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16 Top Nonprofits Working in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector Identified by 82 Experts

“[O]nce we can secure access to clean water and to adequate sanitation facilities for all people, irrespective of the difference in their living conditions, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won." -- Dr Lee Jong-Wook, Director-General, World Health Organization.

cause_picRecently, Philanthropedia surveyed 82 experts working in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. The experts (with an average of 65 years of work experience in the field) were asked to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in international WASH efforts.

Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, consultants, etc.) identified 16 top nonprofits (out of 111 total reviewed nonprofits). Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also view expert bios by clicking water day

Which nonprofits were among the top?

Experts were asked to recommend up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work across multiple countries/regions, and up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work in a specific country/region. The nonprofits could be working in direct service, capacity building, advocacy, litigation, research, education, and other areas.

The following is the list of the expert-identified top nonprofits. Click the link to visit each organization’s profile and read expert reviews. Experts have commented on each nonprofit’s impact, other organizational strengths, and how each organization could further improve.

  1. WaterAid
  2. Water for People
  3. IRC
  6. Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)
  7. Rural Water Supply Network
  8. SNV
  9. Millennium Water Alliance
  10. World Vision International
  11. Plan
  12. CARE
  13. Oxfam
  14. Rotary International
  15. PATH
  16. International Development Enterprises

We also invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach Jasmine Marrow, Director of Nonprofit Strategy at

Jasmine Marrow Jasmine Marrow

Jasmine is the manager of Philanthropedia Research at GuideStar. She is charged with leading Philanthropedia's research efforts, including developing international expansion, rerunning old causes, and expediting strategy for continued growth into new causes. She is also responsible for recruiting and managing interns helping with this effort. Prior to her work at Philanthropedia, Jasmine spent time as communications and operations coordinator at Great Oakland Public Schools, an education advocacy nonprofit. At the San Francisco Parks Trust, an urban greening nonprofit, she recruited volunteers, developed membership strategies, and connected with community members building community gardens. Jasmine has her Master's of Public Policy from Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she also earned her Bachelor's degree.

Topics: Impact