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] As of their 2012 Annual Report, One Drop has raised nearly $52 million over its most recent five-year period, with funds allocated to programs meant to provide permanent safe water to over 340,000 people.[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 One Drop tournament would be held as a competition within the larger WSOP series of tournaments held each summer in Las Vegas.

The first such tournament, known as The Big One for One Drop, was held as part of the 2012 WSOP, and had a record per person buy-in of US$1 million (all figures in this section will be US$).[3] The WSOP waived its normal 10% rake of the entry fees, and $111,111 of each buy-in went to the Foundation.[3] The 48 seats available in the event were filled, creating a poker record first prize of $18.3 million[4] and a donation to One Drop of $5.33 million. Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber, ineligible to play, donated $111,111 while One Drop founder Laliberté donated his entire fifth-place winnings of $1.83 million, for a total donation of $7.28 million from this single tournament game.[4][5]

The One Drop relationship continued at the 2013 WSOP, with two tournaments held. There was a $111,111 buy-in One Drop High Rollers event, with $3,333 going to the Foundation—the 166 entries resulted in $0.55 million for the Foundation.[6] A second event, The Little One for One Drop, was a $1,111 buy-in with $111 going to the Foundation—the 4,756 entries resulted in $0.53 million for the Foundation.[6]

The "Big One" event returned for the 2014 WSOP, with the 42 entries raising $4.67 million for the Foundation.[6] The 2014 "Little One" event saw 4,496 entries provide an additional $0.50 million to the Foundation.

As part of the initial 2012 event, Caesars announced that One Drop has become an official charity of the WSOP, and it encouraged all players who cashed during any tournament at the 2012 WSOP to donate 1% of their winnings to One Drop.[7] Labelled the "All in for One Drop", the 2013 campaign saw 458 players contribute $0.25 million of their winnings from tournaments held during the 2013 WSOP.[6]


  1. ^ Annual Report 2009, ONE DROP
  2. ^ Annual Report 2012, 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. ^ a b c d "BIG ONE FOR ONE DROP RAISES OVER $4.6 MILLION FOR CHARITY" (Press release). Caesers Interactive Entertainment. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-09-01. 
  7. ^ "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]

Category-profit organizations based in Canada