While thousands of NGOs operate internationally, the globally recognized base for hundreds of the biggest NGOs and other charitable groups is Washington, D.C. From here, in close proximity to the most powerful government on earth, NGOs run their operations, organize fundraising events, and lobby the political and corporate elite for a bigger slice of the charity pie that supports their desperately needed aid programs.
According to InterAction, a Washington, D.C. alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs, the U.S. public, foundations, and other supporters raised more than $13 billion through fundraising efforts in 2009 alone. This money is used for a number of programs, such as disaster relief efforts, women’s issues, health, education, and agriculture.
There are literally hundreds of NGOs and charitable groups of all sizes based in and around Washington, D.C. Here is an overview of some of them and what services they provide.
Well Known NGOs and Charitable Groups in DC
Africare. Working to improve the quality of life in Africa, this organization has a diverse issues area: Children & Youth, Civil Society, Strengthening of, Climate Change / Environment, Disaster Response, Food Security, Health, Microfinance, Water and Sanitation, and Women’s and Girls’ Rights.
American Red Cross International Services. Part of the larger International Red Cross Movement, this humanitarian organization provides disaster relief and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
Bread for the World. This Christian organization specializes in global food security and has the following mission statement: “Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities in which we live.”
ChildFund International. Focusing on child and youth issues, ChildFund International helps “deprived, excluded and vulnerable children living in poverty have the capacity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change to their communities.”
Oxfam America. The U.S. branch of the larger international NGO, Oxfam America works to end poverty and injustice, with a special focus on issues such as agriculture, the environment, health, and trade.
Salvation Army World Service Office. Working hand in hand with communities around the world, this organization strives to improve the health, economics, and spiritual conditions of the world’s poor. The U.S. based World office provides financial and technical assistance to the international Salvation Army on program areas such as education, food security, community development, relief and reconstruction assistance, income generation, child survival and anti-human trafficking.
United Way Worldwide. This organization has a simple, yet powerful, mission statement: “To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.” To achieve these lofty goals, United Way Worldwide seeks to foster a worldwide social movement, bring all sectors of society together for common goals, raise and invest billions to support programs, and inspire accountability.