Catholic Relief Services

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 7/14/2020. To update the information in this column, please email:


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the country. The fundamental motivating force in all activities of CRS is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the alleviation of human suffering, the development of people and the fostering of charity and justice in the world. CRS provides direct aid to the poor, and involves people in their own development, helping them to realize their potential. It is devoted to educating the people of the United States to recognize that it is a moral responsibility to help the poor, work to remove the causes of poverty, and promote social justice.

Contact information

Mailing address:
228 West Lexington St
Baltimore, MD 21201-1201


Phone: (410) 625-2220


Organization details

EIN: 135563422

CEO/President: Sean Callahan

Chairman: Most Rev. Gerald Kicanas

Board size: 20

Founder: Catholic Bishops of the United States

Year founded: 1943

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the country. The purpose and programs of CRS is based in the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to that end, CRS is committed to the alleviation of human suffering, the development of people and the fostering of charity and justice in the world. CRS provides direct aid to the poor, and involves people in their own development, helping them to realize their potential. CRS educates the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities towards others around the world.

Mission statement

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to:

  • Promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and,
  • Serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.
As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, we work with local, national and international Catholic institutions and structures, as well as other organizations, to assist people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality.

Statement of faith

Rather than a "Statement of Faith," CRS provides its "Guiding Principles," which follow.

As the official international Catholic relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services draws upon a rich tradition of Scripture and Catholic social teaching, which serve as the foundation for CRS' Guiding Principles. Acting as a guide to what a just world might look like, these Principles are shared across religious and cultural boundaries and articulate values that are common among people who seek to promote and work towards true justice and lasting peace.

Created in the image of God, all human life is sacred and possesses a dignity that comes directly from our creation and not from any action of our own.

Every person has basic rights and responsibilities that flow from our human dignity and that belong to us as human beings regardless of any social or political structures. The rights are numerous and include those things that make life truly human. Corresponding to our rights are duties and responsibilities to respect the rights of others and to work for the common good of all.

All of us are social by nature and are called to live in community with others -- our full human potential isn't realized in solitude, but in community with others. How we organize our families, societies and communities directly affects human dignity and our ability to achieve our full human potential.

In order for all of us to have an opportunity to grow and develop fully, a certain social fabric must exist within society. This is the common good. Numerous social conditions -- economic, political, material and cultural -- impact our ability to realize our human dignity and reach our full potential.

A higher level of government -- or organization -- should not perform any function or duty that can be handled more effectively at a lower level by people who are closer to the problem and have a better understanding of the issue.

We are all part of one human family -- whatever our national, racial, religious, economic or ideological differences -- and in an increasingly interconnected world, loving our neighbor has global dimensions.

In every economic, political and social decision, a weighted concern must be given to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. When we do this we strengthen the entire community, because the powerlessness of any member wounds the rest of society.

There is inherent integrity to all of creation and it requires careful stewardship of all our resources, ensuring that we use and distribute them justly and equitably -- as well as planning for future generations.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Relief and Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating162 of 85723 of 70
Fund acquisition rating216 of 85722 of 70
Resource allocation rating173 of 85716 of 70
Asset utilization rating418 of 85737 of 70

