Catholic Relief Services

Rating: 4.42 stars   59 reviews

Address:

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.

Target demographics:

The poorest of the poor in more than 100 countries worldwide.

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 more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

888-277-7575
http://www.crs.org

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Reviews for Catholic Relief Services

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
Rating: 5 stars  

Catholic Relief Services continues to be critical to providing support to those in need around the world. Efficiently administrated and motivated by their deep desire to fulfill the Gospel values, CRS makes our world a better place.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Now lets listen from a person who has been in close contact with the work of Catholic Relief Services in India. In India CRS mainly donates to diocesan organisations- in India these organisations are mainly known not to practice what they preach. I still think that the contributions by the church in India are overwhelming - in the field of health and education but these are mainly money spinning machines now. Ask this to any parent in India searching for a school to admit his child.

In terms of the work, I have read the reviews by some donors who seem to have the idea that CRS has its base on the ground. During an emergency (and I have been personally involved in many of these ), what they do is to rain down a lot of "expatriate" consultants who do not know the conditions on the ground before they come- at one time they brought in an intern who wanted to spend christmas out of the US. These consultants mainly have their work experience in African countries where human resources and infrastructure might not be of good quality- in India, we have the best human resources possible, trained, committed and willing to go that extra mile. What these consultants do is to just capture an office and go on typing on their laptops and work on some formats which have absolutely no use. And we believe that the huge salaries and the hardship allowance they get could go to provide succour to a few thousand families more.

Now let me relate the work of its so called partners. What these diocesan directors want is a project - so that the funding that CRS provides can be diverted towards their own selfish ends and the worst part of it is that CRS management know about it but save their jobs- they all want to be polictically correct. At the end of the year, implementation and reports are nowhere to be seen but what can be had is just tall promises in the name of God.

Staff do not say these things because this is inherent in their culture promoted by the management, I have seen CRS staff manipulating books of accounts at the partner locations.

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

India

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

Nothing, it cannot be done, it is inherent in the management

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

A little

How did you learn about this organization?

As a member of the public

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Dear achalaverma, We are very sorry to hear that you have been unhappy in your experience working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in India. We did forward your review to our staff member that is in charge of all of CRS operations in India. However, without particular details, we are unable to address these allegations specifically. Regardless, we do take all complaints very seriously and have multiple mechanisms in place to make sure we are working as transparently, efficiently and effectively as possible, including outside auditors that ensure our record-keeping is true and accurate. Additionally, we have a whistle blower policy and we encourage you to submit any complaints through the online form or by calling (Toll Free) 866-295-2632. You can access the secure form confidentially by copying and pasting this url into your browser: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_company.asp?clientid=12748&agreement=no&override=yes Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Please know that we strive to maintain very high standards in our operations, as evidenced by our Guiding Principles, which every staff member is expected to uphold: http://www.crs.org/about/guiding-principles.cfm Sincerely, L. Durington, Online Community Manager at Catholic Relief Services Headquarters in Baltimore, MD

Role: General Member of the Public
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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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people 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

 
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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
Role: General Member of the Public
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
Role: General Member of the Public
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  

CRS serves more than 100 million people in more than 100 countries and five continents!! That alone says it all!!!

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

I witnessed the love and dedication with which they cared for Cambodian refugees in Thailand.

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

Give it greater publicity that the world might truly know how powerful and dedicated it is in reaching out to those in the greatest need in our world.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

In the early fall a priest spoke at my church during Mass about Sudan. He asked all of us to pray the 101 Days of Prayer for that country. In speaking with him later that day he explained the situation to me because he had been there. It was quite an eye opener!

I said that prayer twice a day (just to make sure...) and tried to keep up on the information about the vote. It was disappointing to me that this important event was not in the news as much as I would have liked to have seen it.

My Goddaughter in Vermont sent me an article from her local newspaper about her boyfriend. While perusing other articles I found one entitled "Lost Boys of Sudan." I wrote a letter to the editor (which was printed) encouraging prayer for Sudan and the fact that these boys should be able to vote from America because we want them to enjoy the blessings of freedom that we have.

Because of email and Facebook I was able to pass that prayer on to others.

I know that the situation is still tenuous in Sudan so I continue to pray but it took just that one priest, who works for CRS, to plant a seed for prayer that is probably all over the USA now!

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

hearing from a member of CRS

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

I wouldn't make any - they serve the world perfectly!

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Catholic Relief Service has been close to my heart my entire life. The organization has been through good an bad but yet come out on top. They truly are an organization that is "Giving Hope to a World of Need". They are always number one in times of crisis staying long after others have gone. The executive team, Board Members and employees are the most down to earth people I have ever met. They have a world of knowledge and use it to their benefit. We are lucky to have people in this world who want to help and not just "go to work".

Thank you Catholic Relief Services for everything you do.

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

I have lived overseas and my family travels with Catholic Relief Service and I see the direct impact the organization has with the world.

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

They have made wonderful changes I would only say to continue pursuing the ideas of employees and work hard to help those who need it most.

 
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Review from Guidestar