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Charities working to strengthen homes and communities across America

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Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles

Charities working to strengthen homes and communities across America

Help the Vets, a nationwide “charity” soliciting donations for veterans' medical care (including breast cancer treatment, suicide prevention, and mental health retreats) from 2014 to 2017 took in nearly $20 million. Then, in 2018, a government watchdog agency revealed the organization wasn’t a charity after all. It turned out 95% of every donation, gathered via mailings and telemarketing calls, had gone straight into CEO Neil Paulson’s pocket. Paulson was forced to donate Help the Vets' remaining assets—totaling at least $72,122.36—to court-approved veterans charities, plus $1.75 million of his own money.

Scams like Paulson's are all too common, which is why organizations like Charity Navigator are increasingly important. Charity Navigator is the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. The organization looks at the financial health, accountability, and transparency of 9,000 American charities and shares that information with donors so people can make informed decisions about where their money is going.

Stacker consulted Charity Navigator’s “Community Development: Housing and Neighborhood Development” category to procure a gallery of 50 top-rated charities working with communities across America. Charity Navigator gave its highest ratings (four out of four stars) to 11 national charities and 119 local charities in the “Housing and Neighborhood Development” category; this list includes the top-ranked 10 national charities and the top 40 local charities, according to their overall score. Note that many of the local charities on this list are branches of Habitat for Humanity, which we chose to include as individual organizations because they are all locally run and working on independent projects in their communities.

The following data was collected in 2019 and has been organized alphabetically. Read on to find out which trustworthy charities are working to strengthen homes and communities across America so that you can feel good about donating your hard-earned dollars to them.

You may also like: 15 charities where you can see your direct impact

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Courtesy of ACCION San Diego

ACCION San Diego

- Location: San Diego, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Lending. Supporting. Inspiring.
- Overall score: 94.74 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 93.5%

- Mission: Accion is a nonprofit, mission-based lender that provides financing and support services to low-to-moderate income business owners. The business loans are intended to strengthen the foundations of emerging entrepreneurs so they can thrive in their communities, creating positive social and economic changes.

Starting a business while in the low-to-moderate income bracket can be next to impossible. Accion is looking to change that. Serving Southern California (the counties of Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego), Accion Serving San Diego disbursed 308 loans in 2018, totaling $4.7 million. Over the charity’s 15-year history they’ve served 4,440 businesses in all.

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Annette Bernhardt // Flickr

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

- Location: Oakland, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Uniting Asian and Pacific Islander communities for environmental and social justice.
- Overall score: 94.96 (Financial: 98.71, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 80.5%

- Mission: The Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) seeks to empower lower-income Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities. APEN builds grassroots organizations that will improve the health, well-being, and political strength of these communities.

Founded in 1993, APEN focuses its work on three levels: direct organizing in local communities, building a network of API organizations, and working in multiracial alliances to affect regional and national social change. Some of the charity’s biggest accomplishments include fighting big developers so that communities can stay in the historic and cultural neighborhoods they’ve made over the years and stopping big oil companies like Chevron from poisoning the community’s natural resources. Currently, APEN is working to establish climate and housing solutions that will build a regenerative economy.

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wutzkohphoto // Shutterstock

Association for Enterprise Opportunity

- Location: Washington D.C.
- Scope: National
- Goal: Prosperity for all through entrepreneurship.
- Overall score: 92.2 (Financial: 99.37, Accountability and transparency: 89)
- Program expense ratio: 82.8%

- Mission: The only national membership association committed to microenterprise development as an effective economic development strategy and a powerful poverty alleviation tool, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity provides its members with a forum, information, and a voice to promote enterprise opportunity for people and communities with limited resources.

Founded in 1991, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity has a membership that stretches across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The combined reach of these organizations, which includes key agencies and organizations that provide microenterprise services to disadvantaged microentrepreneurs, exceeds 3,000 small-business owners annually. To date, AEO has helped over 2 million entrepreneurs create jobs for themselves and their communities, and has received over $20 million worth of private funding.

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wolfness72 // Shutterstock

Habitat for Humanity of Broward

- Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Helping to build a better Broward one home at a time.
- Overall score: 96.59 (Financial: 97.32, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 84.4%

- Mission: A nondenominational Christian housing ministry, Habitat for Humanity of Broward County is dedicated to eradicating substandard housing by building simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low and very-low-income families in need. The charity also works to improve the lives of these families through the power of partnership, education, and support, thereby transforming the community.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward County is founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety. Since its founding in 1983, the Broward County Habitat for Humanity has built over 270 homes for families in need. In August 2019, the organization broke ground on six new homes for deserving families in Historic Miramar.

