Nonprofit organizations do not have owners or shareholders and use all monies surplus to running costs to fund their work. Many of these nonprofits help marginalized members of the community in the United States, fund programs to alleviate suffering abroad or carry out research and lobbying activities to influence government policy on single issues. Nonprofit organizations include charities, trade unions and funding bodies.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness
The National Alliance to End Homelessness seeks to end the suffering of America's homeless by "improving policy, building capacity, and educating opinion leaders." The organization lobbies policymakers with a view to improving the lives of the country's families, youth, veterans, and chronically homeless individuals that find themselves living on the streets. Some 80 percent of the alliance's income came from grants and charitable contributions in 2009, while 75 percent of its expenditure went toward research and education. According to its annual report, the alliance provided expert testimony to five congressional committees, helped 48 communities and 19 states implement key strategies to end homelessness, and increased public knowledge of key strategies to end homelessness through publication of nine in-depth reports in 2009.
Feed the Children
Some 12 million American children are at risk of going hungry, according to Feed the Children, as of March 2011. The charity committed $1,169,549,928 to program services during 2009 and only eight percent of its annual expenditure was spent on fund-raising and administration costs. Feed the Children runs a fleet of trucks that take food to undernourished American children and their families and runs a program to supply books and learning resources to boys and girls that are living in poverty. The organization also provides food programs for children and disaster relief worldwide.
Drug Policy Alliance
The Drug Policy Alliance campaigns for an end to America's war on drugs and the adoption of legislation that is "grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights." The organization believes that drug prohibition is hugely damaging to those who misuse illegal substances and lobbies central government to adopt policies that "no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions of non-violent people." The DPA had a total income of over $10 million dollars in 2009, predominantly made up from unrestricted and temporarily restricted contributions. As well as being active in lobbying for changes to drug policy, the alliance also provides a range of drug education resources for users, parents and educators.
Oxfam America is the U.S. arm of the British-based global charity that seeks an end to global poverty and suffering. Oxfam uses donations from the public to fund programs throughout the world from Asia, to South America. Nearly 80 percent of every dollar the charity raises is spent on its work in the field. The rest is spent on fundraising and running costs. The charity received over $52 million in contributions in 2009, some of which was spent on projects like providing African farmers with agricultural equipment, providing micro-financing to poor communities throughout the world, and crisis response efforts.
Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.