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water tap with hands washing
image courtesy +1:WASH Fund

The pandemic has shed light on the fragility and inequality of our most foundational systems, while highlighting the innovation and resilience of locally-led, community-based organizations. To improve upon and ultimately change our failing systems for the better we must leverage this moment to support them in profoundly different ways. The +1:WASH initiative is an ambitious, collective effort to catalyze this change.

+1:WASH is supported by a unique collaboration of WASH organizations, funders, practitioners, and social entrepreneurs working together to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” (SDG 6).

How it Works

The +1 WASH Fund consists of sequential rounds, each 12 weeks long, in which we activate networks of social entrepreneurs and innovators who nominate their peers for funding.

  • In each round, social entrepreneurs and innovators complete a simple form to nominate up to 3 organizations — nominees — who they think are doing impactful, essential work around WASH.
  • Nominees are reviewed and vetted rapidly by a council of global advisors according to specific criteria + eligibility.
  • Nominees who are selected for funding receive US $12,000.
  • The social entrepreneur or innovator whose nominee is selected for funding receives $2k.
  • Those who receive funding “pay it forward” by sharing a nomination in future rounds.
  • All funding is unrestricted, general operating.

In each round, we assess crisis hot spots, issue areas, impacted communities, and relevant data to determine with whom to partner and where to focus. As we bring on new network partners, the original network expands, our network strengthens, and we reach more organizations in more parts of the world most affected by the crisis.

Why We Partner

We aim to:

  • Create a collaborative and scalable model for identifying and supporting locally-led organizations addressing WASH.
  • Build a robust pipeline of diverse, “under-the-radar” WASH organizations working with last-mile and vulnerable communities.
  • Collect unprecedented data on individual, organizational and network behavior to catalyze action and learning.
  • Form an adaptive ecosystem of funders, intermediaries, social entrepreneurs, and grassroots organizations working in WASH-related fields.


In the end, we hope to promote the best and most effective actors, as well as support the localization of funding decisions and decolonize philanthropy.