Accountability

Church World Service is committed to transparency and makes available a range of information related to our governance, our finances and our relationship with partner organizations.  If you don't see what you're looking for here, we hope you'll contact us.

Governance

CWS is a cooperative effort of 37 member communions in the U.S., representing millions of persons around the globe. Each of these communions may name representatives to attend our annual meeting of members. The members' meeting elects the CWS Board of Directors.

The CWS Board of Directors meets three times a year, and oversees every facet of the agency.  View a list of our current board members, as well as our senior administrative staff.

Financials

CWS is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to CWS are tax deductible.

Our financial records are audited by independent auditors in accordance with guidelines established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  You can learn more about our sources of support and how we have used that support on our CWS Financials page.  Only around 4 cents of every dollar goes to fund administrative costs.

Additionally, CWS is reviewed annually by GuideStar, the online standard for nonprofit accountability.  Take a look at our listing, where you’ll also find our annual report, U.S. IRS form 990 and additional financial information.

Accountability and Partnership

CWS is accountable to the individuals we assist.  We are also accountable to the local community organizations with which we enjoy partnerships.  They participate and have voice in our semiannual assessment of agency work.

Most Significant Change

To ensure that our programs are effective and that the people we serve and work with have a voice in them, we use the Most Significant Change methodology, an increasingly common assessment tool used by several of our peer NGOs.  Learn more about MSC.

Partner relationships

Our partners are critical in helping us achieve our objectives.  These local agencies know best the needs of their communities and how we can help.

As part of the landmark Keystone Accountability Survey, CWS set out to gauge how our partners would rate working with us.  Led by an independent firm, this international effort gathered dynamic data and perspectives from 1,067 partners, on behalf of 25 international NGOs with which they work.  Overall, CWS partners generally commend our performance while assessing our strengths, confronting us with critiques and providing credible benchmarks.  We are committed to using this feedback to improve our effectiveness, relevance and reliability as a partner.

For additional information about the Keystone Accountability Survey, check out the following:

Standards

CWS adheres to all guidelines for humanitarian assistance mandated by the International Committee of the Red Cross.  CWS has a long relationship with the Sphere project, a common set of international standards used in disaster response.  Both set a strong mandate for appropriate standards in providing humanitarian assistance, and specifically prohibit proselytizing.