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Toolkit

FUNDRAISING RESOURCES

Toolkit

Use this helpful toolkit to enhance your fundraising efforts in support of safe, clean water in all Indigenous communities.

About Water First

Thank you for choosing to fundraise for Water First! We’re excited that you have decided to support our work addressing water challenges in Indigenous communities in Canada. We hope that the resources below will help make your fundraiser a success.

Sustainable access to safe, clean water in Indigenous communities continues to be a critical issue in Canada. The challenges are complex and layered – and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Communities may face issues relating to infrastructure, source water quality or having enough people to manage water systems – or more than one of these issues at a time. Many Indigenous communities in Canada have identified the need for certified personnel to operate and maintain their drinking water treatment systems.

Water First partners with Indigenous communities that have identified education and training as part of the solution to the water crisis. Our programs support participants in developing technical skills to go on to employment or further education in water science fields. Participants build confidence in themselves and a passion for making positive change in their communities. Our programs also support Indigenous communities in strengthening capacity to manage and protect water resources for generations to come. Safe water needs skilled people.

Water First focuses its work in 3 program areas and has worked with over 70 Indigenous communities since 2009. Learn more about each of them here:

Many Indigenous communities in Canada have identified the need for more young, qualified, and local personnel to support solving water issues, independently and for the long term. However, there is a lack of locally available opportunities for young adults to gain the relevant skills and experiences.

Through a 15-month, paid internship, the Drinking Water Internship Program directly addresses this by supporting young Indigenous adults to become certified water treatment plant operators. This approach ensures sustainable access to safe drinking water in Indigenous communities for the long term.

Learn more about the Drinking Water Internship Program here.

While working with many Indigenous communities, we have heard time and again their vision of Indigenous-led land management. Communities want to manage water resources and track the effects of industry and climate change. As a result, they are seeking ways to strengthen their technical capacity to do so.

Water First consults with Indigenous partners about long-term environmental water goals. Based on local training needs, we design a custom training program related to fish habitat restoration, water quality monitoring, mapping, and data management.

Learn more about the Environmental Water Program here.

It’s important to get school-aged children interested in and excited about water science, so more Indigenous voices can be part of water management into the future. That’s why we offer Indigenous students the most impassioned, empowering and exciting water science learning opportunities possible.

Water First delivers fun, engaging, and hands-on STEM-based water science programs to schools in Indigenous communities. These programs create opportunities for students to strengthen their understanding and relationship with the environment, and foster a love of water science. During the programs, students spend time on the land and in the classroom exploring topics using water science tools and Water First learning resources.

Learn more about the Indigenous Schools Water Program here.

Resources to learn more

Interested in learning more about Indigenous culture and history before you begin fundraising? We’ve compiled a list of resources to help develop a greater understanding of the water challenges facing many Indigenous communities in Canada and to provide more context for the work that we do.

Check out our resources document here!

Where to direct your support

FY 2022-2023 Expenditures

When planning your fundraiser, you can direct your support to one of our core programs (See above) or choose to give to where the need is greatest (we like that option the best). Giving to where the need is greatest allows us to plan for the future and helps us be able to pivot to meet the needs of community partners.

Take a look at the graph to the left to see how your support is distributed throughout the organization!

How to set up your fundraiser

We recommend using CanadaHelps, a trusted, user-friendly platform that allows you to reach out across the globe to connect with others interested in helping address clean water solutions in Indigenous communities.

Water First manages online fundraising pages for businesses and groups through CanadaHelps, an online charity organization that facilitates the payment process and keeps your information confidential.

Ready to start fundraising? Connect to the CanadaHelps Guide below.

If you prefer to fundraise offline, or the online platform doesn’t make sense for your audience or event, don’t worry; you can still fundraise! We have printed materials below, including posters and pledge forms that you can use to promote your fundraiser and collect donor information to issue tax receipts for eligible donations.

Language

Language to use

We want to help you feel confident speaking about our work, whether on your fundraising page itself, on social media, in a newsletter, on your school announcements, or whenever you want to tell people about your fundraiser!

