Inspired by the Swiss Red Cross, Clara Barton and a few of her acquaintances founded the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. in 1881. Chartered by Congress to be an agency which is designated to helping others, particularly in disasters and emergencies, the organization has grown to become a premier provider of assistance and relief. The American Red Cross runs independently of the United States Government and requires donations of volunteer time and money to function and be ready to help when the unexpected occurs.
Mayo Clinic is one of the most respected research hospital networks in the world, with locations in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona. In addition to providing care for patients and researching the latest treatment options, they also function as a medical school with a vigorous training for the physicians of the future. The Mayo Clinic is 100 percent non-profit and relies on donations and government grants in addition to returns on their investments to run their facilities. Active in their community and online, the Mayo Clinic has an extensive community outreach and education departments, including a comprehensive question/answer resource online which provides helpful information on most diseases.
The American Heart Association was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Its popularity and national awareness skyrocketed when Procter & Gamble's PR firm selected the American Heart Association as the charity to support in conjunction with their national radio production, "Truth of Consequences." Since then, the AHA has been instrumental in helping to make Americans more aware of recommended dietary and lifestyle changes which are designed to help prevent heart disease, teach first aid and CPR techniques and signs of heart attack or stroke, among other missions.
Goodwill Industries International was founded by a Methodist minister, Reverend Edgar J. Helms. As part of his ministry and work to help those in need, he collected items which were discarded by more affluent households and brought them to those with whom he was working for repair and distribution. His vision of creating self sufficiency has grown to a large network of independent organizations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, and Uruguay.
Each Goodwill Industries International is independently operated, and done so by region. As such policies for stores, etc. vary greatly. All information in this review is focused on the headquarters of Goodwill Industries International, which is located in Rockville, Maryland.
The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913 by 15 physicians in New York City. The first mission of the American Cancer Society was to educate the public about cancer as a disease and improve its diagnosis and prognosis. Today, the American Cancer Society is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The current mission of the organization is to eliminate cancer through education and funding of cancer research. The organization’s website is a comprehensive educational resource for those diagnosed with cancer and their families.
The Salvation Army was founded in London in 1865 by a former Methodist preacher and his wife. International headquarters for The Salvation Army are in London, but the organization has a presence in 127 countries worldwide. The Salvation Army’s United States headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.
Because the organization has status as a Christian church in addition to being a charitable organization, full financial disclosure and filing of an IRS Form 990 is not required. There have been several allegations of The Salvation Army mismanaging funds and even making a profit on donated physical items.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America was founded in 1916 in New York City by Margaret Sanger. Sanger was a pioneer in women's health who worked to put birth control into the mainstream, allowing women to have access to information about their reproductive health. Sanger was also a controversial figure, given some of her views on race and voluntarily terminating pregnancies, particularly for minorities. The organization was officially named Planned Parenthood in 1942. Planned Parenthood Federation of America operates two headquarters, one in Washington D.C. and the other in New York City.
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in 1844 by George Williams in London. The organization began with the focus of putting Christian principles into practice to improve the body, mind, and spirit. YMCA has chapters across the United States and the globe, with the American headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois, and the global headquarters located in Geneva, Switzerland. Today, the mission of the YMCA is divided into its program of creating and supporting social responsibility, strengthening the youth, and educating and supporting the public with healthy living habits.
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in Georgia in 1976 as a grassroots effort to increase the availability of affordable housing. In 1984, former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, became involved in the program, greatly increasing its exposure. At present, Habitat for Humanity has built homes globally and is the largest not-for-profit builder In the world. The organization receives support through volunteer builders, monetary contributions, and from its Habitat for Humanity ReStores.
It was in the early 20th century that the Boy Scouts of America was founded. It started when a British Army officer, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, was stationed in India and found that his men did not know the basics of survival and first aid. Baden-Powell wrote a handbook called Aids to Scouting, this handbook spread quickly and became popular among young boys. That same year over 10,000 Boy Scouts attended a rally held at the Crystal Palace, within two years memberships had tripled. The organization promotes charity work, resourcefulness, teamwork, and leadership skills.