Posted by: mattnespoli | October 21, 2009

Why should you support WfW?

Waslala-20090524-012Many donors have a fundamental question to answer when considering a donation to WfW: with so many worthy charitable organizations out there, and many of them doing very similar work as that of WfW, why should someone donate to us? What makes us unique?

Here are seven points of differentiation for you to consider:

1. We are in business to go out of business. The mission of WfW is to provide the 45,000 residents of Waslala with clean drinking water. That is a focused, tangible goal that we know how to solve. And once we solve it, we’re done. Since WfW’s staff is completely volunteer-based, we have no incentive to continue raising money just to keep our jobs.

2. We know the people we are serving. While other non-profits operate in many locations around the world, we focus exclusively on understanding the needs of the people of Waslala, Nicaragua. This means we’ve become experts at developing customized water supply solutions to fit with the unique culture of Waslala, instead of trying a one-size-fits-all approach to development.

3. We have a strong commitment to best practices. WfW works in partnership with Villanova University’s Engineering and Nursing Departments. Professors and students visit Waslala twice a year to host training workshops, inspect systems, and foster critical health & hygiene education. Our access to state-of-the-art academic resources ensures that our systems are designed, built, used, and maintained according to best practices.

4. We focus on empowering local leadership. Waslalans, not US volunteers, are in charge of designing, building, and maintaining their own water systems, which fosters community organization, empowerment, and sustainability. We simply assist the Waslalans achieve their goals through knowledge transfer from our Villanova and local partners.

5. The impact of your donation is permanent, not temporary. Many other similar non-profits will say that your donation will provide an individual with clean water for a limited time – say 5, 10, or 20 years. However, WfW pledges that a one-time donation provides a lifetime supply of potable water. We are able to make this assertion by investing heavily on training: training communities to establish adequate maintenance funds and to keep the system in good condition.

6. Our approach is transparent and data-driven. All information regarding every water system we’ve funded, including the total cost, engineering designs, community background, and list of donors, is available online. We’re now also measuring the impacts of our water systems on health, educational attainment, and economic development in Waslala.  Our accountability and commitment to impact evaluation sets us apart from the crowd.

7. Our work saves lives. I know this sounds cliché, but it’s literally true, and it’s important not to forget this. Our water systems are having profound impacts on the health of our Waslalan partners – especially young children under the age of five.

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