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brizmaker // Shutterstock

Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County

- Location: Chalfont, PA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: We build more than homes.
- Overall score: 98.23 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 89.4%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County has a simple mission: Building Communities, Empowering Families. Through their two core mission programs—Homeownership and Home Repair—the organization seeks to change the lives of those they work with.

To date, Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County has built over 118 homes and completed 72 home-repair projects. Over 1,700 volunteers work with the organization each year, striving to improve the lives of those in their community. The charity’s “Safe at Home” program, which helps senior and disabled residents feel safer at home through accessibility modifications, is a particular standout among their offerings.

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Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

- Location: Peoria, AZ
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building Affordable Housing. Revitalizing Neighborhoods. Improving Communities.
- Overall score: 95 (Financial: 92.93, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 83.3%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, builds, renovates, reconstructs, and repairs simple, decent, and affordable homes in partnership with families in need.

Coordinating almost all aspects of home-building in the area, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona does everything from fundraising to selecting building and renovation sites to selecting families, constructing houses, and providing mortgage servicing. Since its 1985 inception, the organization has built more than 1,100 homes. In October 2019, the charity announced the intended construction of 30 more homes near downtown Phoenix.

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Delta News Hub

Habitat for Humanity of Collier County

- Location: Naples, FL
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Our vision is a world where everyone has a simple, decent place to live.
- Overall score: 99.71 (Financial: 99.59, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 94.8%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Collier County uses its unique business model of 100% donor dollars to construct homes that are sold to qualifying partner families. After completion, these homes are sold to families via an interest-free loan, allowing the individuals to become a part of their own housing solution.

Since 1978, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, one of the oldest affiliates in the nation, has been building homes and serving families in the community. Since 2002, the organization has been building at a pace of 100 homes each year, serving over 2,201 families in total. The charity has also paid off 400 mortgages, allowing homes to become a source of empowerment for Collier County residents.

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

Commonwealth

- Location: Boston, MA
- Scope: National
- Goal: We build solutions to make people financially secure.
- Overall score: 91.42 (Financial: 94.88, Accountability and transparency: 89)
- Program expense ratio: 89.9%

- Mission: Commonwealth (formerly D2D Fund) seeks to create a stronger and more prosperous society where everyone has financial opportunity. By collaborating with consumers, the financial services industry, policy-makers, and mission-driven organizations to discover ideas, pilot solutions, and drive innovations to scale, Commonwealth works to make wealth more widespread.

Over the last 17 years, Commonwealth has developed new financial products and public policies, which are responsible for helping over 750,000 people accumulate $2 billion in savings. Their current programs focus on everything from incentivizing individuals to save portions of their tax refunds to helping families set up long-term savings accounts for their children.

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gornostay // Shuttestock

Corporation for Supportive Housing

- Location: New York, NY
- Scope: National
- Goal: The Source for housing solutions.
- Overall score: 94.67 (Financial: 92.47, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 84.9%

- Mission: The Corporation for Supportive Housing is working to solve some of the most complex and costly social problems our country faces—like those related to homelessness. The charity seeks to advance available housing solutions, so that they improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, maximize public resources, and create strong, healthy communities across the country.

The Corporation for Supportive Housing has invested in 1 billion communities since 1991. The charity has reached 300 cities in over 48 states, creating over 330,000 homes for families who may otherwise be on the streets. It has also provided services to over 200,000 people who face some of the most complex challenges, allowing them to live with stability, autonomy, and dignity.

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sirtravelalot // Shutterstock

Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut

- Location: New London, CT
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Making sure every man, woman, and child has simple, decent shelter.
- Overall score: 98.23 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 93.3%

- Mission: Through the dedicated efforts of community volunteers, financial sponsors, and partner families, Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut builds decent and affordable homes for families in need. The charity’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of others, fulfill the dream of homeownership and help eliminate substandard housing in Eastern Connecticut.

The merger of Habitat for Humanity of Southeastern Connecticut and Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Connecticut in 2013 brought Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut to life. Since then, the organization has constructed or rehabilitated 64 homes. Those in the area can help by volunteering their time: The charity is currently in need of volunteers for the Family Selection Committee, at their ReStores, and with various office tasks.

