BENEFITING: BORGEN PROJECT
“The Borgen Project is an incredible nonprofit organization that is addressing poverty and hunger and working towards ending them.” – The Huffington Pos
In a Nutshell: We fight extreme poverty.
Mission Statement: The Borgen Project believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. We’re the innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.
In 1999, while working as a young volunteer in refugee camps during the Kosovo War and genocide, Clint Borgen recognized the need for an organization that could focus U.S. political attention on extreme poverty. In 2003, after graduating from Washington State University and interning at the United Nations, Borgen began developing the organization.
In need of startup funding, Borgen took a job living on a fishing vessel docked in Dutch Harbor, Alaska (the same location as “The Deadliest Catch”). From humble beginnings in one of the most remote regions of the world, The Borgen Project was born. One man with a laptop and a budget that came from his Alaska paychecks has evolved into a national campaign with volunteers operating in 220 U.S. cities.
HOW WE OPERATE
Congressional Relations: We meet with U.S. leaders to build support for life-saving legislation and effective poverty-reduction programs.
Mobilize: We mobilize people across the globe behind efforts to make poverty a political priority.
Educate: We teach basic advocacy skills that allow citizens to communicate with their government.
Issue Message: We build awareness of global issues and innovations in poverty-reduction through our online and community presence.
WHY WE FOCUS ON U.S. LEADERS
1. The World’s Agenda-Setter: From the War on Drugs to the War on Terror, if it’s on the agenda of U.S. leaders, countries across the globe take action. The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.
2. Higher Impact + Systematic Change:
$6 billion: Amount the U.S. spends per aircraft carrier.
$4 billion: Budget of the largest relief agency on the planet (World Food Program).
The largest relief agency in the world has an impressive impact and assists over 100 million people per year, although needless to say far greater resources can be mobilized for the world’s poor at the political level.
3. Policy Influences Poverty Rates: The domestic and foreign policies of the United States have a tremendous impact on creating or reducing poverty overseas. One report by Oxfam, found that the U.S. could help more impoverished people in Africa by doing away with subsidies to wealthy U.S. cotton farmers than it does with the minuscule amount of aid going to Africa.
The Borgen Project operates at the 10,000 foot level. We go big. We work with leaders of the most powerful nation on Earth to improve their response to the global poverty crisis.