Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the relationship with VOSS water? Is Voss Foundation a corporate charity?
Voss Foundation is not a corporate charity. We are an independent 501(c)(3) public charity, founded by the directors of VOSS water as a separate entity. We have a distinct board of directors from VOSS of Norway ASA and, while VOSS is one of our largest donors, Voss Foundation sustains our own activities through public and private contributions, corporate sponsors, and strategic partnerships.
2. Does VOSS commit a fixed portion of its proceeds to Voss Foundation?
No. VOSS provides invaluable aid, both financial and in-kind, to support Voss Foundation and our work. VOSS has committed to continue to help Foundation raise money for and awareness of the water crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.
3. Is Voss Foundation a Norwegian charity? An American charity? An African charity?
Voss Foundation is registered as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity in the State of New York in the United States. That means that we have been designated as a worthy not-for-profit charitable organization. We file annual financial reports with the U.S. and New York, California, and Massachusetts State governments to maintain our status. We operate out of donated space in the VOSS Water offices in Oslo and New York City and conduct activities around the world.
4. Does Voss Foundation have an office or staff in Africa?
No. Voss Foundation fulfills our mission by partnering with organizations on the ground who have deep knowledge of and on-going relationships with the villages who are in need of access to clean water. We think it’s smarter to work with people who are already intimately acquainted with each region’s needs. We only partner with organizations whom we trust to help us implement sustainable projects that will meet the precise and diverse water needs of each individual community. We make sure all of our partners have a long-term plan with each community to ensure that the water project succeeds and can be maintained by the community for many years to come.
5. Can I build a well?
Yes! You can help us raise money and awareness for our projects! There are so many communities that need access to clean water. If you are interested in raising money for a specific project or want a well built in your own name, please contact us and we will begin working on it right away! See some examples of personal giving projects for inspiration!
6. Can Voss Foundation help me build my well? How do I become an implementing partner of Voss Foundation?
We are always happy to receive good and well-thought-out proposals! Please send us a narrative description of your proposed project, along with an itemized budget, work plan, and timeline. We will also need information about you or your organization. Contact us with your detailed proposal and we will get back to you if we are able to work with you.
7. How much does it cost to build a well or a water system?
That depends. Each of our projects is carefully planned with our partners on the ground and with the beneficiaries, to create a sustainable water solution tailor-made to the demands of the individual community. We have built simple hand-pump wells and complex solar-powered multi-tap water systems; a project can cost anywhere from $7,500 to $75,000.
We try to be as transparent as possible, so we don’t want to give you some statistical average — we will tell you exactly how much your specific project costs. We are happy to supply budgets and work plans to all of our donors who ask so that you know exactly where our — and your — money goes.
8. Why water?
9. How do you define a “water access point” and a “sanitation facility?”
Great question! To be consistent across projects and countries, we define a water access point as a tap, spigot, faucet, or other means of accessing clean water, and a sanitation facility as a toilet or a latrine. So, one well can service multiple water access points, whether it be at the hand pump, or piped to individual hand washing stations, taps, or sinks at village kiosks, health centers, schools, etc. It’s all about increasing access!
10. Okay, now I get it! How can I help?
There are so many ways to help! You can donate online or our US supporters can text the word “DROPBYDROP” to 44321 on your mobile phones. You can create your own personal giving page by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can shop our African Bazaar of crafts made in the regions where we work, or buy jewelry by Karen Egren for Voss Foundation. You can purchase a Stuart Franklin limited-edition photograph or help us organize an exhibit. You can attend a Women Helping Women event or organize one in your own area. If you or your organization have a skill, service or product that would help Voss Foundation, that is another great way to lend your support – contact us to discuss in-kind contributions as well. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on all of our activities!
11. I love Voss Foundation so much I want to work with you! Can I?
We are not currently hiring for any full-time positions, however, we sometimes have internships or project-based opportunities. Contact us if you want to get involved!