Organization Spotlight: A look at who’s fighting poverty on Idealist

Earlier this week, two conferences — the Mashable Social Good Summit and the Clinton Global Initiative — took place here in New York, discussing how we can all come together to address pressing global problems like poverty.

Each day at Idealist, we see people working to address poverty as well; if you perform a search for the keyword “poverty” on Idealist, you’ll find more than 18,000 organizations and opportunities tackling this issue. In recognition of all the organizations fighting poverty across the world, we’ve decided to highlight a few nonprofits that caught our eye here at Idealist.

blueEnergy in San Francisco, CA

Turbine in action (Photo Credit: blueEnergy)

Poverty has many causes, but one of the most prominent is that some people simply don’t have access to resources that other people take for granted. blueEnergy works to provide renewable energy, water sanitation, and other green services to some of the poorest regions of the Western Hemisphere. Take a look at blueEnergy’s program page to see the specific types of gadgets they’re using.


Street Roots in Portland, OR

Nick Fish, Portland, Oregon Housing Commissioner at groundbreaking for homeless resource center on 11.20.09 (Photo Credit:

In recent years, Portland, Oregon, has become a nonprofit hotspot. This could have something to do with the fact that Idealist has an office in Portland, but that’s a free-range chicken or the egg type of problem. Regardless, one of the great nonprofits in Portland that focuses on poverty is Street Roots. Each year Street Roots offers over 250 homeless and low-income people jobs selling their eponymous newspaper. Beyond the newspaper, there is a resource guide for people experiencing homelessness and poverty which covers both Multnomah and Washington counties. If you live in Portland and don’t know about Street Roots, pick up a copy! If you live elsewhere you can still read the online newspaper, which has some great articles.


OpenTable in Concord and Maynard, Massachusetts

Serving all who come to OpenTable (Photo Credit: OpenTable)

The goal of ending poverty in general can seem a little daunting. However, if you focus on solving one of the many problems associated with poverty, even small organizations can make a difference. This is the case with Open Table, a nonprofit operating in Concord and Maynard, Massachusetts. Open Table offers free food to anyone who wants it, but it’s no ordinary food pantry. Once a week at each of its locations Open Table holds a community dinner with a main course, dessert, and coffee. In doing so, OpenTable is moving away from the traditional “soup kitchen” model (think long lines and silence) and replacing it with a more social form of eating is becoming increasingly popular.

Advocates for the Other America in Washington, DC

Finally, as Election Day draws closer and the mudslinging increases, you may be forgiven for thinking that the political landