Mission: The Water Project unlocks human potential by providing reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to cl ... (More)

The Water Project is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2008, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  https://thewaterproject.org/

 17 Depot Street
Second Floor
Concord NH 03301 

  P.O. Box 3353
Concord NH 03302

  800-460-8974


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 97.34, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

80.6%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

7.5%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

11.7%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

1.0%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.09


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.01 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

15.91%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
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Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are up to five of this organization's highest compensated employees. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



STAN PATYRAK, VP OF STRATE

$143,176


R PETER CHASSE, PRESIDENT

$138,003


ADAM CHACE, DIRECTOR

$0


AMY KARJALA, DIRECTOR/TRE

$0


DAVID MYERS, CHAIRMAN

$0


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Activity data not reported from the IRS


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


The Water Project reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

Sector and industry experts forecasted a negative impact (possible 40% decline) in charitable donations due to instability and uncertainty resulting from the pandemic. This forecast presented great uncertainty to The Water Project, as historically, an average of 40% of revenue has come in Q4. As a result, The Water Project strategically adjusted revenue and expense budgets to mitigate risk and preserve global staff, partnered with local governments within our programs to provide front-line COVID awareness and training programs, continued our water service and support programs with limited interruption, and provided new water points.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

The Water Project’s WaSH programs are - and continue to be - the first line of defense against the spread of COVID-19. The largest program delivery impact was seen in the reduced number of new water projects implemented in 2020 - as new projects are among the most costly expenditures within any water program. (Note: Projects were not canceled, only rescheduled, and are now in various phases of completion.) The Water Project prioritized COVID-response trainings (in coordination with local government efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19) and water sustainability programs due to their significant and timely impact. Additionally, most of our teams utilize various forms of public transportation within our water programs, presenting challenges due to how COVID-19 spreads, as well as shutdowns of public transportation options. The Water Project made capital investments to keep our staff safe and allow them to freely move within our program areas.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Most of our teams utilize public transportation within our water programs, presenting risks of COVID-19 transmission, as well as operating within sporadic shutdowns of public transportation. The Water Project made capital investments in motorcycles and vehicles to keep our staff safe, allowing them to freely move within our program areas. A new, weekly blog and newsletter kept supporters updated on the front-line staff and work they were supporting within our programs, as well the impact of that work on communities in need of reliable, clean water. Our yearly program summit (where we bring together leaders from all our WaSH programs) moved to a virtual event, allowing for network-wide (across program and countries) collaboration within our COVID-19 response programs. This led to an expansion of soap-making within our hygiene and sanitation programs across regional programs, increasing access and affordability of soap for handwashing among rural communities.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Our sustainability program includes regular, physical visits to all served communities to complete targeted monitoring surveys. User satisfaction and water point data result in success being understood and replicated across all our programs and means that issues are also understood and resolved, informing future excellence within our programs. Due to sporadic travel limitations and to increase the communication with communities and decrease the amount of time it might take for us to discover an issue, we installed signage with toll-free service phone numbers at previous water projects within select programs. Monitoring surveys were created and deployed that could be completed via inbound/outbound phone calls to point persons within each community. This resulted in more survey data, faster resolution times, and a real-time understanding of the impact of COVID-19. These systems will remain as part of our larger monitoring, evaluation, resolution, and learning program.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
5/1/20212019 97.34
8/1/20202018 97.24
7/1/20202018 86.28

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

The Water Project cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



The Water Project reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$2,104,256

Spent in most recent FY

74%

Percent of program expenses


IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SAFE WATER AND SUSTAINABLE HYGIENE INITIATIVE, WESTERN WATER AND SANITATION FORUM, AFRICA SAND DAM FOUNDATION, AND FRIENDS OF TIMOTHY FOUNDATION, THE WATER PROJECT CO-DEVELOPED AND ... (More)


$465,153

Spent in most recent FY

16%

Percent of program expenses


IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MARIATU'S HOPE, THE WATER PROJECT CO-DEVELOPED AND STRENGTHENED WATER, HYGIENE, AND SANITATION PROGRAMS RESULTING IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW DRILLED WELLS, AND REHABILITATION OF  ... (More)


$138,503

Spent in most recent FY

4%

Percent of program expenses


IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE WATER TRUST, THE WATER PROJECT CO-DEVELOPED AND STRENGTHENED WATER, HYGIENE, AND SANITATION PROGRAMS RESULTING IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW WELLS IN UGANDA. IN 2019, 4 NEW PROJ ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by The Water Project is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


The Water Project unlocks human potential by building and connecting global networks of local leaders, communities of generous supporters, and an informed public to provide sustainable water and sanitation programs to needlessly suffering communities in developing countries. Since 2007, we have been helping communities gain access to clean, safe water by providing training, expertise, and financial support for water project construction and sustainability through our staff and implementing partners. We are committed to bringing people together to solve the problem of finding clean water. We invest in local teams who provide clean water and unlock potential in the villages where people live.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


A world where everyone has access to convenient, safe, and reliable water to drink.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Verifiable, complete coverage of sustainable clean water within geographically focused program areas (e.g. sub-counties, chiefdoms) through the construction of new water projects.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Verifiable, complete coverage of sustainable clean water within geographically focused program areas (e.g. sub-counties, chiefdoms) through monitoring, maintenance, and repair infrastructure.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Everyone deserves to see lasting solutions and proven impact. At The Water Project, every donor is connected to those whom they are specifically impacting with clean water.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

The Water Project implements quarterly performance reviews for all staff and provides internal consulting and development for department heads. Each department has access to a professional development budget for the year. The organization utilizes StrengthFinders among all teams. In the last year, the organization also rolled out a 360-degree review of all management. Our water programs are built recognizing the agency of local existing organizations and leaders, and the organization provides ongoing mentoring, training, resourcing, and development within these relationships.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

The Water Project builds and mobilizes strategic partnerships among local organizations, local communities and institutions, local leaders, and local governments towards a vision of clean water access within each WaSH program area. In Western Kenya, The Water Project operates as a backbone organization: guiding vision/strategy in the region, supporting activities, establishing shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing funding. The Water Project is part of several water sector collectives of like-minded organizations that share best practices. Real-time impact data/reports are posted online for all water programs, linking givers to the specific work they are funding. Our fundraising platform allows supporters to crowdfund new water projects from their own networks with detailed reporting on each campaign’s specific impact. A weekly newsletter highlights recent developments, challenges, and successes within clean water efforts around the world.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


Sector and industry experts forecasted a negative impact (possible 40% decline) in charitable donations due to instability and uncertainty resulting from the pandemic. This forecast presented great uncertainty to The Water Project, as historically, an average of 40% of revenue has come in Q4. As a result, The Water Project strategically adjusted revenue and expense budgets to mitigate risk and preserve global staff, partnered with local governments within our programs to provide front-line COVID awareness and training programs, continued our water service and support programs with limited interruption, and provided new water points. In addition to continuing the posting of real-time impact data/reports on our website, The Water Project published a weekly blog to highlight weekly stories (https://thewaterproject.org/community/) from front-line work in helping communities stay safe from the spread of COVID-19. https://thewaterproject.org/community/2020/04/17/in-kenya-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-are-essential-services-during-covid-19-pandemic/ - https://thewaterproject.org/community/2020/08/14/our-covid-19-prevention-impact-71160-people-reached-so-far/

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

The Water Project is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


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Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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