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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development, International Relief, Refugees

Mission: Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

Programs: Mercy Corps works in the toughest places on the planet. Failing states like Somalia and Zimbabwe. Conflict zones like Afghanistan, Congo and Iraq. And countries that have endured natural disasters, like Pakistan and Haiti. In these places, a child’s life is often at risk. A woman’s education is usually ignored. A family’s livelihood is never a sure thing. These conditions threaten the welfare of neighborhoods, towns, provinces, countries and entire regions. To these important and imperiled places Mercy Corps brings relief, recovery and development. For 32 years, we have helped people grappling with the toughest hardships survive – and then thrive. That’s the heart of our approach: we help communities turn crisis into opportunity. Decades of field experience have shown us the most effective ways to support that transformation. We know that local people are the best agents of their own change and that local markets are often the fastest, most durable drivers of economic recovery. That’s why we listen to what communities need and prioritize their most important projects. It’s why we often partner with local organizations – and why our program teams are 95 percent staffed by local people. Mercy Corps approaches each challenge with an open mind and a bias for action. We listen to local people and prioritize their most urgent needs. We fix gaps to get markets up and running. We think big, start small and take responsible risks to find solutions that benefit the greatest number of people.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As someone who has worked in international development, there are two things I particularly appreciate about Mercy Corps: 1. Solutions are market driven --> Mercy Corps identifies community leaders and works with them to tackle community problems where Mercy Corps has additional expertise that can be useful in the projects. 2. Mercy Corps recognizes that there are relevant issues that they have expertise in locally as well, and has invested money in the Mercy Corps Action Center and Mercy Corps NW to address these issues. The Mercy Corps Action Center does a fantastic job of engaging and educating the public about a variety of global issues, including things that Mercy Corps addresses every day. Mercy Corps NW addresses many economic issues close to home, including business education, connecting potential small business owners to capital and mentoring, and providing entrepreneurial education to people who have been incarcerated in the past and may have a difficult time finding employment in alternative areas.

Donor

Rating: 5

They do great work all over the world but what they've been doing in Syria the past 4 - 5 years during the civil war, it's really impressive.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

Mercy Corps and other humanitarian groups are great but honestly the question is why is the US not doing more? Instead of others having to donate to Mercy Corps for resources why can't the government being paying for supplies? The silence of the white house on this is unacceptable. They should and could be doing more.

3

Donor

Rating: 1

I consider myself a generous person and attempt to distribute donations to viable NPO's, I made the mistake of making a couple to Mercy Corp, and in the year since, have received at list 100 calls asking for more money. They do not QUIT! I've screamed at them to take me off their donor list, I've sent emails asking for the same, but to no avail, they continue to call daily.

Charity my butt! I cannot stand this organization, and save yourself a bunch of heartache and stress and give elsewhere.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to Mercy Corps for many years now. I donate to Mercy Corps because they are at "ground zero" shortly after natural and human created catastrophes occur, helping those in immediate need of food, shelter and more. I give to Mercy Corp because of the work they do for those who are suffering to no fault of their own. They deal with victims of disasters who would otherwise have virtually nothing to eat and nowhere to live without the help of organizations such as Mercy Corp. Hunger is America is not getting what you want to eat. Hunger through other parts of the world are having nothing to eat. When you are truly hungry, you take what you can get to eat. When you are not truly hungry (i.e. in the USA), you might tell an aid worker, "Oh, I don't like that." I give my money to those who are truly in need, not to those who just aren't getting what they want.

Review from Guidestar

6 David218

Client Served

Rating: 1

What an insulting group of Americans. Mercy Corps Northwest does not serve Ex-Military service members that are disabled and live in poverty. I have gotten the run around 3 times from this group. Today was the 3rd time that I put in a request for a small business loan and was told " I am sorry but I can't talk anymore because I have someone else to call. Bye" This is who represents the SBA in Washington State? This is a bad choice to choose this SBA office.

18

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

For the record, I worked for MC. I will say that MC is better than the majority of NGOs I've worked for in the past, and will also say ain't-nobody-getting-rich-from-working-for-MC. I'd also say MC's overhead is pretty darn low considering how comprehensive its transparency policies and audits etc are (read PITA for employees, good for donors i guess). I still find that MC is too much of a slave to "just keeping the donors happy" which doesn't always mean making real impact HOWEVER if you are going to give to an NGO it is certainly one of the better ones. Its a bit ironic that many that I see that are phenomenal at visibility are the more mediocre (on the ground). Lastly I noticed the guidestar rating 3 star is "meets expectations" and MC meets my (fairly low) expectations, but I gotta say after working in the sector for 10+ years, no one has exceed my expectations (ie done what they say they have done).

Review from Guidestar

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I wonder why Mercy Corps is not mentioned on broadcasts "if you wish to help ..." as opposed to Red Cross or United Way when so much of the contributions they receive go to people who run them.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

Mercy Corps is extremely donor-driven, and its priority is to get grants, even if they don't match its strategic priorities. Serious management issues and low performance in country offices are ignored by HQ management, like in the case of Sudan/South Sudan: http://www.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy12rpts/4-668-12-009-p.pdf

Review from CharityNavigator

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My elderly mother received 2 letters from Mercy Corps stating that they "spoke with her by phone" and that she agreed to make a $100 gift.
Not only is this a complete fabrication, it greatly disturbed me since my mother had a stroke and has been in a nursing home, unable to speak, for over 18 months.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

acurry 01/30/2012

Dear Mary, We are very sorry that your mother is still receiving mailings from us. If you contact us directly with her name and address we will promptly remove her from all of our mailing lists. You can contact us at donorservices@mercycorps.org or 1-888-842-0842. Kind regards, Andi, Mercy Corps

Review from CharityNavigator