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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Modest Needs Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: Modest Needs exists: To prevent otherwise financially self-sufficient individuals and families from entering the cycle of poverty, when this might be avoided with a small amount of well-timed financial assistance; To restore the financial self-sufficiency of individuals who are willing to work but are temporarily unable to do so because they do not have the means to remit payment for a work-related expense; To empower permanently disadvantaged individuals who otherwise live within their limited means to continue to live independently, despite a temporary, unexpected financial set-back; and To strengthen small non-profit organizations by providing a forum whereby such organizations can apply directly to the general public for the help they need to complete the relatively inexpensive projects that will allow them to better serve their clients and the communities they exist to serve.

Results: Since 2002, by working together in this very modest way, Modest Needs' donors have stopped more than 12,700 working individuals and families from entering the vicious cycle of poverty and a lifetime of dependence on the public welfare system for their survival.

Target demographics: Hard-working, low-income families and individuals across the United States and Canada. Small, struggling non-profit organizations across the United States.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year, we were able to make grants to 1,600 families.

Geographic areas served: USA

Community Stories

258 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this organization. My boyfriend left me during my cancer treatment with his daughter and my daughter while I have been on disability... for drugs. I came down to either paying for my rent or paying for my car payment and I decided I couldn’t take our home away so I chose to pay rent. I still needed my car for taking the girls to school, my treatments, and going to court to get custody of his daughter. I started fighting for her because I didn’t want the system to take her. I tried to get help locally but no one would help me. I was online researching and modest needs came up. I put in my application.. got accepted but the first round I didn’t get the help I needed but I understood because they relied on people to read the applicants stories and the donors chose who got the money. A few people did donate but it didn’t go through. Surprisingly after the first 90 days the second time around it got funded within a week. The same day I got an email that stated that they were going to repossess my car. It usually takes the up to a week or two to send you a check but I wrote them and told them my situation and they contacted my loan bank right away. The bank was being jerks and gave them a hard time to help pay my loan but they didn’t give up and waited til I could actually get a hold of someone who could help me at the bank. They asked me to email a letter giving permission with my signature on it. Modest Needs was closed when I finally got things situated where they could send my bank the payment but the president of modest needs, Keith, made sure that my bank got the payment even after hours because they were going to come and get my car on Monday.
I am so grateful and just speechless on how Annmarie and Keith went above and beyond for me, a stranger, with no judgement, just love and kindness stuffed in a huge heart. I’m still in tears.
Thank you guys. My daughters are still in tears too. We’ve been through so much darkness, your kindness was the light we needed to keep faith and hope in our hearts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a very positive experience with modest needs. This organization isn't like most out there because they help people who are above poverty level(which can never get any help) and take a one time bad event and help you out so that Youcan get back on track. So many times I couldn't get help because I made more then they said I could to get help. This was so great to have and have put me back to wherei need to be. Its wonderful

Linda C.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I support Modest Needs with a monthly donation. I really believe in their helping people keep their financial footing with assistance that keeps them in their homes, pays their utilities, repair their cars and so on. So often, our fellow Americans are just a few dollars away from losing their way and Modest Needs steps in to make up the difference.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a monthly donor for years with Modest Needs. They do big things wth relatively small amounts of money. The help they provide families can mean the difference between losing a home due to an illness, losing a job due to car problems, the kind of things that can throw a 'monkey wrench' in working families budgets. I'm proud to help this terrific organization and urge others to join me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been both a contributor and recipient of the benevolence of Modest Needs and recommend it both to those in need of assistance and looking to make a difference - can't say enough good things about this organization!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Modest Needs Foundation from its very beginning. Everyone who requests help is totally vetted and Modest Needs has complete transparency. They are highly rated. They know what they are doing and how to do it. The stories will break your heart, and with a few clicks you can give one-on-one to lovely people in temporary need. You can always feel secure in knowing that your money really goes where you thought it was going.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I've supported Modest Needs from the beginning when I saw Keith on TV. This organization is totally transparent, vetted, and accountable and will answer any questions you may have about how the money is handled. You can choose exactly who will receive the funds you send and can track the results. It doesn't get more responsible than this. I highly recommend it.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Honest legitimate organization. After Sandy they helped us, and did all the vetting
without regard for who I was or how much more help we needed. I support them regularly, you should too.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

After Sandy, Modest Needs Foundation was there
to step in and help, when our pleas for help went
unanswered by other more established charities,
( you know who you are 8% of funds raised given to
disaster relief ). I now pay it forward and yearly give as much as
possible to a worthy and efficient charity. They do all the vetting
so you know your money goes to the right persons without any
enormous overhead costs.

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate every month because I wish this had been around when I was a single mother of three. Sometimes people are a $200 car repair away from eviction and that's not right. I know that my money is going to help someone like I was and that's important.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Years ago I was a single parent of 3 kids receiving occasional child support. I worked full time but somehow I was constantly juggling things to pay bills. All it took was one blown tire or prescription for one of the kids and I was sunk. Having to come up with money for that emergency meant the lights would be shut off or we'd have to go a week or two without heat. I can remember thinking how great it would be to have a way to even borrow money for low interest and flexible reimbursement schedules. Things got easier, the kids grew up and I was able to meet all my financial needs and have some left over. When I heard about Modest Needs I remembered all the times it would have helped me and I signed on right then. I know how getting $500 once can make a difference for years to come. Of all the donations I make this one, I believe, makes the most difference in people's lives.

