Amizade, Ltd.

Global service and learning for a more just and joyful world

aka Amizade, Amizade Global Service-Learning, Amizade GSL   |   Pittsburgh, PA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Amizade, Ltd.

EIN: 36-3974227


Amizade inspires empathy, catalyzes social action, and links diverse communities through Fair Trade Learning.

Notes from the nonprofit

We believe in building a more relevant, collaborative, and responsible classroom. Amizade is the product of hundreds of service-learning pioneers who have engaged in over two decades of programmatic and academic development; it is the result of never-ending efforts by communities around the world to welcome others; and it is an ongoing global movement by over 27,000 alums, and hundreds of thousands of others, to create a more joyful and just world. Amizade collaborates with universities, high schools, community groups, and companies to design and manage safe, empowering global service-learning and volunteer programs; works closely with communities all over the world to develop and manage sustainable, empowering initiatives that create cross-cultural bonds and global citizens; and acts as a catalyst for improvement in international education, developing innovative curriculum and sector changing ideals like Fair Trade Learning, and sharing best practices with others through consulting.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Brandon Blache-Cohen

Main address

2211 Lesnett Rd. #12539

Pittsburgh, PA 15241 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Arts exchange

Environmental justice

Natural resources

Community improvement

Basic and emergency aid

Show more subject areas

Population served info




NTEE code info

International Cultural Exchange (Q21)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Every year hundreds of thousands of American youth travel the world to participate in study and volunteer abroad programs. There are many different types of these programs – each offering their own level of community engagement and voice. Many of these programs operate by focusing solely on the participant experience and rarely consider the important value and sacrifice of the communities they work in. Still others engage community leaders and organizations they operate in, but still fail to recognize the importance and power of a mutual learning partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect. We believe in building a more relevant, collaborative, and responsible classroom that addresses these issues through Fair Trade Learning.

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?

Fair Trade Learning Programs

Modeled after Amizade's partnership in Jamaica, Fair Trade Learning recognizes that the individuals and communities that host students and volunteers are uniquely impacted by visitors and should be offered fair working conditions and compensation, hold significant voice in the orchestration of programming, and be offered proper professional development opportunities.
Pioneered by Amizade, the Fair Trade Learning framework commits volunteer sending organizations to transparency, community-driven service, commitment and sustainability, deliberate diversity, intercultural contact, community preparation, local sourcing, reciprocity, and reflection. Each ideal is broken into specific standards that have been vetted by community members, staff members across several VSOs, and a broad coalition of academics.
Fair Trade Learning programs take place in more than 20 communities around the world, where Amizade maintains long-term partnerships.

Population(s) Served

The ​Equity ​in ​Global ​Education ​Coalition ​aims ​to ​cultivate ​globally ​engaged and ​civically ​active ​youth ​throughout ​Pittsburgh ​through ​a ​city-wide ​movement ​that ​will
expose ​a ​groundswell ​of ​teenagers ​to ​international, ​reflective, ​and ​experiential ​global
experiences. ​This ​Coalition ​enables ​underrepresented ​youth ​of ​low socioeconomic ​status ​to ​gain ​access ​to ​global ​educational ​and ​volunteer ​opportunities previously ​denied ​them ​due ​to ​the ​growing ​disparities ​in ​education ​between ​the ​wealthy and ​the ​poor.
Projects include the Hill District Global Engagement Coalition, which saw 30 young people and their mentors to travel to Ghana, Jamaica, and Trinidad for immersive global service-learning, and Building Community Bridges, which breaks down barriers through a series of workshops with young adults from urban and rural communities and provides them with a safe space to explore issues of of identity, power, and privilege together.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Amizade virtual global engagements translate in-person transformative elements, such as reflective practice, into a digital space. In a synchronous environment, participants explore culture and global issues by engaging with Amizade community partners. They deepen their knowledge of global issues by participating in service with community partners or in their home. Throughout the program, participants are guided through reflective practice activities to fully harness the power of the experience as it relates to empathy and civic engagement.

Just like our Fair Trade Learning programs, these programs take many forms, can be many different lengths, and serve many different types of participants.

Population(s) Served

Amizade recognizes that we alone cannot meet our bold mission. As such, we’ve chosen to be as open-source of an organization as possible. It’s why we’ve catalyzed, but not owned, such sector changing concepts as Fair Trade Learning and The Global Switchboard. We offer our skills and time as consultants to other mission-driven organizations so that our innovative ideas and expertise in global service-learning, solidarity building, experiential education, and socially active and responsible educational travel can be shared far and wide.
Over the last two decades, Amizade has led hundreds of workshops, trainings, and retreats. Amizade can assist with many elements of planning for new global initiatives, mission alignment, ethical partnership integration, and global service-learning curriculum development.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

Amizade inspires empathy, catalyzes social action, and links diverse communities through Fair Trade Learning.