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Lev Kropotov // Shutterstock

Enterprise Community Partners

- Location: Columbia, MD
- Scope: National
- Goal: Creating opportunity through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities.
- Overall score: 94.66 (Financial: 92.46, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 85.5%

- Mission: Enterprise Community Partners believe that where we live matters. So they make well-designed homes affordable and create communities with connections to opportunity so everyone can thrive.

The only housing organization in the U.S. with the expertise to multiply the impact for people and communities, Enterprise Community Partners has created nearly 585,000 homes, invested $43.6 billion and touched millions of lives over the last 35 years. The organization has partners all across the country. For example, two recent impact investments, totaling $4.3 million, in Los Angeles and San Diego, are intended to provide more affordable, well-designed homes, and help improve the health of communities.

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Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Evansville

Habitat for Humanity of Evansville

- Location: Evansville, IN
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
- Overall score: 96.46 (Financial: 95, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 85.5%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity Evansville brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope in Vanderburgh and Posey Counties. The charity seeks to put God’s love into action by ensuring that everyone has a decent place to live.

The Evansville branch of Habitat for Humanity was started in 1983. A year later, the organization had completed its first home. Today, over 500 new homes have been built in the area. The group is always looking for new volunteers, and interested locals can register on the charity’s website.

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Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County

Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County

- Location: Winston-Salem, NC
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building homes, building hope.
- Overall score: 98.02 (Financial: 97.21, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 84.0%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, rooted in Christian principles, brings together community partners and volunteers from all faiths to help qualified partner families construct and purchase well-built, affordable homes and become successful homeowners.

Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County has changed the lives of over 350 families by making them new homeowners, and have repaired the homes of another 80 families, elderly, and veterans. The group also provides financial education and homeownership/repair classes to ensure that members of the community are able to continue to provide housing for themselves and their families. With seven different builds on the roster for 2019, there are plenty of ways for locals to get involved over the coming year.

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Courtesy of Foundation for Financial Planning

Foundation for Financial Planning

- Location: Washington, DC
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Helping people take control of their financial lives.
- Overall score: 96.23 (Financial: 94.68, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 83.9%

- Mission: The Foundation for Financial Planning works to help people take control of their financial lives by connecting the financial planning community with people in need, and supporting both pro bono advice and outreach activities.

The nation’s only 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity solely devoted to supporting the delivery of pro bono financial planning, the Foundation for Financial Planning has been serving communities since 1995. The organization’s work entails linking volunteer financial planners to those in crisis or need, like the victims and first responders of 9/11. Over the company’s history, 440,000 people have been provided with advice, and $7 million in grants has been given to national and community-based organizations in 38 different states.

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Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis

- Location: Indianapolis, IN
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building communities of hope.
- Overall score: 98.23 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 86.4%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis seeks to build self-sufficiency for residents in need through the life-changing opportunity of homeownership. The group envisions greater Indianapolis as a place where every resident has access to quality and affordable homeownership opportunities.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis has served 1,004 families and has seen 109 mortgages paid off by the families they’ve assisted. The organization’s 31st year, 2018, was their most successful to date, with over 120 housing projects completed. The group is looking to top that number in 2019 and is accepting financial, material, and professional service donations to meet their goal.

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Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles

- Location: Bellflower, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building a greater Los Angeles.
- Overall score: 94.74 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 91.7%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles works in partnership with God, the community, and people in need by building and renovating homes to make affordable homeownership a matter of conscience and action.

With a service area of nearly 900 square miles, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles is seeking to change neighborhoods in one of the least affordable housing areas in the United States. Offering a hand up, not a handout, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles has built and rehabilitated over 900 homes since 1990. In September 2019, the organization announced a partnership with City National Bank, which pledged to donate over 2,400 hours of work in 22 builds.

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh

- Location: Newburgh, NY
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
- Overall score: 96.46 (Financial: 95, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 90.8%

- Mission: Habitat Newburgh is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh can count on over 20,000 volunteer hours each year to help with their projects. To date, 97 houses have been dedicated by the organization, all of which will go to families who cannot afford a traditional mortgage. One Newburgh donor summed up the organization’s impact saying, “I don’t think there is another organization in Orange County that has engaged the community in such a big way.”

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Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity

Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity

- Location: Lawrenceville, GA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
- Overall score: 97.78 (Financial: 96.87, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 82.8%

- Mission: Many families live their whole lives without owning their own home, some may never even live in a home; not for lack of desire to live in a home, but because they can't afford it. In adherence to their vision of a world in which everyone has a decent place to live, Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity offers opportunities to own a home.

