What happens after you make a donation?

We often get asked about what happens when a donation is made.

When funds are donated, we like to send them out to our programmes as soon as possible – so that we can work with as many people as possible. In the winter months (when most of our work is done) funds donated will often be sent out straight away but will always be sent out at least every quarter. We try to ensure our reserves are large enough that we can commit to the programmes for their duration but not so large that we could be working with more communities.

Finding the right partners

Whilst we are always looking for new partners, we tend to work with existing partners for many years – we have been working with some of our partners for over 20 years. The image below shows a taanka built in 2003 with a partner we are still working with today. Having a partner that has the same values as us is really important in forming a good partnership. When things do not go as planned, as we saw last year with COVID, it is incredibly important to have good communication and trust between us. This was very evident last year – despite COVID and some regulatory changes- all our programmes remained on track and this was due, amongst other things, to the good relationship we have with our partners.

The greatest need

We always try and work with the families with the greatest need. Our partners and the village committees in our project areas identify families who will benefit most from our work. This can be challenging when there is a need for clean water for everyone in a village. This process can take some time, as the families will also contribute to the project, but it is central to ensuring the programme is sustainable. We also use the HWISE survey to assess the water insecurity of each family.  This is very much a process of working together with the local community.

Long term commitment to our programmes and partners

Our programmes are typically about three years long and we transfer funds directly to our partners. During the programme design process, there is a detailed budget which shows how much will be transferred each quarter. If anything changes during the programme, the transfer amount for planned work for the next quarter is adjusted. However, this adjustment tends to be relatively small and any delay in the programme is made up as the programme progresses. Some programmes may run ahead or behind schedule and we adapt accordingly. We get quarterly reports from our partners which are reviewed in detail by WaterHarvest and any issues are discussed at Programme Committee.

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