Below you can find some language suggestions to help you speak about Water First and about your fundraiser online or in person. You may copy and paste these captions directly, though we would love for you to make your content your own by adding something personal. You can also find this information in our Language Guide here

Tips:

  • Remember to tag us on social media! (Our handles are listed below)
  • Don’t forget to include the link to your fundraising page in your caption. 
  • Use some of our hashtags: #MuchMoreThanWater, #SafeWaterNeedsSkilledPeople
  • Encourage your supporters to check out our website or reach out to us to learn more or ask additional questions.
  • Expect when tagging our social media accounts (@waterfirstngo), please refer to us as Water First or Water First Education & Training Inc., not WaterFirst, Water First Charity, Water First NGO, Water First Initiative, etc.

Sustainable access to safe, clean water in Indigenous communities in Canada continues to be a challenge today. Water challenges are complex, and infrastructure and technology alone cannot solve the water crisis. Having enough skilled people to operate and maintain the systems is also critical. Safe water needs skilled people. 

Water First is a Canadian charity that partners with communities that have identified education and training as part of the solution to the water crisis. To support the next generation of water scientists, Water First works with Indigenous communities to deliver education and training programs that help participants develop technical skills to go on to employment or further education in water science fields.

[I am/we are] fundraising for Water First to support the next generation of Indigenous water treatment plant operators and water scientists and help address water challenges sustainably and for the long term.

Click here to learn more and to support [my/our] fundraiser, click here: [link]

Access to safe, clean water is a basic human right, yet many Indigenous communities in Canada continue to face complex water challenges. That’s why [I’m/we’re] proud to be fundraising for Water First, a Canadian charity that partners with Indigenous communities across Canada to deliver education and training programs to support the next generation of water treatment plant operators and water scientists. Together, we can help address these challenges sustainably and for the long term. Click the link to learn more and to support [my/our] fundraiser! [link]

Access to safe water is a basic human right, yet many Indigenous communities still face complex water challenges. That’s why [I’m/we’re] fundraising for Water First. They partner with communities to provide education and training programs for the next generation of Indigenous water scientists. Let’s help address these challenges sustainably. Learn more and & support [my/our] fundraiser: [link]

Sustainable access to safe, clean water in Indigenous communities continues to be an issue in Canada. Technology alone does not provide clean and reliable drinking water; the people who run the systems are critical.

Many Indigenous communities in Canada have identified the need for more young, qualified, and local personnel to support solving water issues, independently and for the long term. However, there is a lack of locally available opportunities for young adults to gain the relevant skills and experiences.

Water First is a Canadian charity that partners with communities that have identified education and training as part of the solution to the water crisis. Their Drinking Water Internship Program is a 15-month paid and locally-delivered internship that supports young Indigenous adults to become certified water treatment plant operators.

[I am/we are] fundraising for Water First to support the next generation of Indigenous water treatment plant operators and help address water challenges sustainably and for the long term.

Click here to learn more and to support [my/our] fundraiser, click here: [link]

Access to safe, clean water is a critical and complex issue for many Indigenous communities in Canada. One thing is certain:  the people who run the systems that are critical. However, there is a lack of locally-available opportunities for young Indigenous adults to gain the relevant skills and experiences. 

That’s why [I’m/we’re] fundraising for Water First’s Drinking Water Internship Program,a 15-month paid and locally-delivered internship that helps young Indigenous adults become certified water treatment plant operators.

By supporting the Internship Program, we are supporting a critical part of the solution to ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water in Indigenous communities for the long term. Join us in supporting this important cause by clicking the link to learn more and donate today: [link]

Access to safe, clean water is a critical issue for many indigenous communities in Canada. That’s why [I’m/we’re] fundraising for Water First’s Drinking Water Internship Program. It provides young Indigenous adults with the skills and experience to become certified water treatment plant operators, ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water. Learn more & support [my/our] fundraiser: [link]

Many Indigenous communities face unique challenges when it comes to managing water resources – from tracking the effects of industry and climate change, to understanding fish health and population dynamics. No matter the challenge, many communities have identified technical skills training as critical to building capacity to address those challenges.

Water First is a Canadian charity that partners with communities that have identified education and training as part of the solution to the water crisis.