Founded in 1998, Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity has seen first-hand how significantly the cost of construction in the area has risen. Over three decades, they’ve built or renovated 128 houses, creating a safer, more stable environment for 319 school-aged children. The group’s “Brush with Kindness” program, an exterior home preservation program, is unique to the chapter.

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The Sage Colleges // Flickr

Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity

- Location: Hartford, CT
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building more than a house.
- Overall score: 96.37 (Financial: 94.88, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 91.2%

- Mission: As an expression of our Christian faith, Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity (HAHfH) works with people of diverse faiths and backgrounds to build affordable homes and to provide homeownership opportunities for low-income families in the 33-town Capital Planning Region.

The Hartford area Habitat for Humanity chapter opened in 1989. Since then, the group has built an average of 10 homes each year and serves 30–40 families annually through their variety of programs. In 2020, HAHfH has planned projects, both single-family homes and multi-unit condominiums, in Bloomfield, Bristol, East Hartford, and Hartford.

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EL Gringo // Flickr

HomeAid America

- Location: Irvine, CA
- Scope: National
- Goal: Building new lives for America's homeless.
- Overall score: 91.98 (Financial: 91.08, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 80.5%

- Mission: A leading national provider of housing for today's homeless, HomeAid builds new lives for America's homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach.

Much of the homeless population is left without a stable housing situation because of circumstances beyond their control, like job loss, natural disasters, illness, and domestic violence. Since 1989, HomeAid has made it its mission to serve this group. The organization builds multi-unit housing options and donates them to charities like Family Promise, U.S. Veteran’s Initiative, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Mercy House, Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, YMCA, and others. To date, through their network of 19 chapters in 13 states, the charity has provided stable housing for over 327,000 individuals.

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sculpies // Shutterstock

Hosanna Industries

- Location: Rochester, PA
- Scope: National
- Goal: God's work is everyone's business.
- Overall score: 95 (Financial: 99.02, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 81.6%

- Mission: Hosanna Industries' mission is to provide home construction, repair, and rehabilitation for low-income persons living in deteriorating housing, vocational training for unskilled workers, particularly in construction trades, assistance in the development and start-up of small businesses by persons who lack the economic ability and expertise to do so without assistance, creation of job opportunities for unemployed persons, and mobilization of relief workers to areas of disaster and poverty.

A faith-based organization, the inspiration for Hosanna Industries came after a pastor made a Christmas Eve visit to an impoverished family in Bakerstown, PA in 1987. Nearly 13 years later, Reverend Donn Ed saw his dream come to fruition when the charity’s first three workers were commissioned during a Sunday service. Today, Hosanna Industries have trained 161 mission workers who have lead 150,000 volunteers in building 200 new homes, repairing 3,500 existing homes, and providing more than $50 million worth of market value work.

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EL Gringo // Flickr

Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley

- Location: Roanoke, VA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Creating homes in partnership with God's people in need.
- Overall score: 95.31 (Financial: 94.09, Accountability and transparency: 97)
- Program expense ratio: 89.0%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley (HFHRV) is a nonprofit Christian housing program utilizing donor funds and volunteer labor in its mission to eliminate poverty housing.

While at its core Habitat for Humanity is a religious organization, the charity has an open-door policy. The policy means that they accept volunteers and donors of all races, religions, genders, ages, and political views. They also don’t proselytize or insist that anyone they help adhere to, listen to, or convert to a certain faith. These policies have helped the national organization shelter over 3 million people worldwide, and the Roanoke Valley chapter has helped over 246 families within their immediate community.

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Indypendenz // Shutterstock

Initiative for A Competitive Inner City

- Location: Roxbury, MA
- Scope: National
- Goal: The voice of urban opportunity.
- Overall score: 97.05 (Financial: 98.82, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 80.9%

- Mission: The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a nonprofit research and strategy organization that aims to strengthen inner-city economies by providing businesses, governments, and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities.

According to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, there are 364 cities in the United States with inner cities, which represent one-quarter of the nation’s poverty. Harvard Business School Professor and the founder of ICIC, Michael Porter, believes in a unique solution for this poverty. He says, “We must stop trying to cure the inner city’s problems by perpetually increasing social investment and hoping for economic activity to follow. Instead, we need to identify and leverage the competitive advantages of inner cities.”

