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Donor support is critical to the Water Institute. 

The Water Institute is a practice-based organization within an academic institution. The Institute works directly to identify and solve technical and policy challenges that are present in-the-field today. Its mission is to demonstrate the health, economic, and security impacts of water challenges; to solve real-world problems where they exist; and to provide unique research and learning opportunities for students and faculty.  

This can make the work of the Water Institute challenging to fund. As an affiliated institute of the #1 public school of public health and a part of one of the nation’s premier tier 1 research institutes (UNC-Chapel Hill), donors must buy into our academic mission. Donors must support our dual mission of scientific excellence as well as student engagement and research. 

It is also difficult to secure grant funds for much of the work the Institute does – grants can often support the science, but rarely give the Institute the flexibility to engage opportunistically to use that science to inform policy and practice and change the way the world works on water. Grants also, generally, do not support investing in and expanding the student experience – a key aspect of preparing the next generation of WASH leaders.

Opportunities for support

  • Student internships and fellowships: Gives the student exposure to a real-world work environment and to a broader set of professionals within and outside the sector.
  • Students and faculty support: Direct support to students, staff, and faculty working directly on Water Institute research and activities as they build the institutional capacity and individual scientific capabilities.
  • Special Initiatives/Programs: Help support WI conferences, our policy digests, our policy journal, our innovation award, the Water, Peace and Security Program, the Water Quality Sciences and Innovation Program and the Water Science and Innovation Lab.

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