My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Mercy Corps, Portland, OR, USA
I have been a Mercy Corps donor for about 10 years. I know several of the staff and am frankly blown away by their work, their professionalism and their realistic approaches to development work. Mercy Corps is frankly state of the art. Most of the staff are nationals in the many countries where MC works. There is a continuous evaluation of effectiveness and a strong desire to use resources carefully. Women's health programs, education programs, community development -- each program is tailored to the needs of the community involved. There is no hierarchical sense that all communities need X or Y; instead there is a process to help communities set their own direction. In that process, communities also learn civil society techniques and objectives.
When there is a natural disaster, Mercy Corps is already on the ground and ensures that its work does not duplicate what other agencies are doing, instead focusing on neglected areas of need. One of these is helping children deal with trauma.
Mercy Corps deserves your donation, whatever you decide to give. There are other wonderful organizations out there but there are also charlatans that are more concerned with fund-raising than with services. Do careful research. When you do, Mercy Corps will be at the top of your list.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I visited Mercy Corps programs in Tajikistan and Pakistan. There is a warmth and respect that goes two ways: from MC staff to communities and very obviously back the other way as well. I was also highly impressed with the thorough security processes in place to keep staff -- ex-pats and nationals -- safe.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Make sure that the US Military does not stray into NGO territory. One of the greatest risks to MC's and other NGOs' workers is the blurring of the line between military and civilian projects.