One Drop Foundation

550 Beaumont, Suite 400
Montreal, QC H3N 1V1
CEO: Marie-Anne Tawil
Board Chair: Guy Laliberté

Charitable Reg. #:85342 3192 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/4]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 71 cents are available for programs.

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About One Drop Foundation:

One Drop Foundation (ODF) was founded in 2007 by Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil. Its mission is to use water to improve living conditions and help communities develop sustainably. ODF has an ABC approach involving access, behavior, and capital. The strategy involves increasing access to safe water by improving infrastructure, using local social art forms to influence positive behavioral changes, and offering capital and training to further economic growth. ODF operates across Africa, India, and Latin America. Of its total program costs, 40% went to Latin America and the Caribbean, 15% to Mali, 13% to India, 13% to program management and other costs, 10% to Burkina Faso, 5% to Nunavik, and 3% to awareness and mobilization.

A Charity Intelligence 2018 Top 10 Impact Charity

In 2017, One Drop Foundation initiated Lazos de Agua – a project aiming to provide access to safe drinking water and improve sanitation and hygiene to 200,000 people in Latin America by 2021. The program operates in Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Paraguay, with plans to include Colombia. Within this project, over 52,000 people have participated in social art forms – such as theatre plays, community-engaged mural paintings, puppet shows, and short films – to inspire and create behavioural change. ODF also constructed 66 sanitation solutions, including latrines and toilets, in Nicaragua in 2017.


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Results and Impact

As reported in One Drop's annual report, the Lazos de Aqua project has improved water and/or sanitation services for over 50,000 people. In Guatamala, there has been a 20% increase in access to safe water in targeted areas, affecting over 13,000 people.

In Rajasthan, India, One Drop provided sustainable water and sanitation access to 40,000 households and 120 schools and clinics in 2017. In Burkina Faso, One Drop provided access to an improved water source to 47,290 people and 147 water point committees have been formed to manage the water infrastructure since 2011. A project in Sheohar, India has provided 250,000 people with access to safe drinking water since 2014 by constructing and fixing water sources. In Honduras, the charity improved the water source for 8,100 people and provided access to a latrine for 2,400 people since 2008.

In Charity Intelligence's analysis of One Drop Foundation's programs, it has found high demonstrated impact.

Impact Rating: High

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One Drop Foundation is a Large charity, with donations and special events revenues of $19.6m in 2018. Its administrative costs were 4% of revenues and its fundraising costs were 24% of donations. One Drop Foundation spending on overhead was 29% in 2018. For every dollar donated to the charity, 71 cents go to the cause, within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

One Drop's fundraising cost ratio excludes donations from the founder ($1.0m in 2017). The financial statements did not disclose the founder's donation in F2018.

The charity’s funding reserves of $26.4m includes $5.2m in donor-endowed funds. Excluding donor-endowed funds, funding reserves can cover 2.5 years of program spending at current levels. Furthermore, One Drop has made commitments to spend $28.3m over the next three years in international programs, with $10.0m committed for 2019. 

The charity reports its financial statements in US dollars. Ci has reported the charity’s figures in US dollars. One Drop Foundation's financial summary combines the funding from its international affiliates (One Drop US, One Drop UK, One Drop Switzerland, etc.). One Drop reports its donations received from international donors on its annual government filing (international donations, see below). The 2018 information was not available for this update.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to One Drop Foundation. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on September 12, 2019 by Kate Bahen. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 4.2%6.7%7.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 24.3%68.8%80.4%
Total overhead spending 28.5%75.4%87.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 298.0%360.9%282.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 10,979636(194)
International donations 05,7674,539
Special events 8,6054,2377,912
Investment income 661334435
Total revenues 20,24510,97412,693
Program costs - International 8,8595,9337,120
Administrative costs 829708863
Fundraising costs 4,7553,3526,202
Total spending 14,4429,99314,185
Cash flow from operations 5,803981(1,492)
Capital spending 0190
Funding reserves 26,40121,41120,084
Donor Endowed Funds 5,2355,3404,746

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 40

Avg. Compensation $67,827

Top 10 staff salary range

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

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Comments & Contact

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