10 Best Charities for Helping Orphans (Complete 2024 List)

10 Best Charities for Helping Orphans (Complete 2024 List)

By
Alycia O'Dell

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Globally, over 150 million children are orphaned or acting as caregivers for compromised adults. Orphaned children are at higher risk for impaired social and academic functioning. Furthermore, children already struggling in poverty are often forced to enter dangerous institutions or face living on the streets. Fortunately, organizations around the world are working to help support vulnerable children as they navigate orphanhood. So, we had to ask: hat are the best charities for helping orphans?

The best charities for helping orphans are Zoe Empowers and Love Without Borders. Charities such as World Orphans and the Miracle Foundation work to identify and strengthen at-risk families to end the need for orphanages around the world.

Whether you want to help orphaned children become self-sufficient, construct community centers in impoverished areas, or ensure every family has the resources they need to feed their children, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for helping orphans are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to contribute.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Helping Orphans Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, transparency ratings, and achievements. 

While many are based in the US, most operate internationally to help the world’s most vulnerable children.

Many of these charities focus on strengthening families and communities to help orphans, while others ensure orphans have access to the tools they need to help them become self-sufficient.

Some of these charities also utilize evidence-based techniques to help orphans thrive socially and academically. Some work to break the cycle of poverty for the health of future generations, while others advocate for policies that increase access to quality care for marginalized populations.

Yet, they all share a common goal: to end the orphan crisis around the world.

These Are the 10 Best Charities for Helping Orphans in 2024

Below are our favorite charities for helping orphans (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Zoe Empowers: Empowering Orphans to Empower Communities 

Logo for Zoe Empowers
Zoe Empowers - .ORG Story

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Zoe Empowers a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Ending extreme poverty through empowerment.

Zoe Empowers

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What they do:

Zoe Empowers helps orphans and youth-led families overcome poverty by equipping them with the tools they need to live self-sufficiently. Their three-year, participant-centric empowerment program focuses on creating sustainable solutions to the detriments of poverty. For example, to ensure ongoing access to food and shelter, they teach participants about nutrition and how to grow their own food and provide support for finding secure housing. They also facilitate access to healthcare and hygiene education so participants can stay physically healthy. Furthermore, they encourage financial independence through business and financial fluency training and help participants create their own business plans. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Zoe Empowers has helped more than 174,570 impoverished children from 8 countries to achieve self-sufficiency. And, their empowerment model has been proven to help break the cycle of poverty: in a 2021 study following graduates of the program, almost 100% of participants reported being able to strengthen their communities by providing assistance or employment to other orphaned or vulnerable youth.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Zoe Empowers via their website. You can also get involved by attending a Vision Trip or joining a virtual trip.

2

Love Without Boundaries: Healing, Education, and Refuge

Logo for World Orphans
Love Without Boundaries - Remember Our Why

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Love Without Boundaries a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Every child counts.

Love Without Boundaries

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What they do:

Love Without Boundaries works with local community leaders to provide critical services to orphaned and impoverished children around the globe. For example, their Healing Homes Program provides housing and full-time, nurturing care for medically compromised orphans in India and China, while their well-monitored Foster Care Program unites orphaned children in Cambodia, China, India, and Uganda with foster families. Moreover, they invest in family preservation by working with local communities to identify impoverished children at risk of neglect or abandonment, and providing support to keep families together.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Love Without Boundaries has supported 80,000 orphans and vulnerable children through their education, nutrition, medical, and foster care programs. For example, in 2022, they served over 265,000 hot meals to school children in impoverished communities and trained over 400 foster parents and officials on the importance of family-based care. That same year, they provided 1,188 medical procedures for children in need, including 122 cleft operations and 96 life-saving heart surgeries, and reunited 51 children with their biological families. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Love Without Boundaries via their website. You can also get involved by sponsoring a child or volunteering your time.

3

World Orphans: Stronger Families, Fewer Orphans

Logo for World Orphans
World Orphans in Guatemala

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the World Orphans a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Gold Seal of Transparency. 

Children belong in families.

