WELL AWARE

Clean Water for Life.

aka Well Aware   |   Austin, TX   |  www.wellawareworld.org

Mission

Well Aware is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with headquarters in Austin, Texas that funds and implements sustainable clean water systems to drive economic development and empower communities in East Africa. Nearly 60% of water projects in Africa fail, often within the first year. 100% of Well Aware’s water systems work and they last because of realistic, responsible planning and collaboration. Our partner communities are motivated, organized, and prepared communities who need only sustainable clean water to kick-start their success. That’s why we adapt each project according to the community's specific needs and collaborate with local leaders to ensure the water system’s long-term success.

Notes from the nonprofit

We sincerely thank you for taking the time to read about our mission. Access to clean water has downstream effects on many aspects of life - disease rates, education, economic growth, and gender equality to name a few. You can become a part of our clean water mission and help enable sustainable, community-led development at wellawareworld.org. We look forward to connecting with you and welcoming you into our global community!

Ruling year info

2008

Founder

Sarah Evans

Executive Director

Kareece Sacco

Main address

3571 Far West Blvd PMB 229

Austin, TX 78731 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-5025148

NTEE code info

Rural (S32)

Public Health Program (E70)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Nearly 1 billion people lack access to clean water - severely inhibiting individuals, families, and entire communities from leading healthy lives. Without clean water, education cannot thrive, gender inequality grows, economic activity becomes stagnant, and development is stifled. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of 783 million people lack access to an improved source of drinking water, (UN). On average, individuals walk 3.5 miles to fetch water. Some, among the 159 million people globally, collect from open sources such as rivers or dams, (WHO). Others collect from open step wells, which are extremely dangerous. These water sources are highly contaminated and often shared with livestock and wild animals, dramatically impacting health. There is also great failure in the water aid industry. In Africa alone, around 60% of water projects fail. That’s where we come in. Well Aware implements 100% successful clean water systems to empower communities in East Africa and drive long-term development.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Water Systems

- Rainwater catchment and purification
- new, deep borehole wells
- rehabilitation of broken water system
- ongoing project operations & maintenance of our past water projects

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Adults

- WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) Training

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Great Nonprofits Top-Rated Nonprofit 2019

Guidestar Platinum Rating 2019

Awards

Ethics in Business 2021

Recognize Good

Affiliations & memberships

Ol Pejeta Conservancy 2019

KG Foundation 2019

So They Can 2019

GLO 2019

Tania 2012

Well Beyond 2018

Davis & Shirtliff 2014

The Nobelity Project 2014

Majitech Engineering LTD 2014

International Peace Initiatives 2018

Sauti Kuu Foundation 2019

Leo Project 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people receiving safe drinking water from community systems

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Unemployed people, People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Water Systems

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers reflect the initial impact of a new water system. Communities' populations grow after water is available and health and economics improve.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Unemployed people, People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Water Systems

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of water systems still functioning

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Unemployed people, People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Water Systems

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

100% of our water systems are still functioning and providing clean water to their respective communities, since the very first was implemented in 2010.

Number of water projects built

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Water Systems

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Well Aware is committed to maintaining a 100% success rate across all of our projects -- ensuring each water system is functioning and providing lasting clean water to its respective community. This is critical to ensuring long-lasting impact and sustainable development for our partner communities. Additionally, we aim to continue to scale our project capacity each year. In 2019, we actively worked on 24 projects, including 13 newly implemented projects, and impacted 40,000 people. And, in 2020, due to COVID-19, we began a new program that disseminated remote WASH information to our partner communities so they could better protect themselves from the virus. We aim to continue to increase our project numbers and reach more people each year. As of June 2021, we have already completed 9 new projects, launched an additional 9 projects, and done maintenance on 6 past projects.

Well Aware believes that it is our obligation to our communities and our donors to be the best possible stewards of their trust and resources. So, we combine innovation, collaboration, and community involvement to have an exponential impact.

Sustainability is not just a buzzword to us. We have studied and experienced everything that has worked and failed in Africa. We collaborate with carefully selected and approved nonprofit partners who add great value and sustainability to each community in other areas of need specific to them. Each partner community submits a detailed proposal based on their in-depth knowledge of their community. Then, our team of technical and environmental experts work to design the best tailored water systems for their unique needs.

We have refined every aspect of our projects using years of experience: fundraising, implementation, training, community education, and impact measurement. We have been able to maintain low operating costs as a resulting in over 72% of the funds we raise go directly to projects in 2020.

Well Aware provides the most cost effective way to save and impact lives through clean water. We are not just a water charity. We are redefining water aid delivery and management in Africa and our methods of efficiency and sustainability are setting a new standard.

To this day, Well Aware maintains a 100% success rate. This success is not easy to come by. It requires innovation, expertise, adaptability, conscientiousness, and a commitment to the long-term success of our partner communities. 100% success is only achievable due to our robust sustainability model.

HERE’S WHAT MAKES WELL AWARE’S APPROACH DIFFERENT:
We have a team of technical experts including hydro-geologists, civil engineers and groundwater engineers who manage, plan, and design our projects from start to finish.
We are community-driven. From the very beginning, we establish a true, collaborative partnership with each community. They present to us what their current water situation is, what their goals are, and how they plan to manage the project. From there, we work with the community to design a water system that will utilize their existing resources to kick-start long-term success.
We maintain partnerships and support ongoing water system needs to ensure the longevity of all of our water projects. While most of our communities are now self-sustaining, we regularly check in on our water systems to measure impact and our local team is reachable for problems that arise.

In addition to Well Aware’s innovative approach, we utilize new technologies to make our work more efficient and cost-effective, including: solar power, purification, water kiosk technology, and mobile-to-mobile banking.

On average, Well Aware can provide lasting clean water to one person for $15. Since our founding through 2020, our donors have funded 70+ water projects and provided clean water to more than 270,000 people. We continue to maintain a 100% project success rate, since the very first system in 2010. In 2019, we completed the most new projects (13) than any other single year, and worked on an additional 11 projects. And, we are on track to significantly increase our project capacity and impact in the coming years. During 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Well Aware has expanded our WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) training program to help our partner communities in East Africa fight the virus. We are deploying a mobile app that is equipping partner communities with the info and tools they need to better prepare themselves for the spread. We plan to continue innovating and pivoting to further support our partner communities during this challenging time. As of June 2021, we have already completed 9 new projects, launched an additional 9 projects, and done maintenance on 6 past projects.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Communities and individuals in East Africa who lack access to reliable clean water and apply to work with Well Aware to implement a clean water system within their community.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Through in-person interviews in Kenya, as well as feedback from our recent WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) trainings, we have deemed it necessary to include hand washing stations with water project implementation where these resources were lacked within a community.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    A big part of Well Aware's model is putting as much ownership into the hands of communities as possible. We help them elect a gender-balanced water committee of community stakeholders to oversee the long-term success and needs of the water system. Our community team trains and teaches them that the water system is theirs, not Well Aware's, and it's success depends on how well they own and take care of it. This is a huge piece of our 100% success model.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

WELL AWARE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

WELL AWARE

Board of directors
as of 7/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sarah Evans

Well Beyond

Term: 2019 -

Geoffrey Ryder

Sarah Evans

John Abraham

Ashley Patek

Mariana Krueger

Danny Conner

Cornell Woolridge

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/07/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/06/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.