One Drop Foundation

550 Beaumont, Suite 400
Montreal, QC H3N 1V1
CEO: Jean-Louis Dufrenese
Board Chair: Guy Laliberté

Charitable Reg. #:85342 3192 RR0001


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

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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) 43 cents are available for programs.

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About One Drop Foundation:

One Drop Foundation (One Drop) was founded in 2007 by Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil. Its mission is to "ensure sustainable access to safe water and sanitation for the most vulnerable communities through innovative partnerships, creativity, and the power of art." One Drop has an ABC approach involving access, behaviour, and capital. The strategy involves increasing access to safe water by improving infrastructure, using local social art forms to influence positive behavioural changes, and offering capital and training to further economic growth. One Drop operates across Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Nunavik. Of its total program costs, 50% went to Latin America and the Caribbean, 13% to India, 10% to Burkina Faso, 7% to Malawi, 6% to Nunavik, and 3% went to Mali. As well, 6% of program spending went to general program management and 5% to awareness and mobilization. 

As of August 2020, One Drop has worked on 17 past or ongoing projects. In F2019, One Drop supported 740,000 people in India, 407,400 people in Latin America/Caribbean, 280,000 people in Malawi, 104,000 people in Burkina Faso, and 1,500 people in Nunavik, Canada through local water projects. Also, more than 59,300 people participated in charity awareness events, such as the Walk for Water event in Las Vegas.

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Results and Impact

In F2019, more than 96,600 people in Latin America and the Caribbean benefited from new or improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure. In Burkina Faso, One Drop helped complete the construction of a water treatment plant that will supply clean water to a town of nearly 60,000 people. Also, more than 1,700 household latrines and 35 community latrine blocks were built, improving sanitation conditions for 21,500 people. According to a study completed at the end of the ECED-Sahel project, 75% of households have abandoned open defecation and are exclusively using latrines, compared with only 1% who did so prior to the project. In India, 110 new water points were installed in F2019 to benefit more than 4,000 households.

Charity Intelligence gave One Drop an impact rating of Average for demonstrated social impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Average

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One Drop Foundation is a Large charity, receiving $8.4m in donations in F2019, compared with $19.3m in F2018 (largely due to deferred contributions from an auction art fundraiser). Administrative costs are 10% of revenues and fundraising costs are 47% of donations. For every dollar donated, 43 cents go to the cause. This is not within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity holds $21.6m in funding reserves, of which $5.6m is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, One Drop can cover 1.8 years of annual program costs.

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 Canada, One Drop US, One Drop UK, One Drop France, One Drop Switzerland, and One Drop Spain). One Drop reports donations received from international donors on its annual government filing, but Ci was unable to reconcile the filing with the charity’s audited financial statements.

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

Updated on August 18, 2020 by Tenzin Shomar.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.7%4.5%6.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 47.0%24.6%31.5%
Total overhead spending 56.7%29.1%38.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 180.9%245.1%283.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,8449,8106,403
Special events 4,5829,4524,237
Investment income 872662334
Total revenues 9,29819,92410,974
Program costs 9,1088,8995,933
Administrative costs 819868708
Fundraising costs 3,9594,7363,352
Total spending 13,88614,5039,993
Cash flow from operations (4,588)5,421981
Capital spending 0019
Funding reserves 21,56426,40121,411

Note: Ci adjusted for deferred contributions, affecting revenues by ($2.2m) in F2019, $5.3m in F2018, and $526k in F2017. Ci included endowment contributions in total revenues, increasing total revenues by $193k in F2018 and F2017. Ci reallocated benefit event costs from a contra-revenue account to fundraising expenses.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 44

Avg. Compensation: $77,114

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 F2018

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:


One DropTM is an international foundation created by Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge founder Guy Laliberté with the vision of a better world, where all have access to living conditions that allow empowerment and development. Our mission is to ensure sustainable access to safe water and sanitation for some of the most vulnerable communities through innovative partnerships, creativity and the power of art. Together with its partners, One Drop deploys its unique Social Art for Behaviour ChangeTM approach designed to promote the adoption of healthy water, sanitation and hygiene-related behaviours and empower communities. For this to be possible, One Drop creates and produces novel fundraising initiatives supported by a visionary community of partners and donors. One Drop counts over 12 years of turning water into action with projects that will soon have transformed the lives of over 2.1 million people around the world. In 2019, the Foundation was recognized for a second year in a row by Charity Intelligence Canada, this time as one of the Top 10 International Impact Charities in Canada. 

For more than 12 years, One Drop has sought to come up with innovative new sources of financing from sectors that aren’t traditionally associated with philanthropy. The valued support of our creative partners and generous donors from around the world benefits our safe water access projects worldwide.

To learn more about One Drop, visit

Interact with One Drop on Facebook and Twitter at @onedrop, or on Instagram @1dropwater

To learn more about One Drop, visit




Charity Contact

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