For more than 50 years Baltimore-based Lutheran World Relief has attacked poverty at its root and responded to disasters through a worldwide network of partners. Now the relief and development agency, a strong partner of the ELCA, is one of only two international humanitarian agencies to earn the highest possible grade — A+ — from the American Institute of Philanthropy, Chicago.
LWR, which will receive up to 50 percent of the ELCA's disaster funds for tsunami relief, works with community partners in 50 countries where it has programs. "There are tremendous efficiencies by not duplicating infrastructures," says Lisa Bonds, LWR vice president for external relations. "By working with networks and capital already in place with our partners, we get maximum mileage out of our donors' gifts."
Newsweeklies and TV news mentioned LWR's status as an elite nonprofit, attracting many new, non-Lutheran donors looking for effective ways to give to tsunami relief. First-time callers gave as much as $100,000, others $20,000, on their credit cards, says Fran Troxler, LWR manager for mission advancement. Companies also sent in their employees' disaster response gifts.
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