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Catholic Relief Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, Religion, Roman Catholic

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.

Community Stories

79 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Donor

Rating: 5

We have always felt that CRS makes good use of our donations with low overhead expenses. CRS help goes to all groups, regardless of religion, and is a living testimony to Christian caring for others. We are so blessed in this country, and the situation is so desperate in so many countries, it is important that organizations like CRS continue to receive our strong support.

4 Lois14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past several years, in my role as a a campus minister, I've accompanied college students on short term immersions in the developing world. Whenever possible we arrange to spend some time with Catholic Relief Services (CRS ). Having seen first hand projects ranging from peace-building to agriculture, from economic justice to HIV/AIDS care and from health care to education reform, I believe that CRS is a great non-profit. They are mission-driven and fiscally responsible. They adhere to an integral human development model that respects the dignity of the people and communities where they work. Thus, outside the US, most of their employees are local folks from in-country.

At the most personal level, I admire and respect CRS because of the mission as I understand it: to spread the good news. This does not mean proselytizing or converting, not in the least. It means clean water and sanitation, Fair Trade, basic health care, education, women's empowerment, disaster relief. It means respecting the human dignity of each and all and it means striving to live in solidarity with all of God's creation.

If I had one more career in me - CRS would have my resume in a minute. ; )

5

Donor

Rating: 5

My family became involved with Catholic Relief Services when I was 14 years old in 1979. The charity brought a family from Laos to the United States that consisted of five children from ages 8 months to 7 years. 35 years later, these "kids" have grown into great human beings that are forever grateful to Catholic Relief Services for saving them almost certain death in a war torn country. The charity does unbelievable work and more than 90% of every dollar donated goes directly to their mission.

6 Richard97

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In the late 90's I was working in Tanzania desperately trying to address a rapidly emerging situation with a growing HIV pandemic. Overwhelmed with demand for services, I was at the point of almost giving up. CRS became a true partner. They provided not only technical expertise, but administrative and management expertise to help a local clinic grow and expand. Quite honestly, they also did a lot of hand holding as well. Without any question, Catholic Relief Services is the finest international development partner I've ever worked with. Within all of the solid supportive guidance and technical expertise to grow and expand resulting in quality services for people affected by HIV, there was always the presence of faith and true holistic care.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Catholic Relief Services does God's work wherever there is great need across the globe. I have given generously to this organization because of its stellar good works and because of the nonprofit's very low administrative costs. CRS uses all contributions efficiently.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A little over six months after the terrible earthquake struck Port- au -Prince in the Island of Haiti I had the opportunity to visit that country and city with Catholic Relief Services. We saw first hand the devastation that that poor country experienced. But we also saw the resilient efforts made by Catholic Relief Services and some of its partners to bring some degree of assistance by way of shelter, medicine, and food to the victims, not just of the earthquake but also of the ensuing cholera epidemic that came on the heels of the earthquake. CRS imported a number of rubble crushing machines from Africa to help alleviate the conditions in Port-au-Prince. Although it was not enough to solve the total problem of the toxic rubble that lay everywhere in the city, it provided employment to local people to crush the rubble and make sand for the concrete floors of the temporary shelters that were being constructed by CRS
It was a win-win situation. The rubble was being cleared and local people were given employment, thanks to the imaginative efforts of CRS

1

Donor

Rating: 5

CRS is the organization I am most grateful to support. Their work around the globe is stellar and they are wonderful stewards of their resources. They are truly responding to the call to serve all of God's people.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Catholic Relief is one of the very few charities I give to on a regular basis. The work they do is invaluable and the dedication to do the work as efficiently as possible is a great credit to them. Whenever I speak with any of their staff, they ar pleasant and a joy to encounter.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

We've been giving to CRS since the first year of our marriage 40 years ago. My husband is a retired Foreign Service Officer and we were posted to Africa and Southeast Asia where we witnessed first hand the humanitarian and development efforts of CRS personnel. They give wisely and ceaselessly of their time and talents and have empowered many poor people around the world. We are so proud to be part of this work.
Mary Helene and Nick Mele

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked for CRS for over ten years. While I worked at the headquarters in Baltimore, my work occasionally gave me the opportunity to travel overseas for meetings and training sessions. Before and after those meetings, I had the opportunity to visit programs in the field and learn how CRS does its work. Coming out of the corporate sector, I didn't have much knowledge of international relief and development work, so I learned a lot. And the more I learned, the more I came to appreciate how thoughtful CRS is about the way it helps people and communities living in poverty or recovering from natural disasters.