Their Environmental Water Program designs and delivers training programs based on community-identified priorities to support Indigenous communities in building the technical skills to manage water and fish resources independently and for the long term. Communities start by identifying the specific water projects they want to focus on. Through each project, they build the skills, knowledge and experience to work on restoration and conservation projects in the future.

[I am/we are] fundraising for Water First to support the next generation of Indigenous water scientists and help address water challenges sustainably and for the long term.

Click here to learn more and to support [my/our] fundraiser, click here: [link]

Access to safe, clean water is a critical issue for many Indigenous communities in Canada. Each community faces unique challenges when it comes to managing water resources – from tracking the effects of industry and climate change, to understanding fish health and population dynamics. Many communities have identified technical skills training as critical to building capacity to address those challenges.

That’s why [I’m/we’re] fundraising for Water First’s Environmental Water Program. This program designs and delivers training programs based on community-identified priorities to support Indigenous communities in building the technical skills to manage water and fish resources independently and for the long term.

By supporting Water First, we’re supporting a critical part of the solution to ensuring sustainable access to safe, clean water in Indigenous communities for the long term. Join us in supporting this important cause by clicking the link to learn more and donate today: [link]

Access to safe, clean water is a critical issue for many Indigenous communities in Canada, and each community faces unique challenges when it comes to managing water resources. Water First’s Environmental Water Program provides technical skills training programs based on community priorities to help build the technical skills to manage water and fish resources independently and for the long term. Learn more and support my fundraiser here: [link]

Considering the water crisis faced by many Indigenous communities, there is a profound underrepresentation of Indigenous voices in Canada’s water governance. Couple this with a lack of employment and education opportunities for Indigenous youth and it becomes clear that it is critical we continue to offer Indigenous students the most impassioned, empowering, and exciting water science education learning opportunities possible.

Certified educators at Water First have developed comprehensive programs that create opportunities for students to strengthen their relationship with the environment, and foster a love of education and water science.

Our programs, designed for K-12 students, include multiple hands-on STEM workshops that explore custom curricular and local water science concepts. Students spend time on the land and in the classroom exploring these topics using water science tools and Water First learning resources. Working in collaboration with community members, students gain a greater understanding of their local geography and watershed. They also learn about the role they can play, as students and as young professionals, in protecting their water resources.

Water First is honoured to have engaged with schools in over 30 communities in Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, and Manitoba, so far. Witnessing students’ excitement and interest in the field of water science is inspiring.

[I am/we are] fundraising for Water First to support the next generation of Indigenous water scientists and help address water challenges sustainably and for the long term.

Click here to learn more and to support [my/our] fundraiser, click here: [link]

The underrepresentation of Indigenous voices in Canada’s water governance, coupled with the lack of education and employment opportunities for indigenous youth, makes it critical to offer the most empowering and exciting water science education possible. Water First’s certified educators have developed K-12 programs that provide hands-on STEM workshops and explore local water science concepts, fostering a love of education and the environment. Let’s support the next generation of Indigenous water scientists by fundraising for Water First’s Indigenous Schools Water Program. Click the link to learn more and donate today: [link].

Indigenous youth face a lack of opportunities in water science education. [I’m/We’re] fundraising for Water First’s Schools Program to provide students in Indigenous communities in Canada with hands-on STEM workshops to learn about local water science concepts and spend time on the land. Join [me/us] in supporting the next generation of water scientists: [link]

Language to avoid

Avoid using phrases such as “Water First brings clean drinking water to Indigenous communities.”

Water First works in skills training and education; we do not bring water bottles to communities or work in infrastructure at all.

Instead, consider saying: “Water First works with Indigenous communities across Canada to address critical water challenges through education and training”.

Avoid using phrases such as “Water First is solving the water crisis.”

The water challenges faced by many Indigenous communities in Canada are complex and unique to each community. In some communities, local concerns may be around infrastructure; for others, source water contamination. And numerous communities have challenges recruiting and training young Indigenous adults to join the drinking water field.

Water First programs are just one part of a solution to the water crisis facing many Indigenous communities. We work with communities that see training and education as a solution to their water challenges.

Avoid referencing the government when speaking about our work.

Water First is a non-governmental organization and therefore please avoid speaking about the government when referencing our work.

Avoid referring to Water First as an Indigenous organization.

