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Humanitarian, Charitable and Philanthropic Community Services

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Congratulations: Grameen Bank and Muhammad Yunus - 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winners for their microcredit work in Bangladesh Congratulations: Green Belt Movement - Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai of Kenya - 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner
The selective directory below lists some of the many cross-border humanitarian and charitable non-profit organizations which do good work in communities around the world.

This includes non-governmental organizations (NGO's) such as organized charities, plus multilateral organizations, governmental foreign aid or humanitarian disaster relief assistance and community development programs, private and corporate foundations, and other resources which may be relevant to the philanthropic, charitable, or general humanitarian interests of our friends and visitors to this site.

Executives and service providers engaged in international business and economic development typically have strong interests in not only their own companies and communities, but also the larger context of the political, economic, social and cultural environment around them.

 This includes charitable and general humanitarian interests which extend across borders beyond their own local communities to assist people in other regions who may be less fortunate. 

We do not endorse or recommend specific organizations, nor is this list any indication of our support for their work, nor by them for our own services.  We may comment in some cases on our perception or knowledge of their work, but encourage all potential donors or participants in their work to carefully research and reach their own conclusions about which services coincide with their own social interests.

Our own work is not as a non-profit, but as a company promoting business and community economic development across borders, both within and between countries, by openly sharing market knowledge and contacts to facilitate the more effective flow of direct investment projects by companies to places where they will successfully contribute to the growth of the companies, communities, and many lives involved.  Economic development is not a zero-sum competition, and inefficient capital flows sustain needless misery in both developed and developing nations.  In short, the billions in capital investment flows matter.

This is a for-profit business with a social purpose - what some would call a "social entrepreneur venture" - which by the nature of our business works closely with many local community economic development organizations and related professional services.

This directory will continue to evolve in response to suggestions, research, and feedback from our contacts.  We welcome suggestions for addition to this selective directory.  The focus of this directory relates to cross-border humanitarian and economic development work, rather than general cultural, educational, health, and local community charities or other non-profits.

Natural disasters, conflicts, disease and other crisis sources of obvious suffering may trigger additional sensitivity to such issues, but one relatively unique aspect of human civilization remains the capacity to genuinely want to help total strangers who are in need, even beyond one's own community, ethnic group, religious group, or other obvious linkages.  This goes beyond the empathetic response to the poor victims of natural or man-made crises every year.

Humanitarian and charitable work or philanthropy reflects a fundamental desire to not only succeed personally or as a family or social group, but to contribute to a better future for all people, and indeed for the environment we inhabit and the world we will all leave behind in time as a legacy for future generations.

This transcends religious, cultural, political, economic and other boundaries by definition as a humanitarian response to other people, whether they are suffering or can simply benefit from some generous act of unexpected and deliberate kindness.  It is an initiative to help other people by choice, rather than just a response to immediate crises or direct charitable appeals on behalf of specific victims. 

While we certainly sympathize with the victims of tragic events, there are great ongoing needs in the world which can be neglected while attention focuses on crisis response rather than long-term solutions to development challenges worldwide.  In any case, regardless of motivation, scale, or timing, every commitment to take action can help.

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Non-governmental organizations, charitable organizations

This includes faith-based institutions as well as other types of organized charities

Website - see also other resources below for charity background information

Regional contact directories may include other organizations with a regional focus