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Courtesy of Halleloo Creative

Keep America Beautiful

- Location: Stamford, CT
- Scope: National
- Goal: #DoBeautifulThings
- Overall score: 90.65 (Financial: 87.13, Accountability and transparency: 97)
- Program expense ratio: 80.8%

- Mission: Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. The organization strives to end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America's communities.

One of the oldest charities on our list, Keep America Beautiful celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2018. Driven by the work of over 600 community-based affiliates, the organization uses collective action to champion environmentally healthy, socially connected, and economically sound communities. On Nov. 15, communities around the country can help to transform public spaces into beautiful places by celebrating America Recycles Day with Keep America Beautiful.

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Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, Florida

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, FL

- Location: North Fort Myers, FL
- Scope: Local
- Goal: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
- Overall score: 98.23 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 95.9%

- Mission: Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

One of the largest Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the country, Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties has logged over 56,000 volunteer hours and built 1,600 homes since its 1982 beginnings. According to the organization, 52,430 households across the country spend over 50% of their income on housing, marking them as severely cost-burdened households. To change the statistic, Lee and Hendry Counties sell their homes to homeowners with a no- or low-interest mortgage and monthly payments that are less than 30% of the household income.

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EL Gringo // Flickr

Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity

- Location: Maumee, OH
- Scope: Local
- Goal: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
- Overall score: 96.22 (Financial: 96.46, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 88.1%

- Mission: The mission of Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity is to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope in Lucas County, Ohio and around the world.

Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity had 96 repairs planned for 2019. As the year draws to a close, the organization, which was founded in 1988, is still looking for additional help to reach its goal. Area residents can join the 1,780 unique volunteers who donated their time and skills in 2018 to make these homes a reality for those in need.

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Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity

Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity

- Location: Lawrence, MA
- Scope: National
- Goal: Eliminating poverty housing and homelessness.
- Overall score: 92.56 (Financial: 92.15, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 83.8%

- Mission: Believing that a stable community begins with homeownership, Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity builds simple, affordable, comfortable homes in partnership with the families who need them. Their ultimate goal is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness in the world.

The average home built by Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity costs $150,000, which is well under the national average of $248,000. A major factor in the chapter’s ability to keep costs so low is the 240–360 “sweat equity hours” recipients put in, helping build their own homes and others in the community. As of 2019, the Merrimack Valley affiliate has constructed 86 new homes within this price range.

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North Charleston // Flickr

Metanoia

- Location: North Charleston, SC
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Holistic community development.
- Overall score: 94.74 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 89.4%

- Mission: Metanoia is a Community Development Corporation (CDC) located in the heart of the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood in North Charleston, South Carolina. At Metanoia we focus on finding strengths, or assets, in neighborhoods and using them as building blocks for the eventual success of some of our region's most distressed communities.

Believing that healthy communities create healthy people, Metanoia invests in preexisting neighborhood assets to build leaders, establish quality housing, and generate economic development. The organization was started in 2001 by urban ministers Bill Stanfield and Evelyn Oliviera and served solely in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood. While the group remains deeply rooted in faith today, they have recently expanded their efforts to include all of southern North Charleston. Those who believe in the charity's mission can help with the creation of these holistic communities by becoming investors at any level.

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TFoxFoto // Shutterstock

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

- Location: Denver, CO
- Scope: Local
- Goal: A homeownership program for hard-working families.
- Overall score: 95.47 (Financial: 95, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 87.0%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver works in partnership with God and people from all walks of life to build decent, affordable homes in which people can live and grow into all that God intends.

Habitat for Humanity has a 40-year history in the Denver metro area. Since the independent affiliate was founded in 1979, they’ve built over 400 homes for deserving families, thanks to the 120 faith groups and companies who give substantial support each year, the 60 companies that provide materials, and the 5,000+ volunteers who have given of their time and talent.

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John Leung // Shutterstock

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, IN

- Location: Bloomington, IN
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Eliminating poverty housing.
- Overall score: 95.18 (Financial: 93.19, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 94.0%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County's mission is to eliminate poverty housing by building simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with qualifying families. write slide color here

For nearly a decade after they were founded in 1988, the Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County was operated entirely by volunteers. Today, the organization has 10 full-time employees, who have helped facilitate the development of an average of 12 homes per year and two neighborhoods, Cedar Chase and Trail View. The development of the Trail View neighborhood is ongoing, and the charity is accepting applications of local volunteers who can give of their time and talent to help complete the project.

