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Blood:Water Celebrates 20 Years

20 year logo with faded photo of Africa in the background

Blood:Water Celebrates 20 Years $45M Invested in Local Partners in Africa

Nonprofit focused on water and HIV/AIDS projects has developed unique approach to helping solve local crises

Nashville, Tenn. (March 22, 2024) – Blood:Water, an international nonprofit partnering with African-led organizations to end health disparities, celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. Since 2004, the nonprofit, based in Nashville and founded by the multi-platinum, GRAMMY® Award-winning band, Jars of Clay, and activist Jena Lee Nardella, has raised $45 million to fund projects throughout east and southern Africa.

Working in more than 12 countries to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic and provide access to clean water, Blood:Water has developed an approach to work in the region that differs from many NGOs and other charitable organizations where only 14% of funding from international donors goes to local organizations in Africa. The organization also has an expanding Nairobi office with a team to help local partners get the necessary resources and tools to grow their organizations. 

“At Blood:Water, we’ve learned over time that the best way to create lasting change in communities, whether here at home or across the world, is to begin with the people closest to the issues themselves,” said Jake Smith, Executive Director of Blood:Water. “That’s why we work through partners on the ground in communities to learn what they need to be successful and create long-term financial commitments paired with organizational strengthening to ensure their work can be done.”

Over the last 20 years Blood:Water has: 

  • Funded 33 partner organizations
  • Helped provide 1.1 million people access to clean water or trained them in sanitation practices 
  • Reached 1 million people with HIV/AIDS support, including counseling, prevention, testing and treatment access

This work was made possible by Blood:Water’s unique model of organizational strengthening and long-term partnership, which includes an eight-year funding commitment and working with growth-minded community-driven organizations. 

“We’re proud of the impact we’ve had on communities through our partners over the last 20 years,” said Dan Haseltine, co-founder of Blood:Water. “But there’s more work to be done to achieve our goal of ending the water and HIV/AIDS crises in Africa in our lifetimes.” In their 20th year, Blood:Water will continue to shed a light on their unique way of providing funding and support to east and southern Africa and will be working towards raising 10.5 million dollars in the next three years to add six more partners to their portfolio.

About Blood:Water: 

Blood:Water is an international nonprofit that partners with African community-driven organizations to end health disparities caused by the HIV/AIDS and water crises. The organization finds, vets, and partners with organizations in East and Southern Africa that are community-driven and -led, pairing intentional organizational strengthening with flexible financial support.

Success is achieved when partners have the essential systems and structures in place to help them increase their reach and deepen their impact. And ultimately, sharing in the joy of ending the water & HIV/AIDS crises – with Blood:Water partners and in this lifetime.

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