The mission of the American Water Charitable Foundation is to demonstrate American Water’s commitment to being a good neighbor, citizen and contributor to the communities where the company and its employees live, work and operate.
The vision for the American Water Charitable Foundation is to support employees in their own charitable endeavors, provide strong support for targeted disaster relief efforts throughout the year, and provide funding for higher-level initiatives related to clean water, conservation, education, and community sustainability. It does this through the following programs:
- Employee-Matching Gift Program
- Signature Program: ‘Building Better Communities’
- Volunteer Grant Program
- Disaster Relief Program
The American Water Charitable Foundation is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) private foundation. It is not a subsidiary of American Water Works Company, Inc. It is a separate legal entity, managed by its own Board of Trustees, Officers, and Committees. The Foundation is solely supported by contributions from American Water and by investment income of the Foundation. No customer funds are part of the American Water Charitable Foundation endowment.
The Foundation was launched in 2010 to maximize community involvement and to further align giving activities across all levels of the business. This is in addition to other corporate giving, which is outlined below in the Benefiting Our Communities section.
The Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funds.
Governance of the American Water
The Foundation’s Board of Trustees consists of senior leaders of American Water.
Supporting the Board of Trustees are Foundation Officers including American Water’s Manager of Corporate Responsibility (Foundation President) and Vice President and Treasurer (Treasurer).
In addition, an Employee Advisory Committee was established to support the Foundation’s employee giving programs and an Investment Committee to manage the Foundation’s assets. Over time, additional advisory committees may be added as other Foundation programs are developed.
More information about the Charitable Foundation can be found in our Corporate Responsibility Report.
Actions and Commitments
All active, full-time American Water employees are eligible to participate to a maximum of $1,000 per employee, per year. This can include participation in the Matching Gift or Volunteer Grant programs, or any combination thereof, to the $1,000 limit per employee.
The Matching Gift program provides funds to match employee donations to eligible nonprofit organizations. A minimum $25 donation is required to apply.
The Volunteer Grant program provides funds in recognition of employee volunteer time to eligible nonprofit organizations. Volunteer time is awarded on a sliding scale of $20 per hour. A minimum of 5 hours is required for a $100 donation or 50 hours maximum for $1,000.
The Disaster Relief program matches employee donations to disaster relief efforts via the American and Canadian Red Cross, up to a certain ceiling per year, as designated by the Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Foundation established a signature program – 'Building Better Communities’ – to enhance public outdoor recreation sites, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.
Building Better Communities
The American Water Charitable Foundation, through partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), seeks to make a significant impact to the communities it serves through the ‘Building Better Communities’ initiative. This is a five-year program to:
- Create opportunities for nature-based play in local parks
- Educate communities about the environment, particularly water resource stewardship
- Encourage employee and community volunteerism
- Demonstrate American Water’s values
‘Building Better Communities’ has the following objectives:
- Enhance outdoor recreation sites within community parks through the creation of nature play-and-education areas. Park projects will provide for recreation and learning where there is need in American Water communities, including urban areas and water resources.
- Provide children and adults with the knowledge to appreciate the natural world generally, and water resources specifically. Education on the importance of environmental stewardship will include interpretive signage, educational kiosks, demonstration areas, and green infrastructure projects.
- Demonstrate American Water’s values through NRPA and local grantees who will provide local and national promotion, media engagement, community involvement, and donor recognition, highlighting the American Water Charitable Foundation as a community partner through a range of media and channels.
- Generate employee and community support opportunities for American Water employees, community residents, elected officials, city/county government, and local organizations.
Building Better Communities will create opportunities to engage a variety of individuals and organizations, through community workshops, tree plantings, trail clearing, stream bank stabilization, hydration at 5k run, parking at festival, and park dedication and ribbon cutting. Employees will be empowered to contribute their time and their experience through a variety of volunteer opportunities including donation of equipment and/or services that best fit each employee’s interest and community need.