20 Best Charities for Global Poverty (Complete 2021 List)
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Hey fellow impactful ninja 👋
You may have noticed that Impactful Ninja is all about providing helpful information to make a positive impact on the world and society. And that we love to link back to where we found all the information for each of our posts.
Most of these links are informational-based for you to check out their primary sources with one click.
But some of these links are so-called "affiliate links" to products that we recommend.
First and foremost, because we believe that they add value to you. For example, when we wrote a post about the environmental impact of long showers, we came across an EPA recommendation to use WaterSense showerheads. So we linked to where you can find them. Or, for many of our posts, we also link to our favorite books on that topic so that you can get a much more holistic overview than one single blog post could provide.
And when there is an affiliate program for these products, we sign up for it. For example, as Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
First, and most importantly, we still only recommend products that we believe add value for you.
When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission - but at no additional costs to you.
And when you buy something through a link that is not an affiliate link, we won’t receive any commission but we’ll still be happy to have helped you.
When we find products that we believe add value to you and the seller has an affiliate program, we sign up for it.
When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra costs to you).
And at this point in time, all money is reinvested in sharing the most helpful content with you. This includes all operating costs for running this site and the content creation itself.
You may have noticed by the way Impactful Ninja is operated that money is not the driving factor behind it. It is a passion project of mine and I love to share helpful information with you to make a positive impact on the world and society. However, it's a project in that I invest a lot of time and also quite some money.
Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go.
Poverty is an unfair reality of life, but given the surplus produced by the world, it is not a necessary reality of life. But luckily, there are many philanthropic organizations that have taken the challenge of eradicating poverty.
The best charities for global poverty are Innovations for Poverty Action, Oxfam International, and Give Directly because they have the most innovative, holistic, and direct approaches to enable families to lift themselves out of poverty.
In this article, you will learn about the 20 best charities fighting for the noble cause of ending poverty in the world. You will learn about their mission, method of philanthropy, and effectiveness. So, read on and find the one that resonates with you.
Innovations for Poverty Action – Advocating for Better Use of Resources in the Fight Against Poverty
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that aims to discover and promote effective solutions to global poverty problems. To achieve this goal, they bring together researchers and decision-makers to design, evaluate, and refine possible solutions to overcome poverty. And they use a scientific, evidence-based approach to improve the lives of the world’s poor.
In short, IPA helps to build a world with less poverty by creating and sharing evidence and equipping and decision-makers to use it to reduce poverty. And to date, the NGO has evaluated and pitched more than 550 solutions, with over 200 in the pipeline.
And you can help IPA discover effective, lasting solutions to poverty by enabling them to conduct more research to innovate and evaluate possible solutions. To build a world with more evidence and less poverty
Oxfam International – Solutions for Poverty on Every Level
When you donate to a charity, you want to make sure the organization is truly dedicated to its mission. Oxfam International has picked a fight with poverty on all levels. From providing emergency supplies and disaster relief to tackling problems at the source, Oxfam International provides solutions at all levels. Poverty is often caused by a lack of opportunity, bad infrastructure, or a lack of education.
Oxfam International makes sure the next generation of those living close to poverty have the education and the resources to have upward mobility. Oxfam also contributes directly to food banks and distribution services for essentials. By treating the wealth gap between countries as a serious problem, Oxfam tackles policy problems like debt traps and unfair distribution of foreign aid.
Give Directly Inc. – Give Money Directly to Those Who Need It
Often when it comes to donating to charity, one of the donors’ main concerns is whether the money will actually go towards helping those in need or if it will go towards marketing and administration expenses. While with causes related to a lack of awareness, it might be justified to spend a lot on marketing; in fighting poverty, it is crucial that every cent one donates goes towards fighting hunger and deprivation.
Give Directly, as the name suggests, allows donors to donate directly to extremely poor families all around the world. This allows the families to choose the best way they want to spend the money and has dignity attached to it. Furthermore, those in agricultural areas can use the money to start growing a crop. Most families sponsored by such campaigns live in places where cottage industries thrive, so a small donation can go a long way in setting up a family for life.
Save the Children – A Fair Chance for Every Child
One of the adverse effects of poverty is that it forces children to grow up too quickly. By adding sudden responsibility and unfair stresses of life on young children, a tough life can rob kids of their innocence. Protecting children from the harsh impact of poverty is a noble cause.
Save The Children is an organization that fights for this cause with as much efficiency as possible. 86 cents of every dollar donated to the organization reaches the children, while less than fifteen percent goes towards the operating expenses. That alone makes the organization a serious contender for the best charity on the list.
The organization maximizes its impact by providing poultry and farm animals to those living in poverty in agricultural regions. One can donate anything from a chick to a goat or a cow to children who would benefit from raising the animals.
CARE International – an Alliance for a Better World
When you look at the millions of people living in poverty, you realize that poverty is a problem of immense volume that needs a solution of matching magnitude. CARE International understands the power of alliances and is made up of 14 charitable organizations taking on poverty on a truly global scale.