Amizade's strategies to achieve our mission include: Improving the consistency and quality of our Fair Trade Learning curriculum implementation, Piloting opportunities and training for participants and community members to cultivate social action, Improving alumni post-program engagement, and facilitating the linking of diverse and unlikely networks.

Amizade has been working on global education and connecting communities since 1994 and, in the past year, are working to more specifically target our new strategic goals.

This new strategic plan was just launched in the fall of 2017. Measurable results and progress are now being monitored and analyzed.


Amizade, Ltd.
Fiscal year: Sep 01 - Aug 31
Financial documents
2022 Amizade Financial Statements FY22 2021 Amizade
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6.78 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 8% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Amizade, Ltd.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Amizade, Ltd.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Amizade, Ltd.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Amizade, Ltd.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2017 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $83,674 $133,790 -$77,727 -$75,340 -$127,668
As % of expenses 4.9% 6.8% -3.6% -9.8% -10.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $81,558 $133,460 -$77,805 -$75,837 -$128,165
As % of expenses 4.7% 6.8% -3.6% -9.8% -10.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,803,168 $2,284,817 $2,051,894 $680,523 $1,111,082
Total revenue, % change over prior year 33.6% 0.0% -10.2% -66.8% 63.3%
Program services revenue 79.0% 66.3% 88.4% 58.3% 75.3%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 15.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 4.2% 33.0% 11.6% 24.6% 14.9%
Other revenue 1.2% 0.7% 0.0% 17.1% 9.7%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,717,494 $1,955,933 $2,182,268 $771,535 $1,224,711
Total expenses, % change over prior year 22.0% 0.0% 11.6% -64.6% 58.7%
Personnel 18.2% 20.5% 22.1% 42.1% 34.9%
Professional fees 0.7% 0.5% 0.5% 1.5% 1.1%
Occupancy 1.0% 1.1% 1.0% 0.9% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 80.1% 77.9% 76.3% 55.5% 64.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,719,610 $1,956,263 $2,182,346 $772,032 $1,225,208
One month of savings $143,125 $162,994 $181,856 $64,295 $102,059
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $2,484 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,862,735 $2,119,257 $2,366,686 $836,327 $1,327,267

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 3.8 6.2 5.7 14.4 7.0
Months of cash and investments 3.8 6.2 5.7 14.4 7.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 3.9 4.4 3.5 8.9 4.3
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $539,306 $1,015,311 $1,044,091 $926,779 $716,825
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $168,077 $74,688 $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $15,718 $8,718 $11,202 $11,202 $11,202
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 78.6% 100.0% 78.5% 83.0% 87.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 23.5% 8.0% 14.7% 14.1% 4.5%
Unrestricted net assets $566,083 $724,744 $646,939 $571,102 $442,937
Temporarily restricted net assets $23,000 $320,874 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $23,000 $320,874 $268,227 $252,555 $266,594
Total net assets $589,083 $1,045,618 $915,166 $823,657 $709,531

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2017 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Brandon Blache-Cohen

Named one of “Pittsburgh’s 40 under 40” in 2012 and a “Rising Education Leader” in 2017 – Brandon has nearly 20 years of experience in the nonprofit, service-learning, and international education sectors. In his work as Executive Director of Amizade, Brandon has organized over 700 global service-learning programs, overseeing life-changing global experiences for nearly 10,000 students, and spearheading sector-changing innovations like The Global Switchboard and the concept of Fair Trade Learning. In addition to his work with Amizade, Blache-Cohen was a US delegate to the One Young World Summit in Zurich, Switzerland in 2011, has published several articles on responsible global service-learning in peer-reviewed journals, has sat on a planning committee for the Pittsburgh Holocaust Center, and was the President of the Pennsylvania Council on International Education (PACIE).

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Amizade, Ltd.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Amizade, Ltd.

Board of directors
as of 01/18/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ronnell Perry

AfroBuenaventura Transformative Travel

Term: 2022 - 2025

Brandon Blache-Cohen


Dan Weiss

Cody M Paris

University of Middlesex, Dubai

Julia Posteraro

The Midwife Center for Birth & Women's Health

Greg Payne

Rhiannon Tomtishen

Jorge Caraballo Cordovez

Christopher Carr

Elizabeth Fu

Rebecca Johnson

Ivi Kolasi

Dennis McCunney

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/16/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data