American Refugee Committee - relief and development assistance for refugee populations
Asha for Education - support for basic education of underprivileged children in India
ADRA International - Adventist Development and Relief Agency International
American Friends Service Committee
American Jewish World Service, Inc.
AmeriCares Foundation, Inc. - emergency disaster relief and medical care
CARE International - Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.
Catholic Relief Services, Inc.
Central Asia Institute, Bozeman Montana - Supports community-based programs in education, women's empowerment, public health and conservation in remote mountain regions of Central Asia (Pakistan, Afghanistan).
Church World Service Inc.
Creating Hope International - Projects include collaboration with Afghan Institute of Learning
Give2Asia - set up by the Asia Foundation
Green Belt Movement - see 2004 Nobel Peace Prize note below , but not limited to Kenya
Habitat for Humanity International - Some people may not realize, despite the well-publicized participation of President Carter, that these projects are not just overseas, but also in urban US communities where pride in home ownership is a path to improve lives and neighborhoods in cooperation with the intended beneficiaries, rather than just a handout program for the poor.  They do very important work in many developing countries, however.  This is not limited to disaster response and reconstruction, but rather ongoing initiatives to strengthen communities.
Help the Afghan Children - HTAC - setting up schools, health projects
Hispanics in Philanthropy - strengthening Latino communities across the Americas
International Rescue Committee, Inc. - relief for refugees and disaster victims
Lutheran World Relief, Inc.
MAP International
Mercy Corps
Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corp.
Oxfam-America Inc.
Pakistan Centre for Philanthopy
Plan International USA, Inc. - Childreach
Samaritan's Purse - evangelical relief programs
Save the Children - education, health and nutrition in many poor regions
Christian Children's Fund
World Vision International - note global microfinance VisionFund International
CitiHope International, Inc.
Direct Relief International - focus on medical assistance
Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Doctors Without Borders - US affiliate, international medical emergency relief and humanitarian aid organization such as for health crisis response
Doctors of the World USA, Inc. - US affiliate of Medecins du Monde, France
International Medical Corps
Project Concern International - public health, local training
Synergos Institute - sustainable local poverty reduction initiatives, active in Latin America and South Africa, based in NY
Grameen Bank, Bangladesh - and economist Muhammad Yunus

Congratulations to 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded to promote local economic development and alleviate poverty through microcredit programs.  These enabled small groups of poor people in Bangladesh to access unsecured loans in very small amounts for their own self-help business efforts which would not be possible through the traditional bank loan processes.  This made it possible for many poor people to find their own path out of poverty through their work and savings, rather than rely on high-cost sources of capital or continuous government aid, social programs, or charity.  This development model has been repeated elsewhere as an effective approach to poverty reduction challenges, and adopted by various non-profit charitable organizations as a way to leverage the economic impact of their limited resources.

One of the interesting concepts promoted by Muhammad Yunus is the idea of "non-loss" companies with a clear social purpose as their main objective.  In short, they are managed like for-profit business ventures, but are not managed for profit maximization, but rather to maximize the desired social impact of their work.  This differs from the typical nature of "non profit" organizations, which may similarly focus on trying to achieve good social outcomes, but perhaps more from the perspective of raising and distributing money or other benefits as charity rather than managing the process for demonstrable results as in a business.  In other words, a non-profit may measure activity (how much it has given away and to how many) rather than results (what has been changed to achieve sustainable progress beyond immediate crisis-response).  This concept of business-like social ventures has started to catch on with philanthropic business leaders who want to achieve lasting results.

Green Belt Movement : Kenya

Congratulations to 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai of Kenya for her contributions to sustainable development, democracy and peace.

Her inspirational lecture was also broadcast through the Worldview program of Chicago Public Radio, where an audio clip is available, which is well worth hearing to capture the passion of her many years of commitment to this cause.  It is an exceptional lecture on development and the linkages between environmental issues and democratic governance and peace.  A full transcript is on the Nobel website.

The Nobel Lecture, December 10, 2004. "A Sustainable Environment and Peace", by Laureate Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement  (biography).  There is a special website about her work at  

The above audio clip requires RealPlayer 8 or higher   Transcript


Private and corporate foundations Website
Aga Khan Development Network
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Bill Gates announced "Grand Challenges in Global Health" initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos (Jan 2003) to invest $200 million in a research challenge which can help to end some of the diseases which create misery in developing countries, but otherwise tend to attract little attention or investment in the developed countries.  In December 2005 Bill and Melinda Gates (along with Bono) were recognized by Time magazine in their annual person of the year feature.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Ford Foundation
John D & Catherine T MacArthur Foundation
Tides Foundation - San Francisco
Multilateral organizations with humanitarian and development programs Website
UNICEF - The United Nations Children's Fund
United States Fund for UNICEF - one of 37 national committees for donor support of UNICEF
UN World Food Programme
Friends of WFP, Inc. - donor support to the United Nations World Food Programme
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
US Association for UNHCR - donor to the work of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency), part of The World Bank, engaged in various initiatives to help build local capacity to support economic development and investment
Governmental programs, foreign aid and development, humanitarian assistance Website - there is also a directory of other government services
USA Freedom Corps
US AID - Agency for International Development - note that US AID has organized a basic list of NGO's with capabilities related to relief efforts in the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster in south and southeast Asia, but the usual focus of AID work is not disaster recovery

