MIAMI – January 11, 2024 – The Elevate Prize Foundation announced today Matt Damon as the latest recipient of its Elevate Prize Catalyst Award in recognition of his long-standing advocacy and work with Water.org, a global nonprofit working to bring safe water and sanitation to the world. The award was presented to Damon by the Elevate Prize Foundation’s founder, Joseph Deitch, and its CEO, Carolina García Jayaram.
The Elevate Prize Catalyst Award recognizes prominent individuals who use their influence to inspire social action and provides $250,000 in unrestricted funding to advance their mission and scale their work, along with valuable development resources and partnership opportunities. In 2023, the Elevate Prize Foundation presented the award to Michael J. Fox in recognition of his work toward accelerating new therapies and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award and support their mission to Make Good Famous. It’s a mission I profoundly believe in – solving the global water and sanitation crisis needs to be center stage,” said Water.org Co-Founder Matt Damon. “I am pledging the funds to Water.org to help reach 50,000 people across 11 different countries with safe water or sanitation. This award strengthens our resolve to keep pushing for a world where everyone has access to safe water, and to help everyone see the role they can play in ending the global water crisis.”
Since its inception, Water.org has been at the forefront of addressing the global water crisis, positively impacting millions of lives through WaterCredit, an innovative, scalable financing solution designed to help people in developing countries gain access to safe water and sanitation. It leverages small, affordable loans to enable individuals and communities to make essential water and sanitation improvements. Unlike traditional charity models, WaterCredit empowers people to address their needs sustainably through microfinancing.
“Matt Damon exemplifies the spirit of the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award. His dedication to solving one of the world’s most pressing issues—safe water and sanitation—is not only admirable but has created a ripple effect of positive change across the globe,” said Elevate Prize Foundation founder Joseph Deitch. “And it’s a true testament to the power of bringing visibility to work happening on the ground—through the innovation of Water.org and Matt’s dedication to amplifying the issue, the organization has reached more than half of its impact in the last five years alone. We look forward to collaborating with Matt and Water.org in helping continue to realize their goal of making water and sanitation accessible to 100 million people, driving social and systemic change, and inspiring others to be a part of the solution.”
The Elevate Prize Foundation continues its mission to catalyze social good by increasing the visibility of changemakers and inspiring others to action. Each year, the Foundation also celebrates community leaders who are making a significant impact worldwide through the Elevate Prize, providing them with substantial financial support and tailored services to help them amplify their stories, broaden their reach, and deepen their impact in making a positive difference in the world.
The next cohort of Elevate Prize winners is slated to be announced in February 2024. Each Elevate Prize winner will receive an unrestricted grant of $300,000, as well as two years of tailored support and resources, which include a combination of communications strategy, branding, social media training, and leadership development – all designed to help share their stories, reach a wider audience, deepen their impact, and ultimately Make Good Famous.