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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Outreach International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Human Services, International, International Development, Leadership Development

Mission: Outreach International helps the poor help themselves. Our purpose is to help people overcome the effects of poverty and to develop the capacity to create a new future for themselves and their community. We provide responsible ways for people with charitable hearts to help the poor to a better life.

Results: Have assisted over 350,000 people in their fight against poverty since 1979, and impacted thousands more. During that time, we have facilitated over 9,000 community-led projects that helped people organize and communicate ideas to find lasting poverty solutions, saving lives and restoring dignity.

Target demographics: The poorest of the poor. We are currently facilitating 579 community-led projects and issues in 143 field program locations within 9 countries throughout the world.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 57,179 beneficiaries

Geographic areas served: Bolivia, DR Congo, Haiti, India, Malawi, Nepal, Nicaragua, Philippines, Zambia

Programs: Human and community development programs including food, water, literacy, electricity, medical access, small business, reforestation and more in areas of extreme poverty in Haiti, Bolivia, Malawi, DR Congo, Zambia, India, Philippines, Nepal, and Nicaragua.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

In February of this year (2017) I was in Nepal and witnessed the passion, dedication and skill of Outreach's in-country staff as they begin the transforming work of helping communities utilize their own abilities and resources to resolve issues that cause poverty.

This is such an awesome charity! It brings out the best in us -- not just in far away places, but here where I live as well as I am tangible reminded of the power of working together for a greater good.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the way Outreach International helps people to help themselves in a sustainable way. They aren't about band-aids, but cures. And they teach problem solving as they always facilitate within communities instead of delivering solutions. I
Enjoy giving to Outreach even more than my church.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Love OI and their work! They don't mess around and transform lives everywhere they go!

2 Doris C.

Donor

Rating: 5

We continue to support this great non profit, and believe in its mission to educate people to improve their lives rather than give handouts. We have joined their site visits to Philippines, Malawi, Bolivia and Nicaragua to see first hand how their dedicated in country facilitators help villages learn to make a difference in their lives by working with and training them to learn to help themselves improve their lives. I am a volunteer coordinator of church congregations in my area.

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2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of seeing Outreach International and their facilitators working in the field in Philippines, Malawi, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Their facilitators work in villages of poverty around the world, teaching them organizational skills to make them more self sufficient, and helping them see their value as leaders within their community. After a few years of learning, they can sustain what they have learned. I have seen villages whose standard of living was raised to the point where neighboring villages noticed, and they were able to help teach them what they had learned from the Outreach International facilitators. We have supported Outreach as donors for many years, and believe their approach works.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The old adage about 'give someone a fish and they'll eat that day - teach them to fish and they will be able to provide their own food' is so true, and Outreach International really epitomizes that wisdom.

When Outreach International sends a team to a village/town, they meet with the people and learn what the locals feel is their most important need, a learning experience in itself as they arrive at a consensus. Then the team teaches and empowers the local people to take the steps necessary to reach their goal. That way, when the Outreach International team moves on, they can be assured that the village/town knows how to set and reach goals independently, having had a positive hands-on experience. The best kind of mentoring!!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have supported Outreach International for many years. We love getting the feedback on how our donations help others move ahead with being self sustaining and having a healthier life. I have always thought the participatory part of the program was very important to the long lasting effects. When the local people come together and use their own giftedness and effort to prioritize, plan, and implement the final outcome they have new expectations for their future and what is possible within their own community.
I also appreciate how volunteers are actively involved and how much of the funding goes directly to the projects rather than overhead.
Thanks Mel Crowley, Urbandale Ia.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I am proud to be associated with Outreach International by being a donor. Outreach doesn't just give handouts. Handouts diminish pride and create dependency. Outreach works with communities to help themselves, to prioritize their own needs, to develop leadership among themselves, to work together for common good. I believe Outreach makes a lasting difference in the world.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Outreach International is a great organization because it uses a community's talents and gifts to learn to change their lives. The education received gives hope and giftedness is enhanced. Outreach is worth our support.

Arkansaw, WI

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been supporters of Outreach International for many years, and in recent years it has become our charity of choice. We are especially drawn to OI's model, as it is one of the few that seems to provide a realistic process for self-empowerment and sustainability in its efforts against poverty. OI seems to really embrace the idea of abolishing poverty rather than just ameliorating it. One way we have enjoyed incorporating OI into our Christmas traditions is to use their gift catalog to make donations in the names of loved ones, and then to create Christmas ornaments representing the contribution. For instance, OI catalog donations may be used to purchase livestock, plant trees, build wells or cooking stoves, etc. and making a little ornament to represent how the donation may have been used to further a community's prosperity make the gift special and tangible. Regardless, I always feel our money is being used well when we make donations to OI.