Miriam

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor for many years to Modest Needs. Individuals and families one step away from potential financial disaster and possible homelessness are vetted and given a grant to get them back on their feet. This is a very personal way to donate; you see the photos and hear the stories of folks who have had a big set back due to unemployment, illness, unexpected car repairs, and such. Each recipient writes a personal thank you note which you receive via email. During the past several years, Modest Needs did a study of those funded, and those not funded, and found that these one-time grants were very effective in preventing homelessness. The incidence of homelessness was much higher among those whose applications were not successfully funded. I highly recommend this charity, and it has a 4-star rating (the highest) on Charity Navigator!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated for many years to Modest Needs Foundation. It fills an important gap for working families facing a major, unexpected financial crisis that could plunge them into poverty. Applicants are vetted, and you read their stories and see their photographs. A thank you email note arrives when funding is completed. This is very personal and meaningful giving, and you know exactly where your money is going. Modest Needs also commissioned a study to see whether their grants to families do, indeed, prevent a slide into poverty, and the results were very powerful and reinforcing of the work that this charity does. Highly recommended!

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Client Served

Rating: 1

I applied for a hardship grant at the beginning of May 2108 to pay my rent for June. By May 29, 2018 donors contributed the funds and ll the money needed was in. It is June 16, 2018, I nor my leasing company have not received the check for June 2018 rent. The leasing company is filing an eviction of me which includes late fees. I have spoken with a Modest Needs representative several times over the last 3 weeks. It doesn't take this long to send the check. Modest Needs have applicants write and post a testimonial to donors as if we have received the money and everything is fine; but it is not. As of 6/16/18 12PM I have not received an email nor a phone call stating the check has been sent to the leasing company. These people have all my personal information. They now have a voicemail service only and it is a smoke screen and a sand bag. They have added to the hardship I am facing by giving me false hope and incurring more financial hardship. I am now being evicted.

Review from Guidestar

Sheila48

Donor

Rating: 5

Modest Needs continues to fill in the crack through so many families fall, those hard workers who are just one catastrophe away from hopeless poverty. The onetime boost MN provides allows them to continue contributing to society.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, for both those helped and for the rest of us.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

From the start of my involvement years ago, I've been impressed by the Modest Needs mission to help those hardworking people who would otherwise fall through the cracks. Unlike more recent crowdsourcing sites, Modest Needs takes the time to investigate the authenticity of applicants and their situations, thus assuring donors that their money is going to help those truly in need. This makes Modest Needs unique and therefore worthy of earning this award.

Hillary6

Donor

Rating: 5

The best charity, small dollar amounts are so important to keep people on their feet when tragedies happen so they don't wind up falling into the trap of on-going need. I have giving money to Modest Needs for many years now and I know that vast majority of money I give goes to human beings in critical need situations!

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been contributing to many charities for a long, long time. Modest Needs remains my favorite because it feels a HUGE short term need in someone's life and keeps from from losing their home, or gets their car repaired or some other short term issue. All of us need help from time to time and the idea that we would let someone fall into a terrible situation for a small amount of money is very discouraging.

MN fills that gap and does it so well that deserving people in short time situations are able to find the help they need, something they would not find anywhere else and then move with their lives.

It's a genius idea, and really my fav place to give a few extra bucks!

Hillary

P.J. H.

Donor

Rating: 5

Modest Needs is a wonderful charity that I am not only happy to donate to, but genuinely excited to donate to every month. They make it easy to donate to truly in need families and individuals within the states. The charity thoroughly vets individuals who need assistance, sets up a fundraiser for that individual, and when the goal is met, pay the appropriate organization (ie. mechanic, hospital, landlord, etc..). There staff is a highly motivated group of people who want to make a positive impact on the world one person at a time, and I love that.

Sara Beth Morgan B.

Donor

Rating: 5

What a relief to have Modest Needs to help me figure out how to help those with short term needs. I have been having my credit card charged monthly for years to send them money. I know that they have low overhead and do a great job making sure the money gets where it needs to be. There are very few places I feel secure donating each month and Modest Needs is one of them. I will mention KIVA also as they do a great job too.

Dionne S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Well i needed a bill paid, the organization help my family with a urgent bill

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a regular contributor to Modest Needs for many years now. The reasons that I contribute so regularly include: 1) effectiveness - critical funds go to those in need when they need it most; 2) efficacy -- while all applications are vetted thoroughly, very little is spent on administrative overhead; and finally, 3) straight up compassion -- these are good people who need some temporary but critical help. In short, Modest Needs really changes lives for the better every day.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donation to Modest Needs since 2006. I get great satisfaction knowing that my small monthly donation can help a family avoid spiraling into poverty because of an unexpected bill. This orgaization does a wonderful job with a population that can easily be overlooked.

Donor

Rating: 5

The mission of Modest Needs is simply to make everyone your neighbor. All of us have from time to time helped a family member, friend or neighbor when they were down on their luck. Many of us have been the beneficiaries of help as well. Modest Needs takes this to the next level by making neighbors of us all and they do it very well.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been impressed with this charity since I first read about its origins. I like to know that my contributions are going straight to people who need them. I love the idea of supporting people who are trying, but just need a little help to get over a hump. This is the only charity to which I make a monthly donation.

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family has been donating through Modest Needs since the beginning. So many people live paycheck to paycheck and any small setback can leave them without hope. We are happy to do what we can to fulfill these modest needs.

Donor

Rating: 5

Giving to Modest Needs Foundation is a joy and privilege. Knowing the story of the actual recipient of one's donation and feeling like a partner in the direct positive impact on a fellow human being in need.