tsunami directory

Additional sources of information Website
Africa Grantmakers Affinity Group - NY
Southern African Grantmakers Association (SAGA)  
Reuters AlertNet Foundation - "alerting humanitarians to emergencies"
Allavida - UK publisher of Alliance magazine about philanthropy and social investment
American Institute of Philanthropy - reviews charity performance to assist donors
Bridgespan Group, and Bridgestar Research and Reports
Business for Social Responsibility
Charity Navigator - reference and rating information about many types of charities for donors
Chicago Global Donors Network - general philanthropy network - not environmental focus
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Civic Ventures - and Experience Corps - sponsor of The Purpose Prize - involves people over 60 to apply their experience to social needs in education and other fields
Council on Foundations  
Development Gateway - links to many sources of information about development issues
Directory of Development Organizations - focus on development such as poverty reduction in developing countries - long global and regional lists of International Organizations, Governments, Private Sector Institutions, Development Agencies, Universities, Research and Training Institutes, NGOs/PDOs, Grantmakers, Banks, Microfinance Institutions and Development Consulting Firms
Donors Forum of Chicago - Chicago is not only the "city that works" or generous "city of big shoulders", but also a city with a fairly well organized process to coordinate philanthropic activities among community leaders.  Executives in other cities might find this model interesting to organize collaboration among foundations which focus on different social issues.
Europe in the World - Belgium
European Foundation Center - Belgium - association of foundations, ties to WINGS and regional relationships through other global cooperation agreements
Foundation Center - publishes directory of foundations with information about what they support, such as to assist grant seekers.  National Directory of Corporate Giving.
Giving in Europe - portal to facilitate cross-border donations with legal and fiscal information for donors, intermediaries and recipients
Global Giving (Many Futures, Inc.) - set up by former World Bank staff; seeking investment in small-scale, private development initiatives such as entrepreneurial ventures rather than traditional national and multilateral aid programs and major infrastructure projects.  Provides potential donors with an easy process to directly support specific small-scale projects as proposed by the participating organizations.  Doesn't directly perform or control the projects.  
Global Philanthropy Forum - San Francisco CA - April 3-5, 2006 Washington DC conference
GuideStar - US national database of nonprofit organizations.  Philanthropic Research.  Part of their focus is on sharing information of interest to those who are seeking grants or jobs from nonprofits, but they also summarize what the organizations have been doing or are planning, including financial info.  - Action Without Borders connects people, organizations and resources - general global directory / marketplace for non-profit organizations and consultants
Independent Sector
Innovation Funders Network - 2006 summit in San Francisco on Networks, Innovation and Social Change
InterAction - American Council for Voluntary International Action - describes itself as "the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. With more than 160 members operating in every developing country, we work to overcome poverty, exclusion and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity for all."
Network for Good - aside from their usual information about organized charities for potential donors, they quickly set up and publicized a list of organizations summarizing whose work is expected to be relevant to the tsunami relief effort, linked to GuideStar background reports.

tsunami directory

One World South Asia - human rights and sustainable developmenet
The Philanthropy Roundtable - Washington DC
Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) - experience investing in development and implementation of innovative social purpose enterprises in the San Francisco area
Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship - created in Switzerland by Klaus Schwab, who was also behind development of the World Economic Forum
Social Venture Network - San Francisco CA - international network to promote the work of social venture entrepreneurs - applying business approaches to social needs
Social Enterprise Alliance
Social Venture Partners International
The Urban Institute - National Center for Charitable Statistics
Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS) 
Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium  
Japan Foundation Center  
Philanthropy Australia, Inc.  
Centro Brasileiro de Fundações  (Brazilian Foundations Center)  
Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía  (Mexican Center for Philanthropy)  
Initiatives by Professional Associations  
BIO Ventures for Global Health - The Biotechnology Industry Association is responding to the challenge of trying to address developing country needs.
CoreNet Global - Leaders of CoreNet Global have collaborated in recent years to do Habitat for Humanity projects in each city where they have held a major convention, during the event.  They have also used their events to highlight local development initiatives, which is also a good idea.  We think this is a good example for major event organizers in other industries and professions, too.
Academic Initiatives and "Think Tanks", Leadership Forums  
Aspen Institute
Duke University - Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Engineers Without Borders - initiative to organize small-scale, short-term voluntary assistance projects in developing countries, such as for basic water and sanitation needs or other basic civil engineering infrastructure requirements, typically by engineering students as special projects.  It is interesting to see how this differs from the "Architecture for Humanity" initiative, which seems to be more of a design competition process leading to architect recognition and publicity for prototypes rather than tangible or significant impact on development needs.  Instead, EWB seems to be following a path of on-the-ground collaboration between engineers or students with useful skills and communities with specific engineering needs on a small scale, somewhat like the role of Habitat for Humanity to help people build their own homes.  - Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

