PLATINUM2023

WELL AWARE

Clean Water for Life.

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

Mission

Well Aware is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that funds, implements, and maintains sustainable clean water systems to drive economic development and empower communities in East Africa. Since 2008, our water projects continue to maintain a 100% success rate, which is driven by our commitment to technical expertise and ongoing support within our partner communities. Our Well Beyond app, recognized as a finalist in Fast Companyʼs 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards, is the first and only patent-pending maintenance and diagnostics app for ensuring our water projects operate indefinitely. Together, we can create a world where every human has reliable access to clean water. Join us today at www.wellawareworld.org

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

Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and un-sustainably managed, (UN). Because of this, nearly 2.2 billion people globally lack reliable access to safely managed drinking water. And, almost 40% of those without an improved source of drinking water live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where they walk 3.5 miles on average to fetch water. (United Nations, WHO, and UNICEF) High levels of water stress seep into the foundation of communities around the world—negatively impacting disease rates, education, agriculture, gender equality, economic stability, peace, and development. Simply put, without water, life ceases to exist. Yet, nearly 60% of clean water projects in Africa fail within the first year due to lack of technical expertise and community involvement. Thatʼs where Well Aware is different.

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

Awards

Ethics in Business 2021

Recognize Good

World Changing Ideas 2022

Fast Company

Global Impact Award Winner 2022

Classy

Award Winner in Social Impact 2022

Austin Woman

Listed in top 100 list 2022

Top 100 Innovators & Entrepreneurs

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.

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.

By providing reliable access to clean water, we drop anchor for development. We are deeply committed to building lasting water sources that become an anchor for community prosperity—providing Clean Water for Life. This enables our partner communities to thrive, grow, and develop for generations to come.

Nearly 60% of clean water projects in Africa fail within the first year due to lack of technical expertise and community involvement. Thatʼs where we are different. 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.

Well Awareʼs clean water systems trigger a ripple effect within our partner communities, enabling stability and growth that allows communities to thrive:

Diseases plummet by 64%. Access to clean water, along with better sanitation and hygiene practices causes waterborne illnesses to plummet, improving the overall health of communities.

Education increases by 34% on average, and 58% for girls specifically, once kids can stop missing school due to waterborne illnesses or the time spent walking for water. Clean water infrastructure in schools also allows girls reaching puberty to stay in school by having a place to wash up when needed.

Gender equality increases. Educated girls earn higher incomes, are less likely to marry young, and are empowered to build better futures for themselves. Women can also gain jobs and stronger voices in their communities when they can spend less time walking for water.

Agriculture and commerce flourish. When there is reliable access to clean water, communities can plant more crops, which creates more jobs, stabilizes nutrition, and diversifies their income.

Economic activity increases. When there is less time spent worrying about water, there is more time to spend on economic development, job opportunities improve, and commerce grows.

Peace, stability, and growth. Clean water access can reduce tension and conflict that arises over resources, enabling communities to thrive, grow, and develop.

We believe our responsibility to our partner communities goes far beyond the drilling of a hole. From planning to implementation, we adapt each water project according to the goals of our partner communities. Unlike other water charities that use blueprints to construct clean water systems, Well Aware applies a unique, community-focused approach. By utilizing existing resources and technical experts on the ground, we ensure long-term prosperity of all our water projects.

Our Well Beyond app, recognized as a finalist in Fast Companyʼs 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards, is the first and only patent-pending maintenance and diagnostics app for ensuring lasting water projects. The World Bank has estimated that less than 5% of water projects are visited after they are constructed, and less than 1% are monitored long-term. The Well Beyond app makes reliable, ongoing monitoring a reality. By allowing community members to diagnose, prevent, and solve issues on their own, the Well Beyond app lengthens the life span of water systems—resulting in significant community savings of time and money. The Well Beyond app also empowers our partner communities to take ownership of their clean water systems, while finding comfort in the fact that we will continue to be by their side to provide ongoing support and that clean water will continue to flow for years to come.

With our approach, Well Awareʼs clean water systems trigger a ripple effect of impact that spans future generations. Reliable access to clean water positively affects the health of our partner communities, education, gender equality, agriculture, economic development, and overall growth and stability.

100% 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.

Since 2008, all of Well Awareʼs 100+ projects maintain a 100% success rate—providing clean water to more than 348,000 people across Kenya and Tanzania.

Well Aware has been hard at work bolstering our project capacity and growing our team so that we can reach more and more communities annually. In the past three years alone, the organization has doubled our funding, more than doubled the team in Kenya, and tripled our number of projects completed per year! Since our first water well in 2010, we have gone from two volunteers to 14 full-time staff.

In 2022 alone, more than 50,000 people in East Africa gained access to clean water for life We actively worked on 38 water projects in 2022, completing 25 new projects – 3 new wells, 13 new rainwater systems, and 9 upgrades and expansions. We also worked on 13 additional projects, including maintenance on past projects and investigation of new projects for future implementation.

In 2021 and 2022, we added a hydrogeologist, project associate, and operations manager to our team in Kenya. Our team there is now officially bigger than our team in our Austin headquarters! And because of these great achievements, we hit our 100th project in March of this year and are quickly progressing toward 150 projects.

At the rate that our team and project bandwidth is growing, we are also keenly aware of the need to uphold the integrity of all of our clean water systems so that we can continue to ensure our promise and commitment to 100% success. That’s where our Well Beyond App comes in – the industry’s first and only patent-pending mobile app for water system maintenance and diagnostics. As we continue to scale, it is critical to further empower local leaders with the tools they need to ensure clean water can flow for decades to come. The Well Beyond App provides that opportunity. Now, communities don’t have to wait days or weeks for repairs without their only source of water. Through the app, community members receive checklists and questionnaires to perform regular maintenance needs and help resolve small issues. They can also chat with our experts in real-time for quick assistance or to discuss larger challenges. We are proud to report that the Well Beyond App is now deployed in over 70 of our partner communities! Already we have seen many problems solved quickly and efficiently, or avoided altogether – lengthening the life of our water systems and saving both time and money.

Now, as we look to the future, we have big plans to further scale our team to accommodate the growing impact Well Aware is pursuing.

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.
  • 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

  • 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

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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 12/06/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans

Ashley Patek

Kareece Sacco

Rushika Pandya

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 12/6/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

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

Transgender 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.