Water First is a multicultural organization led by the voices of the Indigenous youth and young adults who participate in our programs, Indigenous staff and board members, local community partners, and by members of our Indigenous Advisory Council.

Our collaborations are built on respect and meaningful partnerships, with Indigenous youth and community partners at the heart of our work.

Fundraising on Specific Dates

Fundraising can happen at any time of the year and we appreciate your support! 

If you’re looking for a ‘hook’ to kick-off or touch down your campaign, or a one-day theme to focus on, here are some awareness days related to Water First’s mission that can boost your reach. The following are dates when Water First is particularly active on social media; you can also help by amplifying Water First’s messages on these dates, such as sharing our posts and stories.

  • On International Day of Education (January 24), let’s remember the critical role of education in ensuring safe, clean water in Indigenous communities in Canada.
  • Many Indigenous communities in Canada have identified the need for more young, qualified, and local personnel to support solving water issues. However, there aren’t enough local opportunities for young adults to gain the relevant skills and experiences.
  • Water First is a Canadian charity that delivers education and training programs related to water science and drinking water for Indigenous youth and young adults.
  • They partner with communities that know how important education and training is to having sustainable access to safe, clean drinking water– for now, and for the future. 
  • Join [me/us] in fundraising for Water First this year, and help support water science education opportunities for Indigenous youth and young adults across Canada.
  • February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
  • Indigenous women are water carriers and play an integral role in addressing the water crisis in Indigenous communities. Despite their important role, Indigenous women are underrepresented in STEM fields.
  • Water First is committed to supporting Indigenous women and girls in science through locally-based water science education and skills training programs.
  • They provide technical training and education opportunities for Indigenous women to become future water operators and water scientists and build careers in STEM fields.
  • This year, [I’m/we’re] fundraising for Water First to help support Indigenous women and girls across Canada in becoming water scientists.
  • National Indigenous Water Operators Day (NIWOD) (March 21) celebrates the critical role of water treatment plant operators in Indigenous communities in Canada, who work passionately to provide safe and clean drinking water. 
  • Skilled people are essential to ensuring safe water in Indigenous communities. Water First’s Drinking Water Internship Program supports young Indigenous adults to become certified water treatment plant operators and build careers in water management. 
  • Today, and every day, we honour the contributions of Indigenous water operators across the country and show our support for community-driven solutions to the water crisis in Canada.
  • This #NIWOD, [I’m/we’re] fundraising for Water First to help support the next generation of Indigenous water treatment plant operators.
  • Access to safe and clean water is a fundamental human right. The water challenges that many Indigenous communities in Canada continue to face are unacceptable.
  • On World Water Day–and every day–we celebrate the Indigenous youth and young adults in the water science field, whether they are training for or have already started their careers. Safe water needs skilled people.
  • Water First programs support participants in developing technical skills to go on to employment or further education in water science fields. They build confidence in themselves and a passion for making positive change in their communities.
  • These programs also support Indigenous communities in strengthening capacity to manage and protect water resources for generations to come.
  • This World Water Day, I’m fundraising for Water First to help support the next generation of Indigenous water scientists.
  • On Earth Day, April 22, we recognize the critical importance of protecting our planet’s natural resources and ensuring sustainable access to safe, clean water for all. 
  • Indigenous peoples have long recognized the intrinsic connection between water and the health of the planet, and have been at the forefront of advocating for the protection and preservation of water resources.
  • The water crisis facing many Indigenous communities in Canada is not only a human rights issue, but also an environmental issue, as the lack of access to safe and clean water can have devastating effects on ecosystems, wildlife and livelihoods. 
  • This Earth Day, [I am/we are] supporting Water First Education & Training Inc., a charitable organization that collaborates with Indigenous communities across Canada on water science education and skills training programs based on community-identified needs.
  • World Teachers Day, October 5th, is an opportunity to celebrate the invaluable contributions of teachers, who empower people through education. 
  • When it comes to the water challenges facing Indigenous communities, education is critical. After all, safe water needs skilled people.
  • Water First’s certified educators deliver water science education and training programs directly in Indigenous communities and work closely with local teachers. By providing hands-on learning experiences and technical skills training, they support young Indigenous adults to pursue careers or further education in the water sciences.
  • On this special day, I am fundraising on behalf of Water First to support them in delivering water science education and training programs in Indigenous communities across Canada. Your support on World Teachers Day will help prepare and empower the next generation of water leaders and make a real difference in Indigenous communities.