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Patrick Jennings // Shutterstock

Mountain Association for Community Economic Development

- Location: Berea, KY
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Striving to make Appalachian communities better places to live.
- Overall score: 96.63 (Financial: 97.41, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 84.7%

- Mission: The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) partners with local people to build upon the strengths of Kentucky and Central Appalachia, creating economic alternatives and striving to make Appalachian communities better places to live.

For the past 43 years, the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development has worked to advance a just transition to a new economy in Central Appalachia. The organization offers loans and business guidance to existing companies and startups that do not otherwise have access to traditional financing. They also work with homeowners, schools, government organizations, and businesses to use less energy and save money on utility expenditures. Through education, policy research and advocacy, and regional and national partnerships MACED hopes to bring the Appalachian region out of poverty once and for all.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

- Location: Oklahoma City, OK
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building better communities through effective nonprofits.
- Overall score: 97.02 (Financial: 98.68, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 80.4%

- Mission: The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is a nonprofit organization equipping and strengthening the Oklahoma nonprofit sector through training, consulting, advocacy, membership, networking, and awards, in order to “build better communities through effective nonprofits.”

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has sought to be the voice of the state’s nonprofit sector as well as an agent for change in how these nonprofits are managed, since 1983. The organization offers training for other nonprofits in everything from fundraising to board development and engagement. Additionally, the offer customized consulting for the nonprofits they work with, assisting these groups is finding solutions and programs that create lasting change. The organization’s biggest event, the 9th annual “Visions,” a celebration of nonprofit leadership, will take place in December 2019.

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Habitat for Humanity of Omaha

Habitat for Humanity of Omaha

- Location: Omaha, NE
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Habitat for Humanity builds strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
- Overall score: 98.23 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 88.5%

- Mission: Habitat Omaha works to eliminate substandard housing by providing low-to-moderate income families with opportunities to successfully achieve and maintain homeownership while improving the safety, appearance, and value of neighborhoods.

In 2019, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha is set to build or renovate over 50 homes and complete 150 repair and improvement projects. This work will change the lives of 200 families, bringing the organization’s total up to 1,800 families helped. Habitat of Omaha also offers free workshops to the public, like an October 2019 Will Planning course.

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USC Upstate // Flickr

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, Calif.

- Location: Santa Ana, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
- Overall score: 96.46 (Financial: 95, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 91.3%

- Mission: Seeking to put love and faith into action, Habitat for Humanity of Orange County brings people together to build homes, community, and hope.

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, California does more than just build new homes in their community. In addition to completing 208 new homes, the organization has repaired 108 homes in the county and collected enough tithes (aka donations) to build 458 homes internationally. Since the affiliate was founded in 1988, it has reached 3,700 people.

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Elena11 // Shutterstock

Puente

- Location: Pescadero, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: The community resource center for the south coast.
- Overall score: 95.74 (Financial: 95.5, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 78%

- Mission: Puente both advocates for the San Mateo County, South Coast communities of Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar, and San Gregorio, and leverages resources that foster economic prosperity and security that promote individual and community health and wellness. We support local leaders and work together with our neighbors creating solutions for our diverse communities.

An integral and active member of the rural San Mateo County, South Coast community, Puente runs over 40 programs that respond to critical community needs. These include adult education programs, youth leadership development, youth employment, economic security programs, and health and wellness. Started by Reverend Wendy Taylor, in 1998, Puente is always accepting financial and in-kind donations for those looking to support its mission.

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susi.bsu // Flickr

Rebuilding Together

- Location: Washington D.C.
- Scope: National
- Goal: A safe and healthy home for every person.
- Overall score: 91.81 (Financial: 88.42, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 81.9%

- Mission: Rebuilding Together is a national nonprofit network with a core belief: a thriving community with safe and healthy homes should be a right for all people, not the privilege of a few.

Rebuilding Together is a leading organization in the nation’s fight to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize low-income communities. With over 142 affiliates in 39 states and the District of Columbia, the organization has repaired and renovated over 210,000 homes, nonprofit facilities, and community spaces with the help of 4.1 million volunteers, impacting an estimated 6.2 million people. In 2018, Rebuilding Together celebrated their 30th anniversary.

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Courtesy of Rebuilding Together Houston

Rebuilding Together Houston

- Location: Houston, TX
- Scope: Local
- Goal: We believe in safe homes and communities for everyone.
- Overall score: 97.17 (Financial: 100, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 88.0%

- Mission: Repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives.

