World Renew

Living Justice - Loving Mercy - Serving Christ

aka World Renew   |   Grand Rapids, MI   |


Compelled by God's deep passion for justice and mercy, we join communities around the world to renew hope, reconcile lives, and restore creation. World Renew's worldwide ministry is three-fold: 1. Community Development 2. Disaster Response 3. Peace & Justice

Ruling year info


Executive Director, United States

Carol Bremer-Bennett

Main address

1700 28th Street SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49508 USA

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Formerly known as

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee



NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

International Relief (Q33)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

World Renew embraces a family-centered approach to ending global poverty with food security, peace and justice, economic opportunity, community health, and disaster response. Through this whole-person intervention model, World Renew joins hundreds of thousands of families in more than 50 developing countries to change global hunger, poverty, and injustice.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

International & Disaster Response Services

World Renew is showing God's love to 300,000 people in poverty this year. We work with them and their communities to create positive, permanent change worldwide. To do this, World Renew: 1. Builds Leaders - World Renew works alongside 190 churches and community organizations in some of the world's poorest countries to equip them to meet the needs of their neighbors. This allows programs to continue long after World Renew funding and partnership ends. 2. Strengthens Churches - by working through churches, World Renew strengthens the witness of God's love to people in need. While programs are offered to people regardless of their religious background, the outreach of churches has improved their image in communities, strengthened their ministries, and resulted in more believers. 3. Pursues justice - CRWRC helps local leaders identify key issues in their communities that are keeping people poor. This can include civil unrest, lack of land ownership, gender inequality, child labor, or international debt. We then help them to organize and advocate for change. 4. Improves lives - World Renew helps local churches and community organizations design programs that will help people help themselves. This includes programs in literacy, health, agriculture, income generation, and environmental stewardship 1000 people took steps to improve their lives last year. 5. Promotes Action - World Renew helps North Americans develop their understanding of global and domestic poverty so that they can get involved in a solution. This includes education, and opportunities to experience World Renew 's ministry through volunteering. 6. Responds to Disasters - World Renew also responds to the needs of those affected by disasters. This includes providing emergency food, shelter, and supplies to those most in need. For North American disasters, it also includes sending volunteers to disaster sites to clear debris, assess needs, repair homes, and help communities rebuild their lives for the long-term.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people

Village Savings and Loan programs work by focusing on the resources, initiative, accountability and social support that are present in vulnerable communities. Instead of waiting for money from the outside to begin their work, groups of 15-30 members make weekly savings deposits into a group fund. They manage the fund themselves, make decisions about who can receive loans and what the terms are, and hold each other accountable for the repayment of their loans. Group members need each other to be successful and repay the loans so money is then available for themselves and other members in new rounds of lending. This kind of accountability leads to very high repayment rates.

World Renew plays the role of a catalyst, encouraging groups to form, helping them to develop group rules, and providing training in group process, money management, and leadership. Often group meetings are the place where members learn about other ways to improve their families and communities. In some countries, World Renew provides seed funding to the savings groups after a designated savings goal has been reached, and in other contexts loans from the partner are available, either at the beginning in order to build up the fund, or later in the program when some member businesses have grown to a point where a larger boost of capital is needed to expand. In every country, groups manage the funds themselves, and initial savings is a requirement.

Country/Regions served: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, West Africa, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

World Renew is committed to helping small farmers feed their families and earn extra income through sustainable agriculture practices that protect and nourish the land. According to Roland Bunch, a leading expert on sustainable agriculture, World Renew has “increased food security, promoted Biblical principles of brotherhood and healthy ethnic relations, improved gender relations, [and] improved economic conditions … I would definitely put its work in the top quartile of NGO agricultural work around the world.”
This has been achieved through working side-by-side with local farmers to test and adopt sustainable agriculture methods that improve soil fertility, establish drought resistant crop varieties, boost productivity, extend the growing season through small-scale irrigation, secure post-harvest storage, and improve husbandry of farm animals.
Country/Regions served: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, West Africa, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Top 100 Canadian Charities 2021

Charity Intelligence

Affiliations & memberships

Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability - Member 1993

Food Resource Bank - Implementing Member 1995

InterAction - Member 1990

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Disaster Response:
To help 2.6 million people and their communities over the next five years to cope with and recover from disaster and improve their resilience to disasters of any kind.

Food Security:
Reach 1 million more people over the next five years with the benefits of productive, climate-smart, sustainable farming methods that boost health and livelihoods.

Community Health:
To support the health and well-being of 1 million more women and children around the world, which in turn empowers and strengthens entire communities.

Economic Opportunity:
Help 700,000 more people benefit from financial stability programs that provide the skills, knowledge, and opportunities they need to have sustainable incomes and decent work.

Peace and Justice:
Reach another 700,000 people by addressing gender inequality and civil conflict, and address barriers that affect community well-being.

