer to work for Water For People?
The World Water Corps is one of Water For People’s volunteer programs that gives you the opportunity to travel abroad and support the organization in a tangible way. You can share your unique skills and experience in support of the development of sustainable water resources, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs.
Have a question not answered above? Let us know at email@example.com and we will respond as quickly as possible. Thank you!
Want to get in touch with our team? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll make sure it gets to the right person. We do our best to respond as quickly as possible to as many as possible!
Our site is meant to function in the latest versions of the major browsers, both on the desktop and mobile operating systems. Internet Explorer versions 9 and older are not supported by this site. To see this site in its intended state, we recommend choosing another browser (such as Chrome).
The last version of Internet Explorer was version 11. Now Microsoft is pushing 'Edge'. Older versions of IE aren't even supported by Microsoft anymore. This article is a bit dated, but is a quick read and helps to explain why you really should upgrade: Please Upgrade Your Browser. Essentially, dated browsers are a huge risk for the user.
Alternatively, if you don't feel like upgrading your browser, you can also use our full site on your phone.
Why Don't We Fix Our Site for X Browser?
Essentially, Water For People is a non-profit and we would rather spend money on our causes instead of the very significant amount of money that it would cost us to design and maintain a website that works for legacy, unsupported browsers.