One Drop Foundation

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The One Drop Foundation is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based out of Montreal, Canada. An initiative of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, the foundation's mission is to fight poverty worldwide by supporting access to water and raising individual and community awareness of the need to mobilize so that safe water is accessible to everyone.

The approach[edit]

Convinced that a comprehensive, planetary approach is required to pursue its mission, One Drop works on three levels:

  1. Making water accessible to those deprived of this resource;
  2. Raising awareness among individuals and communities of water-related issues, the need to mobilize and the importance of adopting responsible water-management practices;
  3. Helping put water at the heart of public debate and international agendas.

Arts and culture[edit]

Inspired by Cirque du Soleil and its Cirque du Monde program, One Drop uses circus arts, folklore, popular theatre, music, dance and visual arts to raise awareness of water-related issues, promote the sharing of wealth and encourage people to take action, in both the South and the North.

Developing countries[edit]

One Drop carries out projects to give impoverished communities in developing countries. For its projects, One Drop has designed what it calls a “tripod approach,” as it is based on three complementary components:

  • The technical component is aimed at improving access to water and promoting responsible water management and preservation principles;
  • The microfinance component is aimed at granting loans to populations who already have better access to water so they may start productive revenue-generating activities, thus ensuring project sustainability;
  • The social arts and popular education component is designed to raise collective awareness as well as educate and mobilize the population on water-related issues.

Developed countries[edit]

In developed countries, One Drop's activities are aimed at raising individual and community awareness of water-related issues, both on a local and international level, and of the need to mobilize. In addition, these activities not only urge each and every one to use water responsibly, they also play a role in putting the issue of water at the heart of public debate.


Guy Laliberté has pledged to donate C$100 million to the organization over 25 years.[1] Since One Drop's beginning in 2007, $41 million is the amount raised and pledged.[2] With these donations, the foundation had given roughly 25,000 people access to water all across the globe.[2]


In 2011, Laliberté teamed with Caesars Entertainment, owner of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), to launch a major poker tournament to benefit the organization. The tournament, known as The Big One for One Drop, was held as part of the 2012 WSOP, and had a record buy-in of US$1 million.[3] The WSOP waived its normal 10% rake of the entry fees, and 11.1% of the buy-in (more precisely, $111,111) went to the foundation.[3] Ultimately, all 48 seats available in the event were filled, creating a first prize of US$18.3 million[4] and a donation to One Drop of US$5.44 million, including a 49th/personal $111,111 donation from Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber, who was ineligible to play because of his role with the company.[4] Laliberté made the final table of The Big One and finished in fifth place; he donated his entire winnings of US$1,834,666 to the foundation, for a total donation of US$7.28 million from this single tournament game.[5]

Caesars announced that One Drop has become an official charity of the WSOP, and it encouraged all players who cashed during the 2012 WSOP to donate 1% of their winnings to One Drop.[6]


  1. ^ Annual Report 2009, ONE DROP
  2. ^ a b Annual Report 2010, ONE DROP
  3. ^ a b "WSOP Announces $1 Million Buy-In Tournament in Conjunction with One Drop" (Press release). World Series of Poker. June 2, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Dalla, Nolan (June 30, 2012). "The Biggest One—World's Most Spectacular Poker Extravaganza Starts Sunday". World Series of Poker. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ Dalla, Nolan (July 3, 2012). "Antonio Esfandiari Pulls Off Amazing Trick by Winning One Drop". Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "One Drop Designated as an Official Charity of WSOP" (Press release). World Series of Poker. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]