Social Media Handles

Don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts! Below are the platforms we use and our handles.

Instagram

@waterfirstngo

Facebook

@waterfirstngo

Twitter

@waterfirstngo

TikTok

@waterfirstngo

LinkedIn

Water First NGO

YouTube

Water First Education & Training Inc.

Photos

Photos can help enhance your fundraiser by providing visual elements that help your audience understand the cause that you are fundraising for. The images below, which have been separated into our three main programs, are free to use to explain Water First and our work, and to help create a visually captivating look to your fundraiser.  The photos that have been selected best highlight Water First and our work with Indigenous communities.

To download a photo:

  1. Click on the program you’re interested in fundraising for. This will open up a Google Drive folder in a new window.
  2. Double click on the image you would like to download.
  3. On a Desktop, click the Download button in the top right corner of your screen. On a mobile device, click on the three dots in the top right corner of your screen. Click Send a copy, then click Save Image.

Drinking Water Internship Program

Environmental Water Program

Indigenous Schools Water Program

Logos

Want to add the Water First logo to your website or social media? Well, here you go!

Click on the type of file you would like to download below. You can then choose whether you would like a blue or white logo. Once you click on the logo of your choice, it will open in a new tab. You can then right-click the image and download it.

How to use our logo:

  • Please only use the logos provided here.
  • Do not manipulate the logo in any way — Colour and image proportion must not be altered:
    • Do not change the shade of blue.
    • Do not make the logo wider or narrower.
    • Do not crop the logo.
  • Please include adequate clear space free from all other visual elements, including text, on all sides of the logo.*
    • *If placing the logo on an image, please use an appropriate version of the logo to ensure visibility (i.e. if the background is light, use the blue logo. If the background is dark, use the white logo).

Newsletter Inserts

Streaming Materials

Donors fundraising for us come from a variety of spaces and through different avenues. We welcome and appreciate this at Water First, because it means that support can come in ways in which our supporters are most inspired. Some of our supporters are now fundraising for us by streaming on Twitch!

If you are interested in using your streaming presence to fundraise through Tiltify, a crowdfunding platform that allows streamers to fundraise for a charity of their choice, we’ve created Water First banners and transitions to help personalize your support for our work.

Printable Materials

Feel free to use these printable materials to help make tracking your donations easier, and to showcase your progress to your supporters.

FAQ

Sending cash in the mail is risky. The best thing to do is to add up the total donations and either provide a cheque for the total amount, donate via credit card or paypal directly on our website, get a bank draft, or send the funds via electronic fund transfer to Water First. Please contact Teresa McDonald-Thuro at teresa.mcdonald-thuro@waterfirst.ngo for EFT over $3000. 

Don’t worry, individual donors can still get tax receipts (for donations over $10). Simply use the pledge forms to collect all of the necessary information (name, address, email address, the amount donated).

If you made a personal donation over $10, then yes! If you collected funds from other people, those individual donations, as well as the total amount from your fundraiser, are not eligible for tax receipts. We will send an acknowledgement receipt to you once we’ve received the funds/donation.

If you collect their names, addresses, the amounts they donated (must be over $10) using pledge forms and give this information to us when you donate, then yes!

Donations can be made by cheque or cash and collected by the host fundraiser or sent to:

Water First Education & Training, 10 Francis Street East, Creemore, ON L0M 1G0

Cash can be dropped off at our office come drop it off and meet the team.

Water First does not encourage individual donors or third-party fundraisers to go door-to-door to collect funds. The best way to spread the word is to share your fundraiser’s campaign page (CanadaHelps) with friends and family.

Contact Us

Have we missed anything? Is there anything else you might need that could help make your fundraiser even better? Let us know! We’re always excited to hear your new ideas.

If you need any support or guidance, or just want to chat about your awesome fundraising ideas, feel free to contact us! 

teresa.mcdonald-thuro@waterfirst.ngo
1-800-970-8467 ext. 118

 

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Water plant operator in the office