Whirlpool Foundation

Making real, positive differences in our communities by building strong foundations and unlocking potential.

The Whirlpool Foundation + The Washing Machine Project:

Reclaiming time, improving lives.

More than half the global population is washing clothes by hand which can take up to 20 hours per week. To help address this, the Whirlpool Foundation is supporting The Washing Machine Project, a grassroots organization that provides off-grid manual washing machines to people in low-income and displaced communities who don’t have access to stable electricity and/or running water. Together, we’ll deliver thousands of manual washing machines to communities and households across the world over the next five years. The collaboration is expected to impact an estimated 150,000 people and improve their quality of life, saving time for learning and income-generating activities.

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~60% of the global population¹, relies on hand washing

The Washing Machine Project Supported by Whirlpool Foundation logo lockup

Follow our journey with The Washing Machine Project

Three women in India pose with The Divya manual washing machine

The Whirlpool Foundation, A Legacy of Community Impact

More than half a century ago, Louis and Frederick Upton, two of Whirlpool Corporation’s founders, established the Whirlpool Foundation with a commitment to reinvest in the community. Their intent was to provide financial leadership support for nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in the communities where Whirlpool operates. Whirlpool Foundation will keep that decades-old promise, using new and innovative ways to make a lasting impact on society, with an emphasis on our home communities.

In addition to our formal programs, the Whirlpool Foundation addresses community issues through collaboration with leading community organizations to best leverage resources and broaden the impact of change and improvement.

Community Support

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Michigan

With its annual charity golf outing, over $1,300,000 or 65% of the private funds for the Club’s operations have been contributed. Whirlpool has contributed over $20 million in the Boys and Girls Club operations in the past 12 years.

Harbor Habitat for Humanity

Whirlpool provides $100,000 per year to the local Habitat for Humanity chapter for operations and home building.

First Tee of Benton Harbor

Over $225,000 is provided annually to support the education and programming for over 3,800 diverse youth annually.

Disaster Relief

When natural disasters occur, our people are among the first to respond. During emergencies, Whirlpool Corporation collaborates with disaster relief agencies such as the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity and supports employee/retiree giving.

United Way

Whirlpool Foundation and its employees contribute over $4 million annually for the United Way of Southwest Michigan.

Mosaic CCDA

Provide $50,000 in micro grant funding to provide technical assistance to five local entrepreneurs through a business accelerator program and support the Mosaic Transformation Center, helping people overcome poverty by becoming agents of change and providing barrier removal services including food, housing, transportation and workforce development opportunities.

Sons & Daughters Scholarships

Whirlpool Foundation annually recognizes and rewards children of employees for academic and personal achievements, leadership and community involvement. Since the first two scholarships in January of 1952, Whirlpool Foundation has provided more than 2,100 scholarships and honor awards worth over $17 million dollars to children of employees. Currently, over 100 Whirlpool Foundation scholarship and award recipients are pursuing degrees across the nation.

The Washing Machine Project

With The Washing Machine Project, a grassroots organization that provides off-grid manual washing machines to people in low-income and displaced communities, we’ll deliver manual washing machines to communities and households around the globe to help reclaim time and improve lives. In addition, employees will help build the manual washing machines and will help shape future models of manual washing machines.

¹The report estimates the resource consumption of roughly 590,000,000 washing machines in 38 countries with about 2.3 billion people, which is about one third of the world population.” [1] According to various sources, including the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, only 2 billion people today have access to washing machines, while the remaining 5 billion individuals, particularly women, resort to hand washing clothes, a labor-intensive and time-consuming task involving fetching water, heating it, and manual washing. [2][3][4] Notably, Hans Rosling, a renowned data analyst, states that since the 1950s, washing machines have become ubiquitous for approximately 2 billion people worldwide. [5] Rosling also highlights that around 2 out of 7 billion people globally have access to washing machines, leaving approximately 5 billion individuals, or 71.4%, who still hand wash their clothes. [6] The global population rose to 6.9 billion in 2010, with nearly all of that growth occurring in the world’s developing countries. [7] Utilizing the mathematical equation ((6.9 – 2.3) / 6.9) * 100 = 66.6%, we can approximate that around 60% of the world’s population washes clothes by hand.

For more information about the Whirlpool Foundation work in the community, see our latest Sustainability Report