For over fifteen years, the One Drop Foundation has worked to better the world in many ways. Poker players may be familiar with their name, as they’ve partnered with major poker tournament organizers throughout their history. That connection isn’t surprising, as the Foundation was created by poker lover and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. You might remember him from some infamous moments on High Stakes Poker.
Now, the One Drop Foundation has found a new poker partner in the World Poker Tour. To talk about this new partnership, I had the pleasure to connect with One Drop’s Chief Marketing and Events Officer, Alexandre Meunier. Everyone should be excited about what this relationship will bring, especially poker players.
Thanks for your time and for sitting down with me Alexandre. First of all, could you talk about One Drop’s mission for those who may not be familiar?
Thanks for having me! One Drop’s objective is to provide access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene; because these three things go together. We have an approach that we call ‘A. B. C. for sustainability.’ ‘A’ stands for ‘access’ because you need to have access to water. Then ‘behavior,’ because sometimes behaviors need to be changed so the access to water can be sustainable over time. Finally, the “C” stands for “capital,” because there are entrepreneurs everywhere we go who can multiply our efforts and carry on our work after we are gone.
What goes into your projects, and what kind of reach do they bring?
Most of our programs last between four to six years. They require investments between two to ten million dollars. We are currently active in seven countries in Latin America, Africa, and India. At the end of our existing project portfolio, we will have transformed the lives of 2.7 million people through access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. One Drop is also the creator of an approach we call “Social Art for Behavior Change.” We look at what will be sustainable in each specific project. Once identified, we use art to accomplish that because art triggers emotion. We don’t call the people participating in our projects beneficiaries. They are participants. We want to give them autonomy so we can move our focus to another location, and this will create a ripple effect.
One Drop has a rich history with poker. Why does this new partnership with the WPT make sense for your foundation?
For so many reasons! The most obvious one is that we share common values. As a charity, we want to make sure that we always engage in partnerships with those who share our vision. The World Poker Tour is very ambitious about this partnership. They see us working together for some time doing things that are extremely ambitious. Also, you can have the best partnership on paper, but it’s also about the people. I’ve had the chance to speak with WPT management and their President; they are unbelievable people. They have a rich history of supporting charities. They’ve raised $45 million dollars since their inception. So, it’s really two powerhouses coming together to elevate the game. They also have a global footprint when it comes to television and broadcasting, which will help our cause to be known.
Shifting to the poker experience, what excites you about partnering with the WPT?
The WPT is the best in class when it comes to the player experience. They really focus on giving the players the best possible service; the players are at the center of their focus. This is core to our values. We partner with people in our initiatives because we want to transform their lives. When you are an organization that raises money, you need to take care of the people that help you raise that money to transform people’s lives. Seeing the same values in the WPT makes it a dream partnership, it’s a fairy tale for us.
If poker players want to get involved with One Drop, what are the best ways to do so?
For poker players, the natural way would be to play our events! They’re not typical charity events where 100% of the money raised is going to charity. We still want it to make financial sense for players. It’s always something that is similar to the rake that a casino would charge. At the same time, they’ll know they are playing for a good cause. Another way, some of these people have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media sites. So, using their platform to spread our message and highlight our cause is always appreciated. Of course, if they win something and are feeling generous, they can always visit our website and click the donation button there.
On that note, One Drop has been a part of some amazing events, such as the $1 million buy-in “All In for One Drop” tournament. Can we expect similar events in the future hosted by the WPT?
That is all very much happening, but I’m sorry, I can’t quite give specific details yet. But, the word that keeps coming to mind is ambitious. There will be another announcement soon, and we will be able to share much more.
Lucky for you, you don’t have to wait, for the first of such announcements by the WPT and One Drop has been made and shared in this article we just released highlighting two events to be played at the Wynn Summer Classic.
Our sincere gratitude goes out to Alexandre Meunier, the One Drop Foundation, and the World Poker Tour for this partnership, as well as to Mr. Meunier for his time speaking with us. We look forward to even more exciting things in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about the One Drop Foundation, visit their website here and consider making a donation to their cause. Otherwise, support them and the WPT on the felt starting this summer.