CARE International impacts 95 countries positively and is among the first in providing localized solutions, emergency food supplies, and poverty-ending tools to those in need. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the organization has been in the trenches fighting towards its mission since 1945. With a long history of integrity and charitable work, CARE International definitely has a well-deserved place among the best charities of 2020.
The Global Red Cross Network – A Legacy of Charitable Work
The words Red Cross and Charity have become synonymous because of how iconic this organization’s work has been throughout modern history. The charitable organization focuses on reducing suffering in the world. As poverty causes a lot of hunger, starvation, and unfair suffering, The Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations work together to fight these injustices all around the world.
One way the organization maintains transparency and effectiveness is by having different smaller organizations, each with localized jurisdictions. That way, the American Red Cross will not dictate how the British Red Cross Operates.
Furthermore, the societies dealing with issues within their borders allow for a better problem-solution match as the problems are witnessed firsthand before the allocation of funds or launching of a program. From basic healthcare to food supplies, whatever people in need require, the localized teams are able to strive towards delivering.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – A Positive Impact on Childrens’ Lives
Poverty has a cyclical nature where those living in poverty are often doomed to raise children with fewer opportunities who would continue to live a life of poverty and pass it on. Because of this, organizations that focus on making a positive impact on children’s lives are some of the most deserving ones when it comes to charity.
UNICEF impacts the lives of children living in poverty in 190 countries. The organization, backed by the United Nations, helps provide a fair chance to every child it can help. Some of its initiatives include giving children the right education, so they have a higher chance of success in their future and providing the right healthcare to ensure the longevity of their lifespan.
Furthermore, play and safety are the organization’s top priority as well because the joy of childhood is worth preserving. Reducing the risk, and the stresses of living in poverty, helps children have the childhood they deserve.
World Vision – Sustainable Development to Overcome Poverty
If one analyzes the problem of poverty and a wealth gap between resource access of poor children and children of rich parents, the most straightforward solution would be to encourage those blessed in life to sponsor children living in poverty. That is exactly what World Vision does. Without having to physically adopt children, people can donate to sponsor a child. As the organization operates in third world countries, a dollar goes quite far.
Not only does World Vision sponsor children for their basic necessities, but it also provides tools to the communities and families with which they can improve their lifestyle and start living a better life. When you sponsor a child through World Vision, you invest in giving children a chance at climbing out of poverty.
Concern Worldwide – Gift a Method of Earning to Those in Need
Those living in poverty are in a disadvantaged position. And no matter the position one is in, the right tools can help them climb out of it. Concern Worldwide has realized that most individuals living in poverty happen to be in the unregulated territory where they can raise animals, provide animal-based transport in rural areas, and use animals for milk, eggs, and meat.
Concern Worldwide has, therefore, started using this opportunity to eradicate poverty one family at a time. Donors are allowed the option to gift chicken, goats, and even mules to families living in areas where these gifts can make a huge difference. With this strategy, small donations become a reoccurring source of income for families in need.
Outreach International – Long Term Solutions to Fight Poverty
Since the dawn of humanitarian organizations, many possible solutions to poverty have been tried. We realized early on that providing people with only what they need in the short term is not the solution for poverty. To put someone in a position where they may rely on donations forever takes away their autonomy. That is why many organizations have shifted towards enabling communities to fight poverty.
Outreach International has created a system called Participatory Human Development, where the communities are brought together and given the right education and tools that allow the entire community to rise above poverty. If anything will end global poverty, it is more initiatives like this.
OPAD International – A Hybrid Solution to a Singular Problem
The Organization for Poverty Alleviation and Development (OPAD) has championed the fight against global poverty for over a decade. In the success of a charitable organization’s mission, one of the biggest contributors is how well it works with other entities.
OPAD International has partnered with NGOs, government entities, and philanthropic foundations to bring the most opportunities to those who deserve them. One can find out about an organization’s effectiveness by looking at its impact. OPAD is actively making a difference in over 40 countries.
Its method of alleviating poverty is a hybrid of gifting resources, community-building, and direct relief. By using a mix of strategic tools, this organization is able to bring the best of various approaches to the battle against deprivation, hunger, and poverty.
End Poverty Now (EPN) – Grassroots Projects for Change
Poverty leads to real-time suffering, and therefore to those experiencing it, the need for help is time-sensitive. If all the charitable work was done to build sustainable income sources for the future, many children would still be living below the poverty line and likely die of disease or starvation. The fight against poverty is an urgent one. And End Poverty Now understands this urgency – which is why the organization is titled the way it is.
By starting grassroots projects with the help of local and global volunteers and donors, EPN is able to set up solutions with a fast turnaround. Started by Canadian students, the organization has served Canada and territories abroad for over thirteen years.
As a project founded by those passionate about the cause, the organization does not have a steep hierarchy and is more democratic and decentralized in its approach. This creates a collaborative environment where any team member can pitch a solution. To make a small pool of resources go far, access to such an idea pool is definitely helpful.