Disaster Response
• Meet immediate needs such as food, shelter, clean water, hygiene, and more for 200,000 people in the wake of disasters
• Train 250 communities in disaster preparedness to maximize resilience and minimize vulnerability to future disasters
• Pre-position relief supplies in five central domestic locations
• Help communities rebuild their homes and financial stability
• Increase by 40% the number of World Renew volunteers who are involved in vital disaster response services
• Establish a disaster fund for immediate response (72 hours)

Food Security
• Ensure 300,000 families have enough nutritious food to eat and additional crops to generate income
• Teach environmentally friendly practices for greater harvests and resilience
• Improve access to nutritious food through food assistance to vulnerable populations
• Help communities promote good nutrition practices
• Improve storage methods for greater food security all year
• Promote the use of resilient seeds
• Help communities develop a plan to adapt to climate change
• Reduce environmental impact through improved sanitary practices and proper waste

Community Health
• Improve the health of 230,000 people through nutrition programs, immunizations, and clean water
• Teach mothers about proper infant care to ensure their children’s first 1,000 days build a healthy foundation for life
• Teach families how to diversify their diet and improve nutrition to reduce child mortality and stunting
• Install latrines, and promote the use of safe water and improved hygiene and sanitation
• Train volunteers to monitor child growth
• Teach adolescents about sexual health and family planning

Economic Opportunity
• Engage 200,000+ people in our financial stability programs
• Promote savings and loan groups to help people save for their children’s education or start/improve small businesses
• Conduct literacy programs for 60,000 individuals
• Link groups to local financial institutions
• Support local empowerment of women through leadership positions within groups and communities
• Introduce small business training and income generating activities
• Promote child rights to decrease child labor/abuse
• Provide vocational training in business/farming to diversify household income and manage finances

Peace and Justice
• Train 450 communities in conflict recovery, gender equality, and trafficking
• Raise awareness about domestic violence through training, radio, and dramas
• Work with households to minimize harmful, persistent practices such as child/early marriage, female circumcision, son preference, and honor-related violence
• Train adolescents in leadership skills based on principles of peace and justice in communities and households
• Involve women in leadership positions and decision-making processes within community groups and committees
• Organize advocacy and peace-building activities
• Establish justice groups/centers to handle cases of local injustice
• Train local groups on trauma healing

Through local partnerships with over 75 Christian organizations, World Renew works to bring about positive, sustainable change in the lives of the poor through community development, justice, and long-term disaster recovery programs. Our core programs for empowerment cover the following content:

- Conservation Agriculture trains men and women farmers in climate-smart agriculture that rebuilds the soil over time so families can grow enough food to eat every day all year.

- Village Savings and Loans, Literacy, Vocational Training programs help men and women access loans to improve their income so they can provide for their families.

- Maternal and Child Health initiatives train health volunteers to support pregnant women to receive better health care and give their children a healthy start to life.

- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene is the foundation of good health. Training communities in how to access and treat clean water as well as in constructing safe latrines is a critical component of World Renew’s work.

- Trauma Healing Groups train leaders in the community to facilitate groups where those impacted by violence and disaster can process their harm and develop strategies for healing and coping together.

In 2019, World Renew served people in a total of 31 countries, responding to disasters and providing long-term community-based programs that helped 919,993 individuals change their lives for the better. Other accomplishments include:

- 241,154 people changed their story through our community development programs.
- Helped 677,509 people worldwide recover from an international disaster.
- Placed 2,784 volunteers on disaster response sites across North America.
- Contacted 2,300 disaster-affected households to assess needs, and repaired or rebuilt 290 damaged homes.
- Helped 206 refugees resettle in Canada.
- 258 churches in the U.S. and Canada were involved in justice activities with World Renew.
- 256 North American congregations were engaged in partnerships with churches internationally.
- 1,900 Free A Family® donors gave US $719,683, helping to free 2,221 families from poverty.
- 1,330 communities worldwide joined World Renew through a local church or outreach ministry.
- 511 global volunteers served others in North America and around the world.
- Placed 12 international relief managers in Bangladesh, Honduras, Malawi, Madagascar, and Niger.

Looking to the future, World Renew is gathering support to scale up our programming in order to reach an additional 6 million people over the next 5 years and to help them transition out of extreme poverty and to place them on a path they can walk towards sustainability and security.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We heard from BIPOC staff that we were not appropriately caring for them, we responded in several ways to care for them and will continue to disarm all racism within the organization.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,


World Renew

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

World Renew

Board of directors
as of 07/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Rebekah Vanderzee

World Renew US

Board co-chair

Echo MacLeod

World Renew Canada

Shanti Jost

World Renew US

Jeff Banaszak

World Renew US

Bonny Mulder-Behnia

World Renew US

Chuck Adams

World Renew US

Monika Grasley

World Renew US

Charles Ude

World Renew US

Ray Anema

World Renew Canada

Dennis DeGroot

World Renew Canada

Margaret VanOord

World Renew Canada

Sheku Koroma

World Renew Canada

Darryl Beck

World Renew Canada

Joe Hamilton

World Renew Canada

Andrew Geisterfer

World Renew Canada

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/20/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.