Water and Sanitation
The mission: To ensure that the 800 million people in developing countries have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Why it stands out: For starters, 100 percent of public donations are used to fund clean-water projects. (Overhead costs are covered by foundations, sponsors, and donors who choose to help with operational funding.) For another, this six-year-old organization champions simple, innovative solutions, such as freshwater wells and filters that use sand and microorganisms to remove contaminants. The results are impressive: The 255 residents of Othkouv, a village in Cambodia, no longer have to spend countless hours and money collecting firewood and buying charcoal to boil drinking water, since Charity: Water installed special filters in residents’ homes.
Your money at work: A $64 donation provides a filter—and therefore clean water—to one Southeast Asian family.