In 1982, Robert Mosbacher Jr., who had been inspired by his work with President Reagan’s Private Sector Initiatives program, founded a charity that would help Houstonians rebuild their homes and lives after major disasters. Originally, the organization was simply called Private Sector Initiative, but in 2003 they rebranded, becoming the Houston affiliate of the national Rebuilding Together charity. Currently, Rebuilding Together Houston is looking for crews to help families stay safe after Hurricane Harvey and assist those who were affected by Tropical Storm Imelda.

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Tyler Olson // Shutterstock

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley

- Location: San Jose, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Rebuilding communities one homeowner at a time.
- Overall score: 96.66 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 88.6%

- Mission: Repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives.

In 2018, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley completed 423 rehabilitation repair projects at homes and community centers, as well as 3,761 critical safety and accessibility repairs. The 22,601 volunteer hours it took to complete all of these projects directly changed the lives of 699 resident homeowners. Even better? By leveraging their volunteer labor and donated/reduced-cost supplies and materials, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley is able to produce $9 worth of repairs for every $1 donated, completing all of their projects at no cost to the recipient.

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Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio

Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio

- Location: San Antonio, TX
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Build for better.
- Overall score: 96.42 (Financial: 94.94, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 90.3%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio is an ecumenical Christian nonprofit housing organization working in partnership with God's people in need to build modest, decent and affordable houses without interest or profit, thereby witnessing God's love in action.

Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio was literally the start of it all—the affiliate built the first Habitat home in the world. But with 153,672 families in the San Antonio area with an unmet housing need, the organization’s work is far from over. Residents can help meet the community’s need for more affordable and decent housing through the organization by building homes, working on lunch crews, helping in the home centers or office, and being a part of the deconstruction crew.

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Courtesy of San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity

San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity

- Location: Azusa, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
- Overall score: 100 (Financial: 100, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 91.9%

- Mission: Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

Since its inception in 1991, the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity has overseen the 400-square miles of Los Angeles County’s San Gabriel Valley. Within that area, over 58% of residents are paying more than they can afford in housing costs. To help alleviate the financial strain faced by members of the community, the affiliate has committed to doubling the number of families it has served from 94 families, 428 low-income individuals, to 200 families, approximately 800 low-income men, women, and children, over the next two years.

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Zachary Long // Flickr

Habitat For Humanity of Spartanburg

- Location: Spartanburg, SC
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with low-income families who meet certain requirements.
- Overall score: 98.23 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 87.1%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg is an ecumenical Christian ministry that builds simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with Spartanburg families.

Over the past 32 years, Habitat For Humanity of Spartanburg has built 135 homes. According to the organization, it takes 1,720 volunteer hours to build each home, for a grand total of 232,200 hours donated since 1987. Thirty-four families living in Habitat homes have paid off their mortgages free and clear, which is a true indicator that long-term financial stability is a direct consequence of stable housing.

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TFoxFoto // Shutterstock

Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk

- Location: Middle Island, NY
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Working in partnership to create affordable housing in Suffolk County.
- Overall score: 96.16 (Financial: 96.33, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 82.4%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk’s mission is to work in partnership with thousands of Suffolk County volunteers and responsible, low-moderate income families of all races, religions, and creeds to build and renovate homes so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow.

Aiming to build 10–12 houses annually, Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk has promised to continue their work until every family in the county has a safe and decent place to live and call home. In September 2019, over 30 CEOs and top executives came together to fund and build the affiliate’s 200th home in three weeks' time, making it the biggest project completed by the organization this year.

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Courtesy of Pike Place Market Foundation

The Pike Place Market Foundation

- Location: Seattle, WA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: We care for the Pike Place Market community.
- Overall score: 97.17 (Financial: 100, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 88%

- Mission: The Pike Place Market Foundation supports the Pike Place Market's services for low-income people, as well as the Market's heritage programs, public improvements and repairs to the Market's historic buildings, development of new low-income housing in the Market, and programs that assist the Market's farmers.

Established in 1982, to uplift the charter of Pike Place Market, the Market Foundation has granted $31 Million to support its various projects. Over the last 37 years, the organization has done things like donating over 1 million pounds of food to the Pike Market Food Bank, providing 72 senior residents with 24/7 assisted living care, and acting as a community safety net for 76 residents by doling out $38,660 in emergency funds.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

Tides Center

- Location: San Francisco, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: What's possible.
- Overall score: 96.5 (Financial: 97.1, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 84.1%

- Mission: Tides accelerates the pace of social change, working with innovative partners to solve society’s toughest problems.