The Borgen Project – Policy Change That Matters
The United States gives away billions of dollars in foreign aid. By applying the right effort, one can redirect these aid packages to serve those who live below the poverty line. As it is possible with any type of government-funded projects, the foreign aid can get misallocated, and every dollar given to the wrong project is a dollar taken away from the families who deserve it.
The Borgen Project encourages taxpayers and citizens to write to their representatives. To date, the project has influenced many foreign aid policies and the distribution of philanthropic funds towards fighting global poverty.
World Relief – Seven Million Plus Lives Impacted
Many secular philanthropists have the misconception that faith-based charities discriminate based on religion when it comes to supporting those in need. That is largely not the case. Faith-based charities draw donations from those of a particular faith but use the funds to support those in need regardless of age, gender, race, or faith. World Relief is a bright example of this.
The organization is a Christian charity that partners with churches and communities in twenty countries to make a positive impact. With 75,000 volunteers worldwide, the organization has impacted seven million people living in poverty.
Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) – Research That Informs the Fight Against Poverty
It was not long ago when economists thought the world would starve upon crossing the five billion population mark. However, it took a series of bright ideas that led to industrial farming, which has almost neutralized the problem of overpopulation. This shows the power of new ideas.
The Institute of Research on Poverty is a place where such ideas come about in the fight against poverty. The research conducted by this organization and the scholars it supports directly affects policies and programs that fight poverty nationally and internationally.
Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee (BRAC) – Over 180 Million Lives Changed
Organizations trying to solve poverty issues in third-world countries while headquartered in the first world may make some logistic sense, but the structure gives an Ivory Tower vibe. BRAC is based in Bangladesh and makes an impact in the poorest countries around.
Locally, the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee has lifted nearly 87,000 households out of poverty, while over 400,000 children have received primary education because of its initiatives. Internationally, the organization’s impact reaches 180 million people. As you can see from the areas it addresses, the organization is fighting poverty on the frontlines with both short-term and long-term solutions.
European Anti-Poverty Network – Bringing Poverty to the EU’s Attention
It is no secret that European countries are among the most advanced nations in terms of economy and technology. The countries have great infrastructure and opportunities for education and upward mobility. The European Union strengthens the power of European countries by bringing them together and acting as a bloc.
The European Anti-Poverty Network aims to bring poverty to the EU’s attention so that the countries with economic advantage can focus on fighting poverty in the areas that need support. The network uses education, training, and services to fight poverty and mobilize volunteers on a grassroots level for action on a global scale.
Advocates for International Development (A4ID) – The Law Community’s Voice Against Poverty
Lawyers are in a unique position where they qualify as high-earning professionals and simultaneously have one of the most impactful skill sets on the planet. Given these facts, it only makes sense that they are given a platform to consolidate their efforts and make a change. The organization does what lawyers do best: it advocates for the cause.
Advocates for International Development has taken on the goal of ending extreme poverty by the year 2030. In fighting against poverty, the organization connects people with a network of over 53,000 lawyers in over 200 jurisdictions around the world.
Green Shoots Foundation – Agricultural Solutions for Poverty
It has been quite evident that the issue of global poverty persists because one-time or even recurring donations are not a sustainable solution. As a result, an organization like The Green Shoots Foundation focuses on sustainable development that gives those living in poverty the opportunity for upward mobility.
By promoting education and producing agricultural programs, the Green Shoots Foundation helps people living in poverty in Asia and Africa get on the track to sustain themselves, making each dollar donated work forever.
Global Citizen – End Poverty by 2030
What is often missing in most charities’ goals is a solid deadline. As mentioned elsewhere in this article, poverty is a time-sensitive issue that affects the longevity of lifespans. Global Citizen is an organization that aims to eradicate poverty by the year 2030. With a deadline that is barely a decade away, volunteers and donors who call themselves global citizens raise their voices and contribute to the fight against global poverty.
Charitable organizations are crucial in the fight against poverty. Before you select the charity you wish to support, make sure to look at the following factors:
- How much of the money donated goes towards the cause, and how much is used for operating expenses.
- Does the charity support people in the short term or provide solutions for the long term.
- How long has the organization existed, and what has it done since it was founded.
Once you find the organization that resonates with you, you can support it by donating or volunteering for it.
- Charity Navigator: 5 Steps to Informed Giving
- UNICEF: Nutrition’s Lifelong Impact
- Red Cross: American Red Cross Impact Report
- GiveDirectly: Send money to people living in poverty
- The Borgen Project | Downsize Poverty
- Oxfam International: The power of people against poverty
- Save the Children: Humanitarian Aid Organization for Children
- CARE International
- American Red Cross: The Global Red Cross Network
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- World Vision
- Concern Worldwide
- Outreach International
- OPAD International
- End Poverty Now (EPN): EPN Chapters
- Global Citizen
- World Relief
- Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)
- Innovations for Poverty Action
- Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee (BRAC)
- European Anti-Poverty Network
- Advocates for International Development (A4ID)
- Green Shoots Foundation