KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 16, 2017 — Water.org is proud to announce that the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship was presented to Gary White and Matt Damon, founders of Water.org and WaterEquity – at the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy for their dedication to ending the global water and sanitation crisis. Matt and Gary's work with Water.org and WaterEquity focuses on removing financial barriers standing between those living in poverty and access to vital household water and toilet services.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Forbes Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes and Forbes Editor Randall Lane for the honor of the award and for giving us the platform during the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy to shine a light on Water.org's work and this most critical issue,” said Gary.
During his speech before the Forbes Summit audience, Damon pointed out that “not all poor people are equally poor. For some, charity is the only solution. But the charity piece becomes a lot more manageable if you can give 500 million people the slight nudge they need toward the marketplace.”
Water.org empowers families with access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing. WaterCredit is a proven, powerful solution that brings small, affordable loans to those in need to make household water and sanitation solutions a reality. To date, this solution has changed more than 8 million lives and research shows that access to affordable financing can reach 500 million of the 884 million people currently living without access to safe water.
Water.org created WaterEquity to capitalize on social impact investing to provide more funds for water and sanitation loans. It is another way to fuel WaterCredit, helping to reach more people, faster.
Participants at this year's Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy expertly addressed global challenges while focusing on breakthrough ideas for the future to solve issues like universal water access, education, extreme poverty, and gender equality.
Water.org recognizes its strategic partners who have been instrumental in enabling the organization to empower millions with improved water and sanitation, including: Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Cartier Philanthropy, Caterpillar Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, IKEA Foundation, INDITEX, PepsiCo Foundation, Stella Artois, and Swiss Re Foundation, among others. Water.org has a market-based solution for universal safe water and sanitation access. Access to safe water unlocks opportunity. Kids can go to school. Women can get jobs. Health is improved. Businesses are started. And the cycle of poverty can end.
For more than 25 years, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the global water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers market-driven financial solutions to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation — giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed the lives of more than nine million people around the world. Learn more at http://water.org and https://waterequity.org/.
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