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$210,447,000$202,810,000$196,849,000$176,129,000$134,435,000
Short-term investments$132,227,000$140,101,000$144,113,000$151,556,000$179,299,000
Other current assets$56,935,000$57,177,000$56,544,000$54,387,000$50,311,000
Total current assets$464,219,000$458,425,000$511,839,000$443,110,000$444,821,000
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$44,350,000$47,555,000$51,297,000$52,214,000$52,095,000
Other long-term assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$44,350,000$47,555,000$51,297,000$52,214,000$52,095,000
Total assets$508,569,000$505,980,000$563,136,000$495,324,000$496,916,000
Payables and accrued expenses$95,004,000$97,079,000$88,422,000$84,623,000$64,887,000
Other current liabilities$182,443,000$172,514,000$227,069,000$179,801,000$160,579,000
Total current liabilities$277,447,000$269,593,000$315,491,000$264,424,000$225,466,000
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$44,584,000$27,324,000$34,658,000$38,021,000$30,309,000
Total long-term liabilities$67,844,000$51,547,000$59,797,000$64,033,000$57,149,000
Total liabilities$345,291,000$321,140,000$375,288,000$328,457,000$282,615,000
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$79,624,000$60,530,000$76,565,000$83,845,000$105,551,000
Permanently restricted$0$15,780,000$13,750,000$8,236,000$6,883,000
Net assets$163,278,000$184,840,000$187,848,000$166,867,000$214,301,000
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$937,135,000$987,855,000$977,345,000$915,708,000$736,972,000
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$3,073,000$1,500,000$1,248,000$2,050,000$1,673,000
Other revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Total other revenue$3,073,000$1,500,000$1,248,000$2,050,000$1,673,000
Total revenue$940,208,000$989,355,000$978,593,000$917,758,000$738,645,000
Program services$873,496,000$944,947,000$918,124,000$915,047,000$678,584,000
Management and general$36,083,000$33,516,000$31,070,000$25,603,000$24,122,000
Total expenses$944,701,000$1,010,838,000$979,783,000$970,978,000$733,313,000
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($4,493,000)($21,483,000)($1,190,000)($53,220,000)$5,332,000
Other changes in net assets($17,069,000)$18,475,000$22,171,000$5,786,000($16,964,000)
Total change in net assets($21,562,000)($3,008,000)$20,981,000($47,434,000)($11,632,000)


Compensation data for this ministry has not been collected.

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 7/14/2020. To update the information below, please email:


In 1943, during World War II, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) first began its work focused on the resettlement of war refugees in Europe. The Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States established CRS to help war-torn Europe and its refugees recover from this great conflict. Even today, the mission of CRS continues to focus on the poor overseas, using the gospel of Jesus Christ as their mandate. They seek to help those most in need, providing assistance on the basis of need, without regard to race, creed, or nationality.

In the 1950s, as Europe regained its balance, the agency began to look to other parts of the world, seeking out those who could benefit from the assistance of Catholics in the United States. And for the next two decades, Catholic Relief Services expanded its operations and opened offices in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

During this time of expansion, CRS built on its tradition of providing relief in emergency situations and began to seek ways to help people in the developing world break the cycle of poverty through community-based, sustainable development initiatives. These programs, which today include agricultural initiatives, community banks, health education, and clean water projects, ensure that the local population is the central participant in its own development and that a project can be sustained through the effort and resources of the local community.

In the 1990's, the presence of Catholic Relief Services in the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Mitch in Central America or man-made tragedies, such as Kosovo, is complemented by a continuing commitment to the development of civil society in these areas. With over a half-century's worth of experience overseas, Catholic Relief Services understands that rebuilding societies requires more than mortar and bricks. Through its work, the agency seeks to foster within the U.S. Catholic community a sense of global solidarity, providing inspiration to live out the spiritual tradition of compassionate service to the world.

Program accomplishments

Most recently (July, 2008), CRS reports the following Program Accomplishments for the previous year:

  • Emergency relief in the aftermath of the Peru earthquake, and storms and flooding in Latin America, the Caribbean, South Asia and West Africa.
  • Antiretroviral therapy to 100,000 with HIV, and related medical care and support to an additional 250,000 people.
  • Life-changing agricultural advancements to prevent a food crisis in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
  • A third year of remarkable recovery from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  • Improved access to clean water in 79 Honduran communities.
  • Promotion of breastfeeding to prevent malnutrition in Kenya.
  • Job training to prevent human trafficking in Moldova.
  • Conflict resolution classes for 140 community volunteers in Uganda.
  • Sixty years of service to the poor with the National Council of Catholic Women.


As of the summer of 2008, CRS reports that its most pressing need is meeting food shortages and the resulting hunger and disease. According to the CRS website, "The recent skyrocketing cost of food staples around the world is making national and international headlines. The crisis is prompting economists, agronomists, finance ministers and heads of state to come up with immediate and long-term solutions so that more widespread price increases are averted and increasing discontent is mitigated. "What we are seeing is unprecedented," says Catholic Relief Services food aid expert Lisa Kuennen-Asfaw. "If immediate needs are not met, and if resources and policies supporting increased agricultural production are not put in place soon, we are heading for a cascade of hunger the world over." To learn more about this and other needs, visit the organization's website.