KC nonprofit takes investor-backed approach to world water crisis

Gary White has spent 30 years working to bring clean water and rudimentary toilets to parts of the world that lack them. He’s made that the focus of his Kansas City-based nonprofit, Water.org.

The work has led White to the view that charity can’t solve the world’s water crisis, but investors can.

Water.org recently announced an investment fund with the goal of raising $50 million this year to deal with the water crisis. The fund is open only to accredited investors.

Another fund opened to the public on Thursday, providing an alternative to an outright donation. The loan won’t earn any interest for the person putting money into the fund and won’t be tax deductible. But the individuals who lend money to the fund can ask to recover their loans in June 2020 or renew them.

Each effort will follow tenets learned over 15 years. In that time, Water.org learned how to use $18 million it received from donors to entice investors into providing $369 million to finance clean water and toilets for 6.1 million individuals.

Read more: Kansas City Star


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