What is Oxfam, what do we do, and how do we do it? Here’s the information you need.
1: Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty.
We believe poverty is wrong, and that it is not an inevitable fact of life. We help people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters. Our mission is to tackle the root causes of poverty and create lasting solutions.
2: You can trust us.
Oxfam America is rated highly by leading independent charity evaluators, including Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator. Oxfam has the Better Business Bureau’s highest rating and seal of approval for charitable organizations by meeting all 20 of its Standards for Charity Accountability. Oxfam has also achieved the highest Platinum level profile with Guidestar, a philanthropic research organization that rewards transparency. These rankings place Oxfam among an elite group of charitable organizations nationally.
We know how important it is to spend every dollar wisely; the more efficient we are, the farther your dollar goes, and the more people we can help.
3: We work with local and national organizations: our partners.
We provide local partners grants for their anti-poverty programs and work with them to build alliances, networks, and effective organizations that will eventually be self-sufficient. Most importantly, we work with our partners to learn; what they teach us about the best solutions to poverty is just as valuable as the funding and collaboration we provide them.
4: We believe that fighting poverty is about fighting injustice.
Poverty often arises from the violation of people’s basic rights. When someone is denied the right to own land, the right to education, access to basic services like clean water, a fair price for the crops they grow, or a fair wage for the work they do, the result is poverty. Fighting injustice is an essential means to ending poverty.
5: The projects we fund are community driven.
Our local partners do the work, so the results are theirs. Locally informed and locally driven solutions to poverty are the best solutions—the most sustainable and the most appropriate—because they come from the people who can keep the initiatives going after Oxfam and its funding goes away.
6: Poverty puts people in harm's way.
Poverty makes people vulnerable to calamities—from armed conflicts to earthquakes. Poverty forces people to live in violent areas or to build their houses with flimsy materials in locations vulnerable to floods and landslides. But even the poorest countries can ensure local leaders have the funds and training they need to mount an effective disaster response, and prepare for future emergencies. We help people in vulnerable communities to reduce their risks, and to advocate with their governments to support their efforts.
7: We help people learn about their basic rights and how to defend them.
By educating people about their rights, we help to build strong communities that compel governments and other institutions to deliver on their responsibilities. When citizens hold their governments accountable, they can change the systems that keep people trapped in poverty.
8: Oxfam is a global organization with a massive reach.
Oxfam has 75 years of experience. Last year we worked with 3,249 partner organizations in more than 90 countries. We know what it takes to end poverty and we are mobilizing people and resources worldwide to make it happen. In 2016-2017 we spent $1.12 billion and reached more than 19.2 million people (55 percent of them women) in our long-term development and humanitarian assistance programs.
9: Laws, policies, and institutions have an enormous impact on poverty.
Decision makers rarely consult poor people about major issues like international trade agreements, climate change, or how wealthy countries administer foreign aid programs that are supposed to help them. From the halls of Congress to the World Bank, we make sure the voices of the world’s poorest people are heard loud and clear. We bring our passionate supporters together to take action on big issues that keep people poor. Every action is powerful—signing a petition, pressuring big business, meeting with policymakers. When we speak as one, world leaders listen.
10: You can join the effort. Everyone—including you—has a part to play in the fight against poverty and injustice.
Ending poverty is possible, but it will take every one of us. Each of us has a role to play. With the power of many voices speaking together, we can call on companies and legislators to change the laws and practices that keep people in poverty. We can also raise awareness and inspire action on some of the world's most urgent issues. We can't do this alone. Please join our online community; we need your voice and your support. No matter who you are, or how busy you are, you can make a difference.
Here's one more thing you should know: Right now, millions of people are on the brink of starvation. Meet a few of the individuals struggling to survive, and find out how you can help them overcome hunger.