With a vision to encourage global economy success, ACDI/VOCA began in 1963 as product of major U.S. farm co-ops and partners like Nationwide. ACDI/VOCA received its name as an economic development organization and 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1997 after nonprofits Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance merged. The U.S. cooperative organization combined the ACDI’s long term development goals with VOCA’s interpersonal volunteer activities. The ACDI/VOCA is now led and organized by President and CEO, Carl H. Leonard and Chief Operating Officer, Bill Polidoro.

Driven to promote economic opportunities, ACDI/VOC strives for positive global economic and social change. The ACDI/VOC achieves their commitment to poverty alleviation and broad-based economic growth through their diverse team, experience and knowledge of developmental resources, and commitment to over-sea beneficiaries.

The ACDI/VOCA’s total revenue of approximately $168 million funds practices of agribusiness, enterprise development, financial services, food security, and community development. With more than 1,500 employees, currently the ACDI/VOCA, organizes 79 active projects in 35 countries. ACDI/VOCA’s first major project helped create a cooperative in India that became the region’s largest fertilizer producer. ACDI/VOCA has also found success in developing local markets. From 2002 to 2010, ACDI/VOCA devoted every two acres of land in Kenya to maize through implementation of the USAID-funded Kenya Maize Development Program.

ACDI/VOCA’s focus on finance has implemented over 11,000 volunteer assignments in 138 countries since 1971. Examples of recent ACDI/VOCA projects include an Aga Khan Foundation awards program to aid rural Malian farmers, turning organic waste into ‘Green’ Fuel for Peruvian coffee plants, and a USAID awards program to create jobs and livelihoods in Iraq.

The team of 170 U.S employees and 1,330 overseas employees delivers 300-400 short-term technical consulting assignments yearly. Through their list of 55,000 technical experts, public sector and multilateral organizational allies, and affiliates, the ACDI/VOCA is able to make a larger-than-life global impact.

With worldwide reputations for food security solutions, social benefits and economic opportunities, ACDI/ VOCA strives to be a learning and “doing” institution. Staff at ACDI/VOCA receive training in various e-Cornell and Harvard online and Rosetta Stone language courses. In 2010, OpportunityKnocks.org recognized ACDI/VOCA as the winner of the Opportunity Knocks People’s Choice Award for Best Non-Profit to Work for. ACDI further expands their influence by providing international, volunteer, and graduate student opportunities.

– Danielle Doedens

Sources: ACDI/VOCA, Devex, Facebook
Photo: Facebook