This weekend more than 100 million people will watch the Superbowl, many of whom will watch for the television ads as much as the game, itself. One of the ads scheduled for game time is called, “Change Up the Usual,” and is a 30-second spot purchased by Stella Artois. The company ran a similar ad during last year’s Superbowl as well, the purpose being to not only promote its product but also to encourage people to support Water.org through the purchase of a Stella Artois chalice; a percentage of the purchase goes to the organization, whose mission, according to its website, is “to bring water and sanitation to the world.”
Launched in 2009, Water.org is the result of two organizations combining: WaterPartners, co-founded by Gary White in 1990, and H2O Africa, co-founded by actor Matt Damon in 2006. Since its launch, Water.org has helped over 16 million people gain access to clean water and sanitation. Although the organization’s mission is about water and sanitation, it is not actually involved in obtaining water for people. Fundamentally, it is a “microfinancing organization,” providing affordable loans to people who need access to funds to make water and toilet available in their homes.
Over the years, many non-profits have addressed water issues by installing water wells for a community, but wells are not always the best solution, especially for those located far from an established community. For those people, other solutions become possible with Water.org, enabling them to “take out a loan to pay for the construction of a deep borehole well, which siphons clean water deep in the ground, or a large container to catch and store rainwater.”
In recent years, Water.org has seen increased success in social impact investing with the creation of WaterEquity, an impact investment manager. “WaterEquity’s funds invest in a portfolio of water and sanitation enterprises to increase the availability and affordability of the capital needed to support life-changing loans…that have the potential to break [people] out of cycles of poverty.”
As the trend of impact investing continues to gain more traction, we will see more companies, like Stella Artois, invest in and partner with organizations like Water.org, encouraging people not only to buy their product but also to inspire them to help make a difference in the world.
 “About Water.org – Learn About Our Water NGO.” Water.org, water.org/about-us/.
 McCarthy, Joe. “Matt Damon Has Helped 16 Million People Get Access to Water.” Global Citizen, 25 Jan. 2019, www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/matt-damon-waterorg/.
 Gharib, Malaka. “Fact-Checking Matt Damon’s Clean Water Promise In A Super Bowl Ad.” NPR, NPR, 2 Feb. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/02/02/582664769/fact-checking-matt-damons-clean-water-promise-in-a-super-bowl-ad.
Photo Credit: Photo by Water.org (Flickr)