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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

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

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 )

L. Durington 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!

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

2 Charles D.

Donor

Rating: 1

I'm having extraoardinary difficulties in discontinuing my monthly donation with them (needed due to own issues). They won't help at the main donation number (but they will of course take money), and they send you to another number (toll) that no one answers and doesn't have voice mail. I had to address it with my credit card company, ultimately. If you sign up with them for recurring conations, be aware that they will not help you stop them.

Comments ( 1 )

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L. Durington 11/12/2012

I work for CRS and I am very sorry to hear that this donor had difficulty in canceling his recurring donation. It is not our intention to make this process arduous and we strike to always give the very best customer service and honor our donor's intent. I have alerted our Director of Donor Services and contacted this donor to apologize and to request more information from him so we can adequately discover what went wrong in his case, and make adjustments as needed. We revere all of our donors - it is their generosity that allows us to serve the poorest among us in nearly 100 countries.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been giving to CRS for over 40 years now. I was initially drawn by their international outlook and especially their programs to provide a safe water supply in developing nations. As I learned more about the organization, my interest expanded to include AIDS, micro-finance and emergency assistance. I have personally not been out in the field but my son, who is an economist, lived in various countries in Africa for over 10 years and has been unstinting in his praise of their work.
Considering the expense involved in sending staff overseas, it is amazing how low their overhead is.
I have met a number of staff and found each person to be dedicated, open and warm. Thank you for enabling me, as a member of the Body of Christ, to be present to those in need across the globe.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a Catholic and a global citizen, my faith practice and my vision of a just world are made more real because of the work CRS makes possible.

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have had the wonderful opportunity of personally witnessing the outstanding charitable work performed by Catholic Relief Services and it partners in India.

In 2008 we traveled with CRS and visited 5 cities throughout India including Mumbai, Calcutta and Delhi. In each city we were deeply moved by the dedication of the CRS staff and its partners in positively changing lives. We were very fortunate to see first hand the life saving and life sustaining work that CRS is accomplishing in this country.

We witnessed CRS helping young children on the streets of Mumbai learn to read on a true "school" bus, we witnessed life saving programs helping young girls escape the streets of the city, we saw food and sanitation programs effectively delivered both in the city and in rural areas south of Calcutta. We also saw the work done by partners running schools, orphanages and homes for the poor and dying.

We came away from our 9 day trip highly impressed by the effectiveness and the impact that CRS and its programs are having on the poor and marginalized in India.







4

Donor

Rating: 1

I have suported CRS since 2000, and believed it to be an organization that spent its income wisely and one that respected the dignity of human life regardless of income, status, or circumstance.

My parents have donated to CRS every year for the past 7 years. This morning, I received my first telemarketing call from CRS, and the caller's crassness made it clear to me that the organization does not respect human dignity.

I told the telemarketer that my father was deceased, after which the caller again demanded that I tell her whether my father would send a check. I then told her that my father was dead, at which point the caller requested permission to retain him on her list.

I contacted Donor Relations and was told my mother and father's names would be removed from correspondence, but that CRS hired paid telemarketers on a regular basis.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization, with dedicated, qualified staff, who make every effort to serve their local clients and to spend every dollar very wisely. It has a very low overhead, considering the breadth and depth of the programs.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Catholic Relief Services makes me proud to be Catholic. The organization fulfills the Gospel call to serve the least of our brothers and sisters--while teaching us how great the least really are. CRS embodies the principles of Catholic social teaching, providing a hand up, not a hand out. I love this organization! It inspires me to say yes to my own baptismal call as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

CRS uses donations efficiently, and works with people "based on need, not creed". You don't have to be Catholic to support them or to receive helpf from them. Aid is non-sectarian and based on their belief that every human being deserves to live with dignity.

It is well known that they respond to emergency situations with short term emergency relief when needed ( the tsunami, Haitian earthquake), but just as importantly also on long term solutions - micro financing, education, peace-building, securing clean water supplies, HIV education and medication, helping farmers be more productive and self-sufficient. Their goal is not a culture of dependence on aid, but a planting the seeds for a live changing, culture changing improvements.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Catholic Relief Services saves thousands of lives and brings fresh water to those without!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have confidence that any money I donate to CRS goes to people who truly need it. I am a fan of the way the organization is set up with feet on the ground and established long-term relationships throughout the world so that money and time are not wasted when a crisis hits.

I also appreciate the way CRS communicates via Facebook, Twitter and E-mail. This communication keeps me up to date in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Review from Guidestar

stormy

Donor

Rating: 5

CRS is a hands on relief organization that is always one of the first,if not the first relief organization on the ground helping those who need critcal supplies like food,water and shelter.They also are an organization that stays in country long after the publicity fades to continue helping victims rebuild their lives.money donated to CRS isn't tied up in overhead but is used to truly help those in need.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

From the time I was a little girl I have known of the work of CRS. I have always been impressed with the efficiency of the organization and their responsiveness to donors. When I hear about a disaster somewhere in the world I think of CRS. I know that CRS stays for the long haul, that they don't just come for the "photo opportunity," but remain long after others are gone. Not only are they interested in disaster relief, but also in development and rebuilding.

Review from Guidestar

Barbara S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am very pleased with the way Catholic Relief Services reaches out all over the world to help the less fortunate regardless of the need and regardless of the person in need. They sponsor a lot of diverse programs that do more than just feed the hungry and care for the sick...they EMPOWER people and INSPIRE them. Since I am still a graduate student, I may not be able to donate as much as I would like to this organization, but it is a comfort to know that a good percentage of what I donate goes to those who need it most. I have recommended this organization to my friends and family and will certainly continue to do so. Keep up the good work and God bless you for all that you do!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

When disasters happen, or when our office staff are feeling generous, we always look to see what CRS is doing and where. Then we make our collection and send it, sometimes earmarked for a particular cause.
We can trust CRS to put the monies where asked, or where most needed, and we can trust them.
We are a multi-national and multi-racial staff, lucky to have what we do in a changing world, and willing to share it regularly with others.
We donated during hurricanes and tsunamis, earthquakes and floods. But it's regular donations "just because" that make our hears sing the loudest.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Whenever there is a large scale crisis, I know that my donation to CRS will povide the most bang for the buck for the victims. CRS usually has a team in the ground wherever the greatest need is and they get right to work.

Review from Guidestar

11

Donor

Rating: 5

For a number of years now, my wife and I have had $25.00 deducted from our checking account each month to go to CRS. We also give larger amounts to special church collections and directly to CRS; e.g., for earthquake relief and the like. While we are far from being large donors, we are consistent ones because CRS gives the overwhelming amount of funds that it collects to the intended beneficaries and that is a very important fact to us.

Review from Guidestar

14

Donor

Rating: 5

When I donate to Catholic Relief Services I know that my money is going to work to help where it is most needed in the fastest way possible. I fully trust and applaud CRS.

16

Donor

Rating: 5

CRS is recognized by its peers as having expertise in emergency response and long term development. In addition to the work most know them for - emergency response in times of tsunamis, earthquakes, war, famine, etc. - they are there for the long haul, helping people develop sources of clean water and safe, secure food supplies; providing access to education to break the cycle of poverty and skills training to help families support themselves. All this, and they do it efficiently - $.92 of every dollar goes directly to aid.

11 susan57

Donor

Rating: 5

CRS has decades of experience in providing relief and a high percentage of every dollar goes directly to the people in need, not for administrative costs, and the like. The day of the earthquake in Haiti, I went to their website to donate, without being prompted to do so, because I knew they were already on the ground in Haiti and experienced in the needs and culture of the people there.