In 1938, in the midst of the Second World War, Episcopalians around the country raised money to help European refugees. In 1940, the Episcopal Church formally founded the Bishop’s Fund for World Relief. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the Bishop’s Fund continued to help with post-WWII efforts to rebuild. In 2000, the Fund was renamed to Episcopal Relief and Development. In 2002, it was incorporated as a 501(c)(3). In 2003 it shifted to long-term development projects, officially endorsing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The platform which Episcopal Relief and Development works from is based on partnership, both with church and other partners in host countries that are working in the same regions with the same goals.

Each year, Episcopal Relief and Development works in over 40 countries and reaches over three million people. Some of those countries are the most impoverished in the world, including Haiti, Burundi, Malawi and Nicaragua.

Episcopal Relief and Development’s four core programs are to alleviate hunger and improve food supply, create economic opportunities and strengthen communities, promote health and fight disease and respond to disasters and rebuild communities. Specific programs include fighting malaria, micro-finance, clean water and maternal and child health. All of their programs relate directly to the MDGs.

The official mission of Episcopal Relief and Development is “to bring together the generosity of Episcopalians and others with the needs of the world.” According to their financial statements, 84 percent of their 2013 budget went to programs. Ten percent went to fundraising and the remaining six percent went to administration. Episcopal Relief and Development is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, InterAction, Charity Navigator and GuideStar. They are based out of New York City.

– Caitlin Huber

Sources: Episcopal Relief, Charity Navigator
Photo: Episcopal Relief