Community Improvement, Capacity Building


Creating opportunity for people to realize their potential

aka BRAC

New York, NY


The mission of BRAC USA is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and social injustice. Its interventions aim to achieve large-scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable everyone to realize their potential.

Ruling Year


President & CEO

Donella Rapier

Main Address

110 William St. 18th FL

New York, NY 10038 USA


Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, poverty alleviation, microfinance, health, education, disaster relief, climate change, social justice, legal justice, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, SIerra Leone, Liberia, The Philippines, empowerment, equity, social inclusion, Graduation, extreme poverty, girls empowerment, livelihoods, bKash, WASH, agriculture, supply chains, integrated development, enterprise, social business, human rights, legal aid, community empowerment, gender justice, urban development





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Economic Development (S30)

Community Health Systems (E21)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Can we eradicate poverty within a generation? Evidence from BRAC says yes — if we invest in programs that deliver results and empower the poor to take control of their lives. BRAC runs an array of programs, each created to address one or more of poverty’s many dimensions. These include education, healthcare, microfinance, girls’ empowerment, agriculture, human and legal rights, socially responsible businesses — even a bank, a university, and the world’s largest mobile money platform. Though diverse, these programs are guided by the conviction that people living in poverty have vast untapped potential. BRAC’s goal is to create enabling conditions that allow them to live on their own terms, with the choices, freedom and dignity that others take for granted. “Poverty is not just poverty of money,” notes Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Abed. “We also see a poverty of self-esteem, hope, opportunity, and freedom."

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Strategic and Program Services (1)

Grantmaking (1)

Strategic and Program Services (2)

Grantmaking (2)

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of girls empowered with an education and livelihood opportunities.

Population(s) served


Adolescents (13-19 years),

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Number of women who have access to financial services to build their businesses and transform their lives.

Population(s) served



Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Number of health workers mobilized worldwide to reduce maternal and child deaths in their communities.

Population(s) served


Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people,

Self-employed people

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

The mission of BRAC USA is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and social injustice. Its interventions aim to achieve large-scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable everyone to realize their potential.

BRAC believes that poverty is a system and its underlying causes are manifold and interlinked. It has developed support services in the following areas to provide resources for the world's poor to address the underlying causes of those systems:
• Human Rights
• Social Empowerment
• Education
• Health
• Economic Empowerment
• Enterprise Development
• Livelihood Training
• Environmental Sustainability
• Disaster Preparedness

Gender equality, respect for the environment and inclusiveness are themes crosscutting all organizational efforts.

BRAC USA collaborates with BRAC UK, BRAC International, and BRAC in Bangladesh to coordinate strategic support for the organization's goals. In Bangladesh, BRAC's strategic plan for the next five years supports the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, building on many existing program priorities while also giving greater emphasis to emerging areas such as skills development, urbanization, and climate change. It is also collaborating with others through advocacy and technical assistance to put on the international agenda its proven Graduation approach for lifting the ultra-poor out of poverty. Through this work, it is contributing to the effort to end extreme poverty by 2030. BRAC operates a train the trainer model with its field staff and volunteers. BRAC hires staff from the communities in which it works. Internationally, 90 percent of staff are nationals and play an essential role in adapting programs to different cultures and contexts.

Based in New York, BRAC USA is the North American affiliate of BRAC, and provides comprehensive support by raising awareness about its work to empower the poor and mobilizing resources to support programs. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, BRAC USA works closely with international counterparts to design and implement cost-effective and evidence-based poverty innovations worldwide. BRAC prioritizes sustainable funding sources and is largely self-financed. Currently, about 75 percent of its expenditures in Bangladesh – including microfinance, social enterprises, and social development programs – are funded by surplus funds. Its goal is 90 percent self-financing by 2020. BRAC keeps its administrative costs low, and relies on a hybrid financial strategy for many of its programs. It uses smarter targeting mechanisms with sophisticated pricing models that include free services for those who need the most, and subsidized and full charge services for those in higher income brackets.

BRAC USA adheres to responsible grant management methodologies in keeping with industry-wide best practices, and it reports on and tracks progress against dozens of metrics. At the macro level, BRAC relies on multiple sources of external validation to measure its progress against strategic goals, including its own independent research division, as well as UN, World Bank, and WHO reports. Research and evaluation are at the core of BRAC's approach to poverty reduction. It established the Research and Evaluation Division (RED), an independent unit, in 1975. RED and its corresponding international unit provide an analytical basis for decision-making, ensuring development efforts are evidence-based, effective, and community-sensitive. BRAC also collaborates with universities worldwide to conduct research projects. Research partners include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, London School of Economics, Harvard, Yale, University of California at Berkeley, and many more.

While BRAC USA is just ten years old, BRAC will soon enter its fifth decade. As one of the earliest examples of a learning organization, its efforts to quantify success, address failure, and fine-tune programs based on hard evidence reflect both its accomplishments and its missteps. Over the course of its evolution, BRAC has played a large role in the significant improvement of life for the poorest in Bangladesh and beyond. BRAC helped dramatically reduce under-five mortality, enroll hundreds of thousands in primary school, and is working tirelessly to improve gender equality worldwide. Most notably, the organization played a significant role in helping Bangladesh achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals. See more on our impact here:

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Charity Navigator 4-Star Charity




Fiscal year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?