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

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I’m a summer intern for Catholic Relief Services, and I have to say that my experience here has been nothing but positive. I’ve spent over a month working here, I can safely say that CRS does exactly what it promises to do. The money they receive goes to numerous projects throughout the world. They help people regardless of race or religion. The help goes to whoever truly needs it.

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

working with them.

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

.

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My analysis of Catholic Relief Services, Inc. calls into question where some of the funds are being allocated. Non-profits are notorious for funding other non-profits, and CRS is no exception. In 2008 they funded the National Religious Partnership for the Environment to the tune of $10,000? What does that have to do with their mission? In many ways NRPE is working counter to the Catholic mission. Non-profits need more transparency, they often operate with less efficiency than tax paying profit institutions.

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

I have been misguided by this institution.

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

Make it profit oriented with better efficiency and transparency

Was this review helpful? 

At Catholic Relief Services (CRS) we strongly believe in transparency and good stewardship and would like to reply to your comment. We have no record of any payment by CRS to the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE). However, our parent organization, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is a member of the NRPE, together with other national faith organizations. As the lead organization for the Church in the U.S., we follow the USCCB’s lead on issues such as the environment. Conservation and climate change are issues that increasingly affect our work with the those in need in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Changing rainfall patterns and higher temperatures are severely affecting the crop yields of family farmers in many regions. Our country programs are working with poor farmers to help them adapt to these changes. Our Holy Father has consistently spoken out that the habitat that sustains us should be preserved and that the poor and the vulnerable should not bear the brunt of climate change. If you are interested in this matter further, the Holy See recently released a report on the impact of climate change. It can be downloaded at: http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Pontifical-Academy-of-Sciences_Glacier_Report_050511_final.pdf Many thanks for your comment.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have suported CRS since 2000, and believed it to be an organization that spent its income wisely and one that respected the dignity of human life regardless of income, status, or circumstance.

My parents have donated to CRS every year for the past 7 years. This morning, I received my first telemarketing call from CRS, and the caller's crassness made it clear to me that the organization does not respect human dignity.

I told the telemarketer that my father was deceased, after which the caller again demanded that I tell her whether my father would send a check. I then told her that my father was dead, at which point the caller requested permission to retain him on her list.

I contacted Donor Relations and was told my mother and father's names would be removed from correspondence, but that CRS hired paid telemarketers on a regular basis.

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

I had heard for over 10 years about the good work this organization did. This morning, a paid telemarketer called my while I was still asleep, demanded to speak with my father (who died less than 2 weeks ago), and then started demanding money from my late father.

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

Eliminate paid third-party telemarketers and be honest about what it spends on fund-raising. Show respect toward your donors - if you don't, you probably done responct your "clients" either.

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

In 2003, I was selected by Catholic Relief Services to participate in their Frontiers of Justice program. Each year CRS takes 6 educators to a country where CRS serves in order to better educate them on the work of CRS. I traveled to India, where I met with the people who are served by CRS. There were so many wonderful experiences that I cannot share them all, but I was particularly moved by the work CRS and its partners were doing to prevent child labor and provide education to children who would otherwise be working in the fields. I visited a preschool that was built by previously warring tribes, so that their children would be safe. This project brought opportunity for the children and peace between the communities.
CRS depends on the kind of relationship building that Frontiers of Justice represents to spread the word of their work.
Each year CRS consistently provides relief and development in countries all over the world and insures that 95 cents of every dollar donated goes directly into their services, not into their advertising!
Catholic Relief Services serves communities regardless of race, creed, gender or nationality. Their development work helps people out of the grinding poverty of their daily lives and opens up real opportunity for a life lived with dignity. I urge you to learn as much as possible about this wonderful organization!

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

The work they are doing to promote justice on the Mexico-US border. I participated in an Encuentro or Encounter set up between US and Mexico Youth in Nogales, MX Also, their peace campaign for the Sudan referendum has been a big part of the successful vote and will continue to be part of the peaceful reorganization of the Sudan into two separate entities.

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

I think that the name Catholic Relief Services is too narrow in light of all the human development work they do all over the world.

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?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

This is a wonderful organization, with dedicated, qualified staff, who make every effort to serve their local clients and to spend every dollar very wisely. It has a very low overhead, considering the breadth and depth of the programs.

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

Benin, West Africa, 1973-75, when I lived next door to the Director of Catholic Relief Services

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

help it grow !

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

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Past experience with relieving hunger in Africa in mid-1970s

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Catholic Relief Services makes me proud to be Catholic. The organization fulfills the Gospel call to serve the least of our brothers and sisters--while teaching us how great the least really are. CRS embodies the principles of Catholic social teaching, providing a hand up, not a hand out. I love this organization! It inspires me to say yes to my own baptismal call as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

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

so many ways--emergency relief, education, microfinancing, food safety, etc.........

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

get the word out about all the great things CRS does. It's not known enough--even within the Church.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

CRS uses donations efficiently, and works with people "based on need, not creed". You don't have to be Catholic to support them or to receive helpf from them. Aid is non-sectarian and based on their belief that every human being deserves to live with dignity.

It is well known that they respond to emergency situations with short term emergency relief when needed ( the tsunami, Haitian earthquake), but just as importantly also on long term solutions - micro financing, education, peace-building, securing clean water supplies, HIV education and medication, helping farmers be more productive and self-sufficient. Their goal is not a culture of dependence on aid, but a planting the seeds for a live changing, culture changing improvements.

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

working with the Patches of Hope program in Cambodia that provided work sewing quilts to women with HIV, and also hospice care when they became to sick to work.

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

encourage them to be more visible - get there name out there so people think of them first when they wish to donate to a crisis or an ongoing development issue

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

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

What a wonderful organization! I particularly appreciate their work with fair trade, the world's poorest people, and climate change. I encourage everyone to get on board with these causes - they are critical and there are so many people in the world currently suffering greatly.

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

They are in contact with me and we are working together to promote fairly traded goods in the Philadelphia area.

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

Just with they were more widespread!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Hard to say where I fit in a as a "your role". I guess just general member of the public and fan for now. I am a missionary and am active in Haiti. I will be taking classes in the fall to get my degree in Human Services and then on to a 4 year degree. I hope one day to work for CRS. This is a group I am willing to pledge my life to. I believe that the good that this large group of people do as a whole is Gods works and that is all that counts.

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

PAP, Haiti

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

Help more with education and teaching languages

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Catholic Relief Services saves thousands of lives and brings fresh water to those without!

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

Personal messages from those who were helped by them.

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

None

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Review from Guidestar