Frequently asked questions about Oxfam America.
In 1942, a group of Quaker intellectuals, social activists, and Oxford academics formed the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief in response to the plight of refugees in Greece. After the war, Oxfam (a name derived from its postal code abbreviation) continued its work, sending materials and financial aid to groups aiding poor people throughout Europe. As the situation in Europe improved, Oxfam's attention shifted to the needs of people in developing countries.
Twenty-eight years later, a group of volunteers founded Oxfam America in 1970 in response to the humanitarian crisis created by the fight for independence in Bangladesh. Oxfam Great Britain provided a loan for the group and at first Oxfam America funneled funds exclusively through Oxfam Great Britain. Originally located in Washington, DC, Oxfam America relocated to Boston in 1973.
A more detailed history of Oxfam also can be found on Oxfam Great Britain’s Web site.
"Oxfam" was the original postal abbreviation for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, which was started in England during World War II to provide relief to war victims in Europe. Since then, Oxfam affiliates have been established in 17 countries.
Oxfam America relies almost entirely on funding from individual donors, foundations, and corporations. We are fortunate to have hundreds of thousands of supporters, many of whom give every month or year. Among leading humanitarian organizations, we are one of the few that do not accept US government funds; this allows us to maintain our independence. Oxfam America operates efficiently and always aims to minimize administrative costs. In 2011, 79 percent of our expenditures went directly to program support—well above the standard recommended by the AIP (American Institute of Philanthropy), one of the leading charity rating organizations in the US. At least 90 percent of funds designated by individual donors for humanitarian emergencies directly support our responses for those emergencies. We strive to exceed or maintain these standards each year.
Annual reports from 2004to 2010, as well as additional financial information, are available in the Financial Information section of our Web site.
Oxfam America seeks to operate efficiently and to minimize fund-raising and administrative costs. In 2011, we allocated 79 percent of our expenditures for development programs and emergency relief—a number that is well above the standard recommended by the American Institute of Philanthropy, one of the leading charity rating organizations in the US. During this same period, at least 90 percent of funds designated by individual donors for humanitarian emergencies directly supported our relief efforts for those emergencies. We strive to exceed or maintain these standards each year.
Our EIN/tax ID number is 23-706-9110.
Oxfam America creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice. Because we are not tied to any specific political, economic, or religious interests, we are able to independently develop, fund, and support effective programs that help people overcome poverty and secure their rights. To protect our ability to speak out on behalf of those who most need it and to preserve our independence, Oxfam America does not accept funds from organizations involved in industries in which we are campaigning or from the US government. Additionally, we do not accept some product donations because they could compromise the effectiveness of our programs.
Oxfam America is rated highly by a number of leading independent charity evaluators, including the American Institute of Philanthropy. In 2011, Oxfam America again received the Better Business Bureau's highest rating for charitable organizations (for the sixth year in a row) by meeting all 20 of its "Standards for Charity Accountability."
By signing up to be a Pledge Partner, you can give on a monthly basis. In fact, setting up regular payments directly helps us reduce administrative costs. Most supporters arrange for a monthly charge to their credit card, which helps us to be more efficient and avoid mailing out reminders.
Using this method of giving means more of your donation goes to fighting poverty, and it saves you from writing a monthly check. In addition, members of the Pledge Partner Program receive quarterly updates on our work and our OXFAMExchange magazine. You can sign up online or see our Pledge Partner FAQs if you have additional questions.
Oxfam America has an extensive gift planning program. You can learn more in our Create a Legacy section.
Find an open position that matches your skills, experience, and interests and apply online today. Click the Apply button at the bottom of any position description page.
You will receive an email confirming receipt of your résumé/CV. If we feel there is a good match between your background, experience and education and the position requirements, we will contact you for a telephone interview for initial screening. If you are selected for further consideration, you will be contacted to schedule an additional interview with a hiring committee, either in person or via telephone.
If there are no open positions that match your interests, you can still add your information to our database, so that we can send you notifications of new jobs based on your interests.
Thank you for your interest in joining Oxfam America in our fight against poverty and social injustice.
Oxfam America is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Interested in being a volunteer or intern at Oxfam? We're looking for highly motivated people to support our mission and bring excellent interpersonal and communication skills to the task. Internships and volunteer positions provide a substantive, challenging work experience and will expand your understanding of Oxfam's work.
You will receive a confirmation email and will be contacted if you are selected as a candidate. If there are no open positions that match your interests, you can still add your information to our database, so that we can send you notifications of new jobs based on your interests.
Interns and volunteers perform many of the same tasks and frequently work together on projects, but there are some key differences between internships and volunteer positions at Oxfam.
Unless otherwise noted, any qualified individual can apply. All applicants must have valid visas or work papers that allow them to legally work in the US. Oxfam America does not provide visas for interns or volunteers.
Oxfam America is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
We are unable to offer internships or volunteer opportunities abroad. The nature of our work often requires very specific knowledge and skills, and it can sometimes be dangerous. As a result, all of our internships and volunteer opportunities are based in the US located in: Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; or Minneapolis, MN.
Oxfam partners with local communities to address their needs directly and to create solutions that will be sustainable over time. Because of our limited funds, we can only support organizations that are working in the approximately 30 countries in which we have programs. As much as we would like to fund more projects, we must adhere to our strategic focus.
Here are some additional details on how Oxfam America allocates funds:
Please see the What We Do section of the Web site to learn more about the focus of our regional programs, the issues we work on, and our emergency relief work. If you still have questions about funding, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oxfam America is not able to provide financial aid to individuals, nor can we arrange, organize, or fund study-abroad programs. However, for answers to your financial aid questions, we recommend the following helpful Web sites:
Absolutely. Anyone can participate in our online community and receive our monthly eNewsletter and occasional action alerts. While many of our email campaigns target US-based organizations and authorities, we also coordinate with groups all over the world.
You can update your personal information at the eCommunity subscription management page. There you can also select not to receive email from us or you can send an email to email@example.com requesting removal. More ways to get help
You can set up or request a new password on our eCommunity page.
Oxfam is constantly in need of dedicated individuals to mobilize their communities in the fight against hunger, poverty, and social injustice. Here are just a few suggested ways to channel your energies to help:
Please visit the What You Can Do section of this Web site for more ideas, tools, and resources, and share what you learn with others.
Yes! When you join our free email update list, you'll receive regular news on our work and campaigns, as well as opportunities to take action in the fight against poverty, hunger and social injustice.
Our headquarters office is in Boston, MA, and our policy & advocacy office is in Washington, DC. We've posted directions to our offices for your convenience.
Please visit our Contact Us page.