Getting a project off the ground is never an easy feat. Success requires a lot of back-end work and financing, which is where Tides comes in. Looking for projects and ideas that scale, thereby providing a substantial positive impact, Tides brings unlikely partners together, helps projects hone their organization and strategy, and gives grants ($235.5 million in 2017 alone) to those working for social and environmental change.

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Patrick Giblin // Flickr

Trinity Habitat for Humanity

- Location: Fort Worth, TX
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building homes and hope in partnership with God's people.
- Overall score: 95.23 (Financial: 93.26, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 84.7%

- Mission: Trinity Habitat for Humanity revitalizes neighborhoods by building quality, affordable homes and rehabbing existing homes with volunteer labor and donations of money and materials.

Celebrating 30 years of building together, Trinity Habitat for Humanity has built 697 homes and rehabbed 1,150 more since it was established in 1989. The Habitat affiliate is working on completing three major neighborhood projects—Como, Hillside Morningside, and Carver Heights East—in its service area of Fort Worth, Tarrant, Johnson, Parker, and Wise counties.

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Patrick Giblin // Flickr

Tulsa Habitat for Humanity

- Location: Tulsa, OK
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Revitalizing neighborhoods.
- Overall score: 97.76 (Financial: 99.02, Accountability and transparency: 97)
- Program expense ratio: 81.6%

- Mission: Tulsa Habitat for Humanity is a part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building homes, communities, and hope.

One of the unique programs at the Tulsa Habitat for Humanity affiliate is the Homes of Valor program, which provides a path to homeownership for low-income veterans, active-duty military, and Gold Star families. Veterans face a uniquely high risk of becoming homeless for a variety of factors, but according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, secure, safe, and clean housing can help to reduce the number of military personnel that will fall into a pattern of homelessness. It is possible to give directly to this program via the Tulsa Habitat for Humanity website.

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Austin Community College // Flickr

ULI Foundation

- Location: Washington D.C.
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Supporting the mission of the Urban Land Institute.
- Overall score: 95.47 (Financial: 95, Accountability and transparency: 96)
- Program expense ratio: 86.4%

- Mission: The ULI Foundation supports the mission of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) by providing funding for ULI's core research and education initiatives.

Founded in 1936, the Urban Land Institute aims to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. The ULI has nearly 40,000 members worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of land use in both the public and private sectors. The foundation’s main objectives include things like shaping cities and regions, advising communities in need, providing ongoing professional education, and encouraging sustainable building practices.

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Zachary Long // Flickr

Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County

- Location: Oxnard, CA
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
- Overall score: 98.23 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 89.9%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County has a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County has built 70 homes and repaired 130 others during its 36-year run. Overall, 200 families have been provided with decent, affordable places to live thanks to donations and the time of over 20,000 volunteers.

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EL Gringo // Flickr

Habitat for Humanity of Wake County

- Location: Raleigh, NC
- Scope: Local
- Goal: Building hope.
- Overall score: 94.74 (Financial: 97.5, Accountability and transparency: 93)
- Program expense ratio: 92.7%

- Mission: Habitat for Humanity of Wake County joins with individuals and local organizations to build simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with families living at modest income levels who cannot qualify for mortgages at market rates.

Habitat for Humanity of Wake County has been serving Wake and Johnston counties since 1985. To date, the affiliate has completed 750 safe and energy-efficient homes. However, Kevin Campbell, the branch’s CEO estimates that there are still 91,000 families in need in the area.

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Courtesy of WEACT

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

- Location: New York, NY
- Scope: Local
- Goal: The environment is where we live, work, play, pray and learn.
- Overall score: 97.44 (Financial: 96.38, Accountability and transparency: 100)
- Program expense ratio: 81.1%

- Mission: WE ACT’s mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.

In 1988, three fearless community leaders saw that environmental racism was rampant in their West Harlem neighborhood, and they demanded community-driven, political change. So they established WE ACT for Environmental Justice, one of the first environmental organizations in New York State to be run by people of color, and the first environmental justice organization in New York City. The organization acts as an effective force for environmental policy change, a community health watchdog, and a driving force of change that improves the well-being of all New Yorkers.

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