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News Release - Nov. 8, 2023

Lifewater ranked among Canada’s 10 most impactful charities for the FIFTH year in a row

Selected again as one of the best charities in the nation to which Canadians can confidently donate

Thunder Bay, ON – Nov. 8, 2023 – Lifewater Canada, a non-profit organization providing safe accessible water to people in Africa and Haiti, has been ranked for the FIFTH consecutive year as one of the 10 best charities in Canada for ensuring the donations they receive achieve meaningful impact in people’s lives.

The top-10 ranking comes from Charity Intelligence, an independent Toronto-based entity that monitors the performance of more than 850 non-profit organizations in Canada. Each year, Charity Intelligence compiles its “Top 10 Impact Charities” list. The 2023 list was posted today at

“Over $18 billion was given to charities by Canadian donors last year and a significant portion of that is going to less effective charities,” says Greg Thomson, Charity Intelligence’s Director of Research. “Donors often focus on the reputation of the charity or they get distracted by salaries or administrative costs when what really matters is understanding the impact charities have.

“Of the 300 Canadian charities we have analysed for impact, these Top 10 have the highest measurable demonstrated impact. Our calculations estimate this group of Top 10 Impact Charities delivers average returns of roughly six dollars for every dollar donated, compared with overall average charity returns of only about 1.5 dollars.”

In addition to including Lifewater in its Top 10 overall impact list, Charity Intelligence again included Lifewater among a list of the top 10 Canadian charities focused on international relief and development.

“We are honoured to be rated so highly by Charity Intelligence year after year,” Lifewater president Lynda Gehrels said. “It is a testament to the enormous efforts of our well-drilling and repair teams in Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Haiti. These teams are led by local people – trained and equipped by Lifewater – who are deeply committed to providing safe water in one community after another.”

Thanks to the effectiveness of these overseas teams, and the generosity of its supporters, Lifewater Canada has undergone dramatic growth in recent years – completing more than 3,660 water projects in fiscal 2023 compared to 2,093 in fiscal 2022, 960 in fiscal 2021, and 652 in fiscal 2020.

Each project has a dedicated page on the website with photos, GPS coordinates, information about the benefiting community, and a thank-you note from community leaders – so donors can easily see what impact their support is achieving.

Lifewater also posts regularly updated data concerning the number of total beneficiaries, local economic impact, additional hours in school each month for children who no longer need to walk long distances every day to fetch water and how many additional hours girls are in the classroom to improve their lives.

The World Health Organization says about 505 million people in the developing world are dying each year from diarrheal diseases (including dysentery and cholera) caused by dirty water and inadequate sanitation. That means someone – usually a child – is dying every 63 seconds.

In response to this ongoing tragedy, Lifewater is drilling new wells and repairing old ones, fixing broken handpumps, installing rainwater catchment systems, constructing toilets and handwashing stations, and providing vital health and hygiene training. More than 6.1 million people, including 1.3 million in fiscal 2023, have benefited since Lifewater became a registered Canadian charity in 1997.

About Charity Intelligence:

Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Its website posts free reports on more than 850 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors including Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. More than 500,000 Canadians use the website to access information about Canadian charities, reading the site’s reports at least 1.6 million times. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable, and focused on results.

About Lifewater Canada:

Lifewater Canada has been headquartered in Thunder Bay, ON, since its beginnings in 1997. Led by Jim Gehrels until his death in 2020, and by his wife Lynda since then, Lifewater has only a handful of part-time and full-time employees spread across four Canadian provinces. All work from their homes to help ensure Lifewater’s administration, fundraising, and salary costs stay consistently below 10% of the total budget. Together, this small team coordinates water projects in Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Haiti. To support Lifewater, go to

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Every $1 you give provides a child with safe water for a year!

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