Driving Mission Agility

CRS transforms lives. Our mission is both the inspiration and the fuel that propels our agency forward.

If you care about the poor around the world, if you care about those that are in need, if you care about development in challenging countries, if you care about refugees, CRS is the place to be.”

—Glenn Creamer, CRS Go FAR Campaign Co-Chair

The Need

Each year, CRS supports more than 150 million people in more than 100 countries. Now it is time to take our work to scale. Through its Vision 2030 agency strategy, CRS has identified priority outcomes that best align to our mission and expertise. One of those priorities is advancing mission agility.

77 Years
CRS Has Been Serving Poor and Vulnerable People
Church and Secular Partners
Cents on Every Dollar Serving People in Need
Joseph Bistoni takes care of his 15-month old daughter Desire at their home in Mbirimtengerenji Village, Malawi. Bistoni takes care of Desire while her mother looks after her morning chores. In Malawi men traditionally don't get involved in child rearing but Bistoni learned about the importance of male involvement through the Conrad N. Hilton funded CRS project called THRIVE II. This project seeks to give children the best possible start in life. Focusing on the first 1,000 days from when a child is conceived through the first two years of life, THRIVE II empowers parents with knowledge about early childhood development and how to stimulate thought and independence in young children. Participants learn the importance of bonding while still in the womb and the critical role father's play in child care. Lessons on toy making, positive discipline, and nutrition are at the core of THRIVE II.

The Opportunity

Over the next 10 years, we will assist the world’s most poor and vulnerable people by driving innovation, leveraging resources, acting quickly, partnering for good and sustaining our presence.

Through Go FAR, we are ready to take action like never before, go where need is greatest and put people’s God-given dignity at the center of all we do.

Why It Matters: Driving Mission

At Catholic Relief Services, we go far by putting our faith into action to achieve lasting change in more than 100 countries. It’s what Jesus called us to do—and, with the generous support of our donors, we’ve been doing it for more than 75 years.

While CRS carefully stewards all gifts, the flexibility of unrestricted support allows us to innovate, leverage and partner in ways that maximize efficiency and impact—and operate at our best.

We are proud to share the stories of the people we serve as we drive our mission forward and do the most good for the most people.

Girlita “Girli” Ascalona, 37, will own one of seven pilot homes in the Anibong resettlement community. She is about to be evicted from her current home, one that floods in heavy rain and sits dangerously close to a main road with fast-moving traffic. She is most excited to have title to her land, something that felt out-of-reach on her own even though her husband has a steady job in sales. CRS is helping her to navigate the complicated, paper-based process of purchasing her small lot, which measures just 4x6 meters. She said that this land, which will belong to her free and clear in 10 years, will be her inheritance for her children, a place they can always come home. The house includes typhoon and earthquake-resilient construction, rainwater catchment system, indoor toilet, full electrical wiring, and is designed to safely hold a second story if Girlita decides to add another level in the future. This will be the first time Girlita lives in a home with running water. In these images, Girlita sees her complete new home for the first time, turns on her running water, and is also photographed outside with an embankment wall in the background, part of the core community infrastructure. Project background: Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, wreaked catastrophic devastation across the Philippine islands of Leyte and Samar on November 8, 2013, claiming more than 6,300 lives and leaving infrastructure and neighborhoods in ruins. At least 1.1 million homes were damaged or destroyed. Among the most devastated areas was the coastal district of Anibong in Tacloban, on Leyte island, where the super typhoon washed away or destroyed the vast majority of houses and local infrastructure. The damage was so severe, and the risk of further destruction in future storms so severe, that the Government of the Philippines declared it a “no-dwell zone” and compelled residents who had lived in the coastal area for generations to relocate elsewhere. Nearly five years

Key Approaches

Advancing Innovation

CRS is not afraid to use groundbreaking methods and technologies. Our innovations reduce costs and errors, while expanding opportunities.

Leveraging Resources

CRS keeps overhead costs minimal. About 92% of expenses go directly to programs serving people in need. Such efficiency is possible because unrestricted gifts allow us to leverage public funds through private support.

Acting Quickly

CRS responds immediately to emergencies, without waiting for public funding or attention. We also pre-position supplies so not a moment is lost. This planning saves lives.

Partnering for Good

CRS is welcomed into remote communities because of the trust we have built over 75 years. Through our network of 2,000 Church and secular partners, CRS is in the unique position to turn its values into action.

Sustaining Our Presence

CRS can reach and sustain a presence in some of the most isolated and challenging environments. These are places where others do not go—places that restricted public funding often does not reach.