Frequently Asked Questions
Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of The Episcopal Church, and a separate 501(c)(3). For more information about our organization, or to read our history, please see Who We Are.
We focus on three main program priorities where we are able to leverage the expertise of our staff and partners and make a lasting impact:
Our work with Women helps communities promote the rights of women and children. We believe that everyone deserves a life free from violence where they are treated with dignity and respect. This is the only way communities can truly heal and thrive.
Our work with Children supports kids under age six so that they reach appropriate health and developmental milestones. We focus on early development because it is foundational. Then, children can achieve their full potential and become future contributing members of their communities.
Our Climate-related work focuses on how communities can work together to adapt to the effects of rapidly changing weather patterns. Our work includes preparing for and recovering from climate-influenced events such as floods, hurricanes and other disasters.
Our program approach is based on an integrated model that addresses poverty, hunger, disaster, and disease. Working with Anglican and ecumenical partners, we collaborate with local communities, around the world, as they find solutions to help people live healthier, more fulfilling lives. For more details, please visit What We Do.
Please visit Where We Work for a list of the countries where we have partnerships. We work in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
Episcopal Relief & Development builds partnerships with local Episcopal and Anglican dioceses and related organizations based on need, capacity and available resources. In order to maximize the impact of our resources, we tend to focus on countries where there is a strong Church presence and where our support and expertise would add significant value. We are part of the Anglican Alliance and ecumenical groups such as ACT Alliance, which allow us to respond to major crises in areas where we do not have an active partnership. Please visit Where We Work for more information.
With local partners, Episcopal Relief & Development monitor and assess the effectiveness of the organization’s work by establishing baseline indicators to evaluate the success of each program. These results are a critical component of the program evaluation process. They help us to determine if a program is achieving its objectives and, if not, the kind of technical assistance that can be provided in order to reach them. Our staff conduct regular monitoring visits to all program sites.
Our work would not be possible without your ongoing commitment and support. Please click here to learn about the many ways to donate to Episcopal Relief & Development.
Gifts for Life is an alternative gift catalog that allows donors to give a gift with lasting impact. Gifts may be made in honor of a friend or loved one and are disbursed to the programs that they correspond to, wherever the need is greatest. Learn more.
Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday, celebrated annually on the first Sunday in Lent, has been endorsed by the Presiding Bishop and General Convention as a dedicated time to reflect on and respond to the needs of our global neighbors. Learn how to participate any time of year.
Participate in Special Church Campaigns such as Lent or Advent. Learn more.
Episcopal Relief & Development does not accept in-kind donations, such as food and clothes, since it involves receiving and storing the goods in the US and spending money to transport them. We do not see it as an effective use of our resources. Our organization emphasizes identifying and utilizing a community’s assets in order to stimulate their local economy. Thus we will often work with our partners to purchase goods in country or regionally.
What about donating after a disaster?
Although we appreciate the generosity, we do not encourage unsolicited in-kind donations to churches or organizations in communities recently impacted by disaster for several reasons. These areas may have other priorities, such as searching for or rescuing victims of the disaster. They may also have a limited capacity to receive, store and distribute donated goods. Additionally, the items they receive may not be what they particularly need at the moment. The most beneficial ways to assist our brothers and sisters is through prayer and by making a contribution, which will help us equip local responders to get what they need, at the right time.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s asset-based approach is rooted in working with communities over time to leverage their own resources and expertise for sustainable growth. Our donors understand that their contributions are most powerful when combined with the contributions of many other caring people to make a long-term investment toward the success of community-based organizations.
Episcopal Relief & Development currently has the following volunteer opportunities:
- Ministry Partners is a group of over 1,500 Episcopal Relief & Development volunteers throughout the United States who actively advocate for, support and promote our ministry in Episcopal parishes, dioceses and seminaries. Learn more about how you can participate in the Become a Ministry Partner section.
- The US Disaster Program maintains a domestic disaster response volunteer database called Ready to Serve. Click here to sign up.
There are numerous other ways to get involved. Visit our Volunteer page to learn about more ways to engage with the work of Episcopal Relief & Development.
What about volunteering after international disasters?
Following a disaster, we are frequently asked if we need assistance at the disaster site. While we appreciate the genuine concern and compassion of our supporters, we do not provide opportunities for volunteers to become involved in the initial stages of disaster relief. It takes a range of logistical support, leadership, experience and disaster training to lead a volunteer group, and sending volunteers into the impacted area can put additional pressure on already-strained resources.
If you are an experienced disaster responder you may be able to find overseas volunteering opportunities through the Disaster News Network, InterAction and the Center for International Disaster Information.
Unfortunately, Episcopal Relief & Development does not accept unsolicited proposals. We primarily support Anglican and Episcopal Church agencies and selected ecumenical and local NGOs in their global and local humanitarian activities. We aim to strengthen the Church’s position as an agent of development by providing funds, training and technical assistance to support programs that achieve strategic goals. For more information on how we work, please visit What We Do.
In 2018, Episcopal Relief & Development funds were expended as follows: 84% on program implementation, 5% on administration and 11% on fundraising. Because we receive income from investments and contributed services from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to offset administrative expenses, over 90% of your donor dollar goes directly to programs in the field. For more information, please visit our Financials page and download our current Annual Summary.
We maintain the highest standards of accountability and are committed to using all donations appropriately and effectively to support programs that have a demonstrated impact on poverty, hunger and disease. Visit the Financials page to learn more.
Although Episcopal Relief & Development has a history as a granting agency, our current approach is based on supporting long-term development projects through Episcopal and Anglican Church bodies and affiliated agencies. We do not accept unsolicited proposals. In emergency relief situations, we may send funds to Church-related organizations through or in coordination with the local diocese.
Episcopal Relief & Development is connected with a number of Episcopal institutions and organizations. Please click on the links below to learn more.
To join our mailing list or sign up to receive updates and newsletters by email, please visit our Sign Up page.
To contact our staff by mail, phone or fax about a donation or other question:
Episcopal Relief & Development (Headquarters)
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
To send a contribution by mail:
Episcopal Relief & Development
P.O. Box 7058
Merrifield, VA 22116-7058
To email our staff, please use the Contact Us form or one of the following addresses:
Episcopal Relief & Development’s President
International and domestic programs
Communications, website and social media