World Orphans

⚒️

What they do:

World Orphans help impoverished families avoid sending their children to orphanages by strengthening households and increasing their independence. For instance, their Home Based Care program enlists local church organizations to build close relationships with local at-risk families and provide support. Furthermore, they take a holistic approach to caring for children and families, ensuring their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial needs are met. For example, following the invasion of ISIS in Iraq, they helped families by providing secure housing, healthcare, and education, while also offering vocational training to single mothers.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, World Orphans has prevented thousands of children from becoming orphans by empowering and strengthening families. For example, in 2021 alone, their Home Based Care program helped preserve 572 families, serving 1,645 children and their parents and eliminating the need for 55 orphanages. In the same year, they launched the World Orphans Market, featuring products created by participants of World Orphans’s programs and generating over $17,064 in profit paid directly to artisans to support their families.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to World Orphans via their website. You can also get involved by becoming an Empowerment Partner or by supporting a missionary.

4

Miracle Foundation: On a Mission to Eliminate Orphanages

Logo for Miracle Foundation
Impossible - Miracle Foundation

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the Miracle Foundation a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

A family for every child in our lifetime.

Miracle Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The Miracle Foundation helps orphans and children in foster care find a safe, stable, permanent family. Their work in the US focuses on stabilizing placements for children within the foster care system, and supporting at-risk families to prevent the need for separation in the first place. Globally, they focus on reuniting families by ensuring children have safe, permanent homes to return to. For example, they work to transform orphanages into family resource centers, where families can access the support they need to thrive. And, they provide tools for families, counselors, case workers, and educators to better support vulnerable children.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Miracle Foundation has become a world leader in ending the need for orphanages and ensuring children grow up in safe, stable families. For example, in 2022 alone, they supported over 178,900 children across the globe, including 1,173 children prevented from entering the system. In the same year, they supported more than 5,682 families and reunited 443 children with their families. And, they launched the mobile app FosterShare to help facilitate communication between foster families and case workers.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Miracle Foundation via their website. You can also get involved by becoming a Miracle Villager or hosting a fundraiser.

5

Worldwide Orphans: Healing Vulnerable Children through Play

Logo for Worldwide Orphans
We are WWO

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the Worldwide Orphans a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Transforming lives in underserved communities through play.

Worldwide Orphans

⚒️

What they do:

Worldwide Orphans helps vulnerable children, including orphans, through their trauma-informed, play-based programming. For example, their Element of Play program trains caregivers, teachers, and other adults to use play-based lessons to support healthy growth and development. Moreover, their Positive Youth Development program equips older children with the tools they need to navigate adolescence and develop into competent, resilient, and responsible adults. Moreover, they prioritize ongoing monitoring and evaluation of their programs to ensure that they remain data-driven and evidence-based.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Worldwide Orphans has helped over 200,000 children and caregivers around the world develop age-appropriate skills. In 2022 alone, they assisted 15,221 beneficiaries and adapted their services to fit the needs of the communities in which they served. For example, their Bulgarian program responded to the influx of Ukrainian refugees by establishing additional early learning groups, where beneficiaries received educational, social, and humanitarian support. In the same year, after an increase in gang-related violence and a sanitation crisis in Haiti, they distributed hundreds of emergency kits containing food, hygiene items, and water purification tablets.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Worldwide Orphans via their website. You can also get involved by volunteering to create learning materials or hosting a fundraiser.

6

UNICEF: For Every Child in Danger

Logo for UNICEF
75 Years Working For Every Child | UNICEF

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives UNICEF a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Gold Seal of Transparency. 

For every child in danger.”

UNICEF

⚒️

What they do:

UNICEF helps orphans by working with governments to develop programs that prevent unnecessary family and child separation. For example, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, they released a technical note containing immediately actionable steps to protect children in alternative care and those at risk of being separated from their families. Additionally, they partner with the World Bank to produce global statistics and support the expansion of programs, such as universal child benefits. And, they provide direct aid to vulnerable children through healthcare, nutrition, and education initiatives.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, UNICEF has changed the lives of millions of children living in poverty, including orphans. For example, in 2021, they provided nutrition services to 336 million children worldwide and treated 5.5 million children for wasting due to malnutrition. In the same year, they helped 48.6 million out-of-school children access education. They also worked with over 100 countries to accurately measure child poverty, and develop actionable plans to end it.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to UNICEF through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing items from their online shop or by volunteering.

