The Caterpillar Foundation’s diverse portfolio has included plenty of water-related projects over the years, but a recent agreement with Water.org has the organization placing a big bet on the microfinance industry’s ability to expand access to sanitation in the developing world.
Given its Silicon Valley roots, the Skoll Foundation’s interest in "social entrepreneurship" is only natural. It’s also a sentiment you need to tap into if you’re interested in a partnership with the organization. The foundation has a broad range of interests — in fact, it seems to be less concerned about any one issue than about finding people who have creative ideas for addressing big problems.
It may sound like a small bird-watching club from the Maryland suburbs, but over the last few years the Osprey Foundation has quietly become one of the United States' largest funders of global water and sanitation projects.
Jean and Steve Case could be forgiven for being a little shy about their efforts to expand access to safe drinking water in Africa. They’ve been around long enough to find out what happens when well-meaning plans take a turn in the wrong direction. The Case Foundation thought they’d found a game-changing solution to water scarcity when they put their weight behind PlayPumps International.
It’s fitting that Bill Gates would have an interest in finding a better approach to sanitation. In the early days of his native Seattle, residents lucky enough to have indoor plumbing were forced to deal with geyser-like overflows whenever a rising tide met the drainpipe that channeled the city’s sewage into the Puget Sound.
The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation is known best for its efforts to improve educational opportunities for the urban poor. But the foundation has also become a big player in the push for clean water and safe sanitation in developing countries.
Steven Hilton laments the "quiet tragedy" of water-related disease that kills millions of people every year. Hilton, who serves as chairman and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, believes that water and sanitation is as underfunded as it is critical to development. In 2011, he kicked off a $50 million campaign to expand sustainable water supplies.