The organization was conceived in 1944 to reconstruct war-torn Europe. The World Bank works in more than 100 developing countries. It provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries. They support a wide array of investments in such areas as education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management.
The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) is a network of international investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. They reflect the view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios. Over 1000 investment institutions have become signatories, with assets under management totalling approximately US$ 30 trillion.
Founded by a small group of investors in 1989 in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Ceres has been working for more than 20 years to weave sustainable strategies and practices into the fabric and decision-making of companies, investors and other key economic players. Ceres relies on the power and expertise of the companies it engages with, the investors it brings together and the public interest groups it works with.
The non-profit organization works with its global network of nearly 300 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The organization partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crises, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. It works on the ground in 177 countries and territories. UNDP works in four main areas: poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); democratic governance; crisis prevention and recovery; environment and sustainable development.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
The UN agency’s mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. Food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts. For more than six decades, FAO has led global efforts to alleviate hunger, focusing on ways to improve agricultural production and, in turn, the lives of rural people.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty. Oxfam is part of a global movement, campaigning with others, to end unfair trade rules, demand better health and education services for all, and to combat climate change.
The organization’s mission is to connect disadvantaged producers and consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower producers to combat poverty, strengthen their position and take more control over their lives. Fairtrade International is a group of 25 organizations working to secure a better deal for producers. From their headquarters in Bonn, Germany, they set international Fairtrade standards and support Fairtrade producers.
The organization’s mission is to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. Acumen Fund believes that pioneering entrepreneurs will ultimately find the solutions to poverty. The entrepreneurs Acumen Fund supports are focused on offering critical services – water, health, housing, and energy – at affordable prices to people earning less than four dollars a day.
Women’s World Banking
Women’s World Banking is the only microfinance network with an explicit focus on women. Their network of 39 financial organizations from 27 countries—also known as microfinance institutions—located around the world provide small loans, sometimes as modest as $100, to people to start their businesses.
The NGO is a global leader in creating opportunity for the world’s poor. What started out as a limited relief operation in 1972 in a remote village of Bangladesh, has turned into the largest development organization in the world. The organization does this with a holistic development approach geared toward inclusion, using tools like microfinance, education, healthcare, legal services and community empowerment.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The Asian Development Bank aims for an Asia and Pacific free from poverty. The main devices for assistance are loans, grants, policy dialogue, technical assistance and equity investments. Over the past 6 years, it has helped to build or upgrade over 135,000 classrooms; train over 660,000 teachers; build over 44,300 km of roads; install over 17,800 km of water supply pipes; upgrade sanitation in over 269,000 households; improve over 1.8 million hectares of land as a result of irrigation, drainage, and flood management initiatives; and many other projects. The organization had $21.72 billion in approved financing in 2011.
The organization provides financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. It is an anti-poverty organization whose work is aimed at creating employment, raising family incomes, and reducing poverty worldwide. They operate Village Banking programs in 21 countries of Africa, Eurasia, the Greater Middle East and Latin America, serving over 900,000 people – 70% women.
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
The United Nations agency was established in 1977. It is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Through low-interest loans and grants, IFAD works with governments to develop and finance programs and projects that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves. Since starting operations, IFAD has invested US$13.1 billion in 899 projects and programs that have reached some 400 million poor rural people.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
The international financial institution was established in 1991in response to major changes in the political and economic climate in Central and Eastern Europe. The bank now supports projects from central Europe to central Asia. Investing primarily in private sector clients whose needs cannot be fully met by the market, the Bank fosters transition towards open and democratic market economies.
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
The Canadian research institute specializes in policy research, analysis and information exchange. Through its head office in Winnipeg, Manitoba and its branches in Ottawa, Ontario; New York, NY; and Geneva, Switzerland IISD applies human ingenuity to help improve the wellbeing of the world’s environment, economy and society.
Dutch Postcode Lottery
Since 1989, the Dutch Postcode Lottery has been raising funds to support organizations working for a fairer, greener world. Fifty percent of its income goes to charity. The lottery has grown to become the Netherlands’ biggest charity lottery and supports 85 nongovernmental organizations such as UNICEF, WWF, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders. Since its founding, the lottery has dispensed more than 3 billion euros to its beneficiaries.