New Relief Umbrella Group Combines Nonprofits, For-Profits

Corus International, a new non-government organization, has brought together a handful of nonprofit and for-profit entities. The organization operates under the theory that combined expertise provides more resources for global challenges such as climate change, health care access, and poverty.

The bedrock nonprofits within Corus are Baltimore-based Lutheran World Relief, a global development organization that provides international aid for agricultural and climate concerns as well as anti-poverty program, and IMA World Health, Washington, D.C., a faith-based organization that provides medical supplies to underdeveloped areas.

The joint influence of the two nonprofits is substantial. Combined, they generated public support of around $140 million and made grants of roughly $48 million, according to their most recent full-year Form 990s.

During the year ended September 30, 2018, Lutheran World Relief workers participated in 65 emergency response and supplies actions, as well as distributing mission quilts and care kits to more than 600,000 people. Organization staff also implemented 22 projects dealing with climate strategies and natural resource conservation.

During the same period, IMA World Health workers were similarly active around the globe. Highlight actions include more than 356,000 mothers had access to birth and nutrition resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo, protected 2 million people in South Sudan by distributing bed nets treated with insecticide, and provided nutrition and anti-disease services in Tanzania.

The nonprofits are joined by for-profit entities Ground Up Investing, Lutheran World Relief’s impact investing subsidiary, which offers training and capital to small agribusinesses in rural economies; Charlie Goldsmith Associates, London, which develops cash transfer, school attendance and health record, and payroll technology to marginalized communities in post-conflict, fragile and emerging countries; and LWR’s Farmer’s Market Coffee, a Lutheran World Relief venture that provides a fair-value supply chain to coffee farmers throughout the world.

Charlie Goldsmith Associates, the only for-profit entity not already linked with Lutheran World Relief, has annual revenue of $3 million, according to Zoominfo.

The combined entities boast more than 150 years of operation, with 800 employees throughout the world.

“It’s clear that poverty and health are intrinsically linked, and you can’t address one without the other,” Corus President and CEO Daniel Speckhard said in a statement. “With the Corus model, we’re ultimately changing the dynamic so families and communities can become substantially more self-reliant and resilient.”

Speckhard will maintain his roles of president and CEO of both Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health.