6 Ashden P.

Donor

Rating: 5

Traveling with Outreach International on a site visit to Malawi, Aftica showed me how the money I contribute really impacts those in extreme poverty. Many charities can advertise their work well. But I got to have the experience of seeing Outreach's unique process truely work to eliminate poverty.

2 Deb_40

Donor

Rating: 5

I love this organization and have often offered it up to people looking for a place to help. I appreciate many things, but the general public looking to make a difference can be confident that the funds go to the needy, as this organization keeps the administrative costs below 15%. Also, this organization helps people help themselves in a sustainable way - no one shot deals! I contribute by means of an automatic monthly withdrawal from my bank, as I don't want to forget this important work.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported the work of Outreach International in providing funds to improve education in Haiti. As an elementary teacher I know the importance that education plays in improving children's' lives and the future of their communities. I appreciate the emphasis Outreach International places on sustainability.

MsPacoRN

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a donor for years, had the opportunity to go on a site visit to Malawi, and have seen their work in-person in many other countries. Having spent years of my life traveling and working abroad for, with, and next to various NGOs, I can definitely say that OI exceeds the others by leaps and bounds. They do what they say, when they say they'll do it. Not only do they have good intentions (as I believe most NGOs do), but they have the professional knowledge and capacity to implement them in a sustainable, efficient, effective manner, all without racking up huge overhead costs.

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Donor

Rating: 5

As a nurse who's lived in quite a few developing nations, I've spent much of my adult life working for, with, beside, and in conjunction with a variety of NGOs. Although I do believe that they all have great intentions, most of them fall incredibly short on sustainability, with minimal if any lasting impact. Having had the chance to travel to Malawi to see OI at work, and having seen many of their projects in other countries, I can honestly say that they're the only NGO I've ever experienced that really does what they say they'll do, and does it incredibly well. Their projects are well thought out, locally implemented, and truly sustainable. If more organizations had the mission, motivation, and mindset of OI, the world would be much better served. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank OI for all that they do...keep up the good work :)

Elaine39

Donor

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed giving to Outreach over the years because of their long-term commitment to communities. They help people help themselves with projects that the communities themselves get to help choose. Some choose farming, and Outreach teaches them sustainable techniques and provides everything they need to get started, then continues to help and monitor until the community becomes self-sufficient. I cannot think of a better way to reach out to those in need.

Ramona S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to Outreach for many years. Their philosophy of helping people help themselves has intrigued me from the start. I made a visit to Zambia with Outreach and saw the work they do first hand. I donate to other organizations, but none can compare with Outreach and I donate to them on a regular basis.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have recently returned from an Outreach International sponsored site visit to Malawi where we visited seven villages to see the work the people are doing to improve their lives. Members of the village committees who were running the projects reported to us on how life was before the Outreach International facilitator began working with them, how it is now, and how they hope it will be in the future. You should have seen the look of pride on their faces. Several of the leaders were women.

I was extremely impressed with the four Human Development Facilitators I met who work with the people in these very poor outlying villages and live in the same area of Malawi. In a country that appears hopeless, these people have hope because of Outreach International.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

WOW. I can't tell you how much the process that Outreach International employs empowers the poor to help themselves make changes in their lives and the life of their communities. I just returned from a trip to Malawi, where Outreach is assisting the poorest of the poor villages to learn the skills and take the steps to learn communal decision; setting goals and prioritizing,,,,and learning how to submit proposals to many NGOs as well as their own govenment (when applicable). And the process is SO empowering for the women. The difference in the pride and joy and forward looking spirit in the villages where Outreach has been for 10 years, vs 3 years, vs a new village is amazing. The "soft skills" of the in country, local Outreach staff are phenominal.

Donor

Rating: 5

Outreach International is an organization that really makes a difference in the lives of those who live in poverty. On a site visit to Nicaragua, we could see first-hand how people work together to meet community needs. I will continue to support Outreach International through personal donations and through the group efforts at our church.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

On a site visit to Nicaragua, I was able to see first hand how the sustainable aspect of Outreach International has made a very positive impact on the lives of people in the communities where it has a presence. The people in these communities are guided to decide for themselves what it is that they need to improve their quality of life. By working together, so much has been achieved.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a donor to this organization for over 30 years. They are one of the first nonprofits that I know of that based their mission on sustainability. Their mission is to develop long-term, sustainable programs based on the needs identified by members of the community in which they are working. They work very hard to keep their administrative costs low so that most donations go to their programs and not overhead. I will continue to be a monthly donor and have included them in my will at my death.

Terry44

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization that uses the resources effectively.