CRS doesn't just swoop in and fix problems. They start by listening to the local communities, to find out what's important to them. And they work hard to involve those communities in developing solutions to the problems they're facing, because CRS recognizes that if the people affected by a program don't believe in it, it will never work. In addition, CRS works with local partners to build their capacity to design, implement and manage programs, so that the communities become more resilient over time, and less reliant on outside resources to overcome challenges. CRS is one of the best organizations helping people in need overseas.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the best charities in the world. Usually, always at the top of most "Charity Watch Lists" for the work they do and how almost all of the donations are used as promoted.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I was a Peace Corps Vounteer in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, I was very impressed by the quality work this organiztion did on the ground there. Because it was illegal to proseltyze, there were no missionary groups in this extremely poor country; but CRS was certainly there, helping those in need.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Catholic Relief Services must take a hard look at what it does with its partners in developing countries. While we must appreciate the systems and the work that goes into it, they have no meaning. Ask if any partner has been terminated due to non-performance!

CRS values its partnerships (at least on paper and by the designations of its top-management) but goes on funding partners who 1) have no interest in the development and poverty alleviation work and 2) who have a history of non-performance.

Its systems are top class but when there is a rot in its core values with partners who anyway know that they can manipulate according to their selfish needs, these systems are not worth the time that is required to keep them moving.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

Fiscally responsible, ethically and morally sound group! I love this group because I feel like it helps me live my faith. Christ said "What you do for the least of your brothers, you do for me." This is a way to help people living in abject poverty. I can't possibly travel to these places on my own and yet I know they need help and CRS is there. They help not only in emergencies and disasters but are also engaged in trying to create long term change. Their best programs are the ones that help build infrastructure like digging wells and help people become economically independent. Whether they are digging wells, building schools or medical clinics, empowering women, or fostering economic development, CRS does a great job!

Comments ( 1 )

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L. Durington 07/22/2013

Hi Misty62704, My name is Laura Durington and I work for Catholic Relief Services. Thank you so much for the wonderful review. I found your words very inspiring, and I think they would inspire other donors as well. Could I have your permission to use this quote in an upcoming fundraising campaign? If so, please e-mail me laura.durington (at) crs.org. Thanks again and God bless!

1

Donor

Rating: 1

Have given up to $10,000 yr. in the past. Could never consider any further donations. Catholic Relief gave $13.8 million to CARE who converted much of it into birth control and abortion services through Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes, Int'l.

Apparently Catholic Relief has more money than brains ($918 million in the last public accounting period!). The American Bishops will figure this out soon. New leadership??

Comments ( 1 )

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L. Durington 07/12/2013

I hope you’ll take some time to read CRS’ response to the allegations, found here: http://newswire.crs.org/crs-refutes-inaccurate-accusations-part-2/

3 quieromom

Donor

Rating: 5

Remember when the earthquake hit Pakistan just before the winter set in and thousands were left homeless? There was no follow-on story about people freezing to death because CRS was able to work with partners in the area to get temporary housing in place for the victims of that disaster before it became a catastrophe. CRS is the organzation that is already there when needed. They don't wait for airlifts of supplies because they warehouse on developing countries in advance of need. We were privileged to meet with their staff in Chenei, India a few years ago while traveling. What they can accomplish using local folks is amazing. I know my support of them is being maximized.

Donor

Rating: 4

Why is it this charity and most others like Doctors without borders, when they get a donation hit you up for another one by return mail??. How foolish of them as I and I am sure many others than put them at the back of the line for the next one.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 1

I no longer donate to Catholic Relief Services because of their support for pro-Abortion groups such as: the CORE group and MEDiCAM. Suggest you Google pro-abortion and Catholic Relief Services for yourself.

Comments ( 1 )

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L. Durington 08/19/2013

Dear Mr. Campbell, my name is Laura Durington and I work for Catholic Relief Services. I hope you will take a minute and read our response to these false accusations: http://newswire.crs.org/crs-upholds-catholic-teaching-and-values-3/

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Worldwide, this organization is always at the forefront of assisting in any disaster. Great organization- I've been a donor for 25+ years and will continue to make this my priority organization to support.