Catholic Relief Services

Rating: 4.42 stars   59 reviews

Issues: Disaster Aid, Religion

Location: 228 West Lexington Street Baltimore MD 21201 USA

Mission:

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to:

  • Promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and,
  • Serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.

As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, we work with local, national and international Catholic institutions and structures, as well as other organizations, to assist people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality.


Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 100 million people
Geographic areas served: International
Programs: Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. With more than 70 years of experience, we alleviate suffering and provide assistance to people in need in 91 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 13-5563422
888-277-7575
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Community Reviews

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

service and accompaniment with those living at the margins and in emergency situations, regardless of nationality or creed. Employs local people to lead and partner on local problems to find sustainable solutions. Upholds the dignity of each human being and is a great representative of any U.S. Catholic or other engaged citizen of the world.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've seen the work Catholic Relief Services does firsthand in Ghana, Africa, and have heard presentations stateside about the work they've done in Pakistan, Haiti, and Southeast Asia. I have made a purposeful effort to get to know the staff in my region and some from the national office. They all show a dedication to humanity and emphasize sound principles in assisting those in need. They emphasize development rather than simply charity, and empowerment of local people. They hire local people primarily and have only a small number of domestic staff in the United States. I respect so much that they serve those in needs from their religious principals, but they do not require or recruit those they serve to join or participate any particular religion or religious activity. They build partnerships with local members of the community and educate American donors in an effort toward global solidarity. They are my primary charitable organization because I believe they use their money so wisely and I admire their principles, their work, and their staff.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In an immersion trip to Ghana, West Africa. I visited the free clinic they support and the saw the agriculture, health, and education headquarters in Tamale.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it better known!

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I worked for CRS for over ten years. While I worked at the headquarters in Baltimore, my work occasionally gave me the opportunity to travel overseas for meetings and training sessions. Before and after those meetings, I had the opportunity to visit programs in the field and learn how CRS does its work. Coming out of the corporate sector, I didn't have much knowledge of international relief and development work, so I learned a lot. And the more I learned, the more I came to appreciate how thoughtful CRS is about the way it helps people and communities living in poverty or recovering from natural disasters.

CRS doesn't just swoop in and fix problems. They start by listening to the local communities, to find out what's important to them. And they work hard to involve those communities in developing solutions to the problems they're facing, because CRS recognizes that if the people affected by a program don't believe in it, it will never work. In addition, CRS works with local partners to build their capacity to design, implement and manage programs, so that the communities become more resilient over time, and less reliant on outside resources to overcome challenges. CRS is one of the best organizations helping people in need overseas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it a dramatically bigger marketing budget so that more people could learn about the amazing work they do. As the folks at CRS often say, it's one of the best-kept secrets in the Catholic Church. Even those who know of CRS often think of it only as an emergency relief organization. And while CRS is really good at emergency relief, it also does amazing work in helping to lift people and communities out of poverty, helping to take care of people living with HIV/AIDS, and much more.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

One of the best charities in the world. Usually, always at the top of most "Charity Watch Lists" for the work they do and how almost all of the donations are used as promoted.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

When I was a Peace Corps Vounteer in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, I was very impressed by the quality work this organiztion did on the ground there. Because it was illegal to proseltyze, there were no missionary groups in this extremely poor country; but CRS was certainly there, helping those in need.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Catholic Relief Services must take a hard look at what it does with its partners in developing countries. While we must appreciate the systems and the work that goes into it, they have no meaning. Ask if any partner has been terminated due to non-performance!

CRS values its partnerships (at least on paper and by the designations of its top-management) but goes on funding partners who 1) have no interest in the development and poverty alleviation work and 2) who have a history of non-performance.

Its systems are top class but when there is a rot in its core values with partners who anyway know that they can manipulate according to their selfish needs, these systems are not worth the time that is required to keep them moving.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Talk to the top management, there is a need to shake-up the organisation at its top levels.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Have given up to $10,000 yr. in the past. Could never consider any further donations. Catholic Relief gave $13.8 million to CARE who converted much of it into birth control and abortion services through Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes, Int'l.

Apparently Catholic Relief has more money than brains ($918 million in the last public accounting period!). The American Bishops will figure this out soon. New leadership??

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire the top seven most highly paid executives.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 

I hope you’ll take some time to read CRS’ response to the allegations, found here: http://newswire.crs.org/crs-refutes-inaccurate-accusations-part-2/

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Remember when the earthquake hit Pakistan just before the winter set in and thousands were left homeless? There was no follow-on story about people freezing to death because CRS was able to work with partners in the area to get temporary housing in place for the victims of that disaster before it became a catastrophe. CRS is the organzation that is already there when needed. They don't wait for airlifts of supplies because they warehouse on developing countries in advance of need. We were privileged to meet with their staff in Chenei, India a few years ago while traveling. What they can accomplish using local folks is amazing. I know my support of them is being maximized.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

Why is it this charity and most others like Doctors without borders, when they get a donation hit you up for another one by return mail??. How foolish of them as I and I am sure many others than put them at the back of the line for the next one.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I no longer donate to Catholic Relief Services because of their support for pro-Abortion groups such as: the CORE group and MEDiCAM. Suggest you Google pro-abortion and Catholic Relief Services for yourself.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Dear Mr. Campbell, my name is Laura Durington and I work for Catholic Relief Services. I hope you will take a minute and read our response to these false accusations: http://newswire.crs.org/crs-upholds-catholic-teaching-and-values-3/

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Worldwide, this organization is always at the forefront of assisting in any disaster. Great organization- I've been a donor for 25+ years and will continue to make this my priority organization to support.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?