Skip to content

What Launching World Impact in $40 Million Looks Like


If you’ve had the chance to read our newsletter last October, you saw our announcement that we had reached the stupendous milestone of raising $40 million since the beginning of our organization. 17 years ago, a Grammy Award-winning band had the audacious goal to help end two of the world’s greatest health crises. Joined by an incredibly passionate recent college graduate, they set out to do this by raising support all across the country, one person and one dollar at a time. And in August 2021, Blood:Water celebrated officially raising $40 million for the African partners and leaders who are working tirelessly to end the HIV/AIDS and water crises!

Since 2005 we have been privileged to work with seventeen partners in twelve different countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to financial support toward HIV and WASH advancements, each partner has received substantial investment from Blood:Water in their organization for the purpose of strengthening them and helping them grow their impact beyond our partnership. Here are some key of progress points Blood:Water’s partners have made since our founding:

WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene)

  • 902,014 individuals provided with clean water*

  • 7,251 water points established (wells, catchment systems, protected springs, and more)

  • 38,418 WASH facilities established (handwashing stations, latrines)

  • 47,354 individuals reached with improved sanitation facilities

  • 1,011,515 trained in WASH

  • 215 communities are now open-defecation free


  • 13,148 individuals reached with ongoing treatment, care & support for HIV

  • 249,340 individuals tested and counseled for HIV

  • 608,103 people provided with HIV prevention education and services

  • 5,274 people trained to care for people living with HIV

  • 116,914 individuals reached with interventions addressing stigma

OS (Organizational Strengthening)

  • 360 individuals trained as part of capacity building

  • 28 systems deployed to improve operational and program quality

  • 45 policies/plans developed to improve operational and program quality

*that we can individually trace; older records with a different tracking mechanism indicate that over a million people have benefited from clean water since inception

“What happens when I take my dollar and add it to your dollar? What is the impact when I combine the change from my Lemon:Aid stand with the change from your bake sale? What happens when a snowflake falls upon another snowflake and with the consistency of a steady obedience in the same direction, we accumulate over time? This is the beautiful winter blanket of snow that represents a deeply significant part of the Blood:Water story. Generosity upon generosity, love upon love leading to a number that speaks loudly of how an intention to honor and serve people in Africa has found its footing. It isn’t just the funds raised, but the wealth of stories holding African men and women up as the main characters creating change and resilience in their homes and communities that makes my heart full of gratitude. I am glad you and I have been part of this lavish display of God’s provision and care for us.”

Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay lead singer; Blood:Water co-founder & Senior Development Officer

$40 Million In Action

Since the beginning, Blood:Water has partnered with local African leaders thanks to the generosity of groups and communities of donors in the US and throughout the world who give to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in Africa, and for the benefit of the greater good. To give you more insight into how people like you have enabled us to reach such humbling heights, here’s a look back at some of the things we’ve accomplished together through the videos we’ve shared over the years.

We’ve seen all kinds of passionate, creative, and generous fundraisers…

We’ve seen events big and small…

We’ve seen people challenge themselves and others to dig deeper into the water crisis…

We’ve had interns…

And fun with staff in the office…

We celebrated Jena’s release of her memoir, One Thousand Wells

We celebrated holidays…

We saved drinks…

Went back to school…

And visited our partners in Africa… 

But most importantly, we’ve helped people we never would have been able to without our amazing partners.

“What does 40 million dollars mean? Well, technically not much different than $39,999,999. Or any number. But the cumulative effect of 40 million dollars reaching thousands of communities to improve health and save lives — that is something I can start to comprehend. And get excited about! To think that a two-year-old impacted by Blood:Water’s work with partners in 2005 would be alive and thriving today at the age of 18… that is a glimpse into generational impact! Our first dollar, our first million dollars, our first 40 million dollars… they all point to generosity that results in anticipated impact tomorrow and in years to come. What a joy and grace to be a part of this!” 

Aaron Sands, Blood:Water co-founder & Director of Operations

What $40 Million Looks Like

Health. Sanitation. Water. Life. Education. Nutrition. Sustained progress. Community transformation. But the true value of this 40 million dollars raised is seen in the community members who have stepped up to lead the change, for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. This is not work that Blood:Water sends teams to accomplish, this is work that African communities and leaders are equipped and empowered to implement and sustain: local leaders enacting life-changing solutions.

Recent Developments

In the past 18 months, our friends at Lwala in Kenya took the opportunity to reimagine how to serve their community. With COVID-19 as a particular threat to people living with HIV, Lwala has worked with support groups and community health workers to expand the number of clients receiving HIV drugs and increase clinician visits directly in their homes.

As a result, Lwala is seeing all-time high rates of viral suppression at 97.5% (meaning a person living with HIV can no longer transmit the virus, and it is undetectable in their system), above the UNAIDS target of 95%, key to ending the HIV crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. Lwala plans to continue using this model even after COVID-19 subsides, leading the response to health concerns in their communities, and participating in the government’s strategy against the pandemic.

Last year, we were also thrilled to announce that out of the 1,400 nonprofits and social enterprises nominated, Blood:Water is a 2021 Classy Award Winner in the Social Innovation category! This year, 13 awards were distributed across four categories: Social Innovation, Adapt & Overcome, Lifetime Achievement, and People’s Choice. To read our full program profile, you can check out the link here.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have chosen to be a part of this incredible work.

Site Designed and Developed by 5by5 - A Change Agency