For contrast :

News, journals, blogs, and online discussion groups for non-profit organizations  
Omidyar - online community of special interest groups
Social Edge - online community for innovation in the social sector - "by social entrepreneurs for social entrepreneurs"  and blog
John Elkington - personal blog by the founder of SustainAbility - UK consulting group
The Nonprofit Times
Nonprofit Quarterly
Organizations which we personally choose not to support Noble social causes are not always served by good leaders and wise choices.
Greenpeace - We agree with the criticism of the modern environmental movement by one of the founders of Greenpeace who left it - Dr. Patrick Moore at .  His essay on "Environmentalism for the 21st Century" is highly recommended.  Although some activists portray Moore as an "Eco-Traitor", we think that he raises very legitimate concerns about political activism which apply to more than just the environmentalist groups. Refer to Patrick Moore's "The Sensible Environmentalist" columns for ESPN Outdoors, or buy a copy of his book.  At one time, Greenpeace was a much better organization than what it has become today.  It has grown, however, into something completely different. 
Amnesty International - This organization resembles the environmental groups which have become opposition groups seeking headlines rather than proponents of positive changes through a more constructive dialogue which advances their cause.  Such groups enjoy their ability to raise money, which empowers them and seems to legitimize their efforts to attract more publicity through sensational accusations which do not advance their alleged goals.

We do not support the work of AI, and encourage those who support it to reconsider their choice, and look into related websites such as .  We abhor abuses of human rights anywhere, but that doesn't equate to support for AI.

You can easily find their website through any search engine, rather than here.

An apparently noble cause which naturally attracts sympathetic support is being perverted.  There are better alternatives for donors and volunteers than to support this organization.  It still does some good work, but when they make outrageous and unsubstantiated abuse allegations against the US government to gain headlines and support, while calling little attention to some of the true atrocities around the world, they are part of the problem rather than the solution, just like the farcical UN Commission run by leading human rights abusers.

CORE - Corporate Responsibility Coalition - is a group of a few major non-profits and smaller organizations pushing the idea that the voluntary approach to corporate social responsibility has failed; with an explicit agenda for "putting people and planet before profit".

This shifts the focus away from the "triple bottom line" concept (metrics for recognizing financial, social, and environmental performance by corporations) to a more regulatory rather than voluntary approach to enforce corporate social responsibility as they define it.  This starts from the false premise that companies are by nature irresponsible and harmful to society unless such social activists mobilize government restraints on their actions.

This seems analogous to asking government to tell private individuals what they must do for society, rather than just creating a societal framework in which competing ideas are free to attract private or governmental support.  It enforces adherence to the social ideals of a particular special interest group whose cause seems worthy.  It is an abuse of the power of government, however, for such special interest groups to create what is in effect a corporate draft board to force companies to join up and invest resources in compliance activities and reporting requirements to support their activist wars on chosen social issues according to their own visions of how the social problems they perceive must be attacked.

Corporations are a "legal person", and like other free citizens they must operate within the norms of the societies where they operate, but it is a slippery slope for special interest groups to try to enforce their own social agendas through government mandates designed to force companies to do their bidding.  People with good intentions and sincere interests in worthy causes can create very harmful government policies, just like populist demagogues who use popular sympathy for a single issue to achieve their own rise to social power.

One can be against this group and still favor corporate social responsibility in general and some of the social causes which the member organizations promote.

The participating organizations include major charities which have been widely perceived as leading very worthy social causes for many years.  Frankly, we are disappointed that they have chosen to follow the adversarial, overtly anti-business path articulated by CORE.

For example :

ActionAid UK

Amnesty International UK

Christian Aid

Friends of the Earth


War on Want

World Wildlife Federation - UK


Although much of the focus of this apparently small organization is on the UK, it clearly is intended to influence policy across Europe and in other regions as well.


This certainly seems to be a far cry from the liberal ideals of the Kennedy era, such as the "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" ideal.  This is more a case of "we'll tell you what you have to do for our country, and enforce it".

Refer also to our many other Directories of economic development organizations, investment promotion agencies, and professional or other resources by region

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