7

Coptic Orphans: Helping Egypt’s Orphans Through Education

Logo for Coptic Orphans
Coptic Orphans

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Coptic Orphans a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Education is a superpower.”

Coptic Orphans

⚒️

What they do:

Coptic Orphans help orphans in Egypt overcome family separation and poverty through their programs that promote education, empowerment, and faith. For example, their sponsorship-based Not Alone program enables orphaned children to continue their education through financial support and mentorship. As another example, their Valuable Girl Project supports girls and young women so they can stay in school, avoid early marriage, and become dignified community leaders. And, they provide financial support for Urgent Needs on a case-by-case basis.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Coptic Orphans have helped over 75,000 children overcome poverty in Egypt. For example, their Valuable Girl Project has transformed the lives of over 15,000 girls and young women. Furthermore, in 2022, their Not Alone program impacted 7,931 families in 800 villages across Egypt.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Coptic Orphans through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child or by fulfilling an urgent need.

8

World Vision: Bringing Hope to Children Around the World

Logo for World Vision
How does World Vision work? | World Vision USA

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives World Vision a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Pulling up the roots of poverty and planting the seeds of change.”

World Vision

⚒️

What they do:

World Vision helps orphans and other vulnerable children through their child sponsorship program, which focuses on improving the well-being of children in need by tackling the root causes of poverty and creating sustainable change. Sponsors can connect one-on-one with a child in need by exchanging letters, emails, and photos. Developing a personal relationship is encouraged, however, their approach to sponsorship is also community-based. For each child sponsored, another 4 children reap the benefits, such as access to healthcare, education, clean water, and economic opportunity. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, World Vision has improved the lives of millions of children, including orphans. For example, in 2021, they disbursed $613 million in microloans to 1 million people in 28 countries, impacting 1.6 million jobs and improving the lives of 5.2 million children. In the same year, they provided 163,172 metric tons of food supplies to help nourish children and families and supported and trained over 184,000 community health workers in 46 countries. Within 10 years, they equipped 28.4 million people with lasting access to clean water.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to World Vision via their website or fund a microloan. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child.

9

Mercy Without Limits: Sponsorship for Orphans

Logo for Mercy Without Limits
Our Orphan Program 2023

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Mercy Without Limits a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Every child deserves an opportunity.

Mercy Without Limits

⚒️

What they do:

Mercy Without Limits helps orphans through their sponsorship program, designed to ensure the overall well-being of children through targeted initiatives. Their initiatives focus on four areas of need to help orphans thrive: nourishment, shelter, health, and education. For example, their Food Security Program provides meals to nourish growing bodies, while their Health Care Program ensures access to quality healthcare for orphans and contributes to improvements to healthcare systems. Plus, they help widows access the tools they need to keep their families together, such as mental health care and vocational training.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Mercy Without Limits has helped enrich the lives of thousands of vulnerable people, including widows and orphans. For example, in 2022 they distributed 11,045 food baskets to 10,469 families in need. In the same year, they paved three roads near existing refugee camps, benefitting over 3,000 people. And, they provided cash assistance to 126 families to help pay for basic needs such as medical check-ups and follow-up care.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Mercy Without Limits through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child or by volunteering.

10

ChildFund International: Evolving Support for Growing Children

Logo for ChildFund International
The Reason

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives ChildFund International a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Gold Seal of Transparency. 

Because we need each other.”

ChildFund International

⚒️

What they do:

ChildFund International aids children, including orphans, living in poverty by connecting them with a financial sponsor. Through sponsor funding, their support evolves as children’s needs change throughout childhood. For example, they ensure infants and toddlers have a healthy start in life by providing nourishment and childcare education to expectant mothers. For older children and preteens, they prioritize age-appropriate literacy and provide life skills training to support emerging independence. Furthermore, they prepare teens and young adults to enter the workforce through vocational training and education.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, ChildFund International has improved the well-being of millions of children in some of the most impoverished places in the world. For example, in 2021, they provided more than $170.7 million in program services to over 16.2 million children in 24 countries. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they launched a $56 million global campaign to provide emergency financial aid to over 6 million families in impoverished communities.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to ChildFund International through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child or by volunteering.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for helping orphans. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the websites of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to helping orphans – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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