Philanthropists Lynn and Foster Friess began supporting the nonprofit Water Missions International in 2005, after a tsunami created a health crisis in south Asia. They have since visited the group’s projects in Haiti and Malawi, and supported other efforts in the 49 countries where WMI builds safe water and sanitation systems for poor residents or victims of natural disasters. In 2012, the Friesses gave the group its largest contribution ever, $1 million, and printed and distributed 20,000 copies of a book of photos of people aided by WMI, to encourage other givers to become involved. Since its founding in 2001, Water Missions International has brought healthy water to more than 2 million persons.
Other donor-supported groups focused on bringing drinkable water and healthy sanitation to poor countries include the Water Project, Water.org, charity:water, Water is Life, PureMadi, Miya, Three Avocados, and the Water Center at Columbia University. Social businesses created and incubated with philanthropic funds are also becoming active in sanitation and drinking water—for instance, Water Health International, and Sanergy, both of which approach villagers and slum dwellers as customers rather than donees.
- Press release on 2012 gift, watermissions.org/Websites/watermissions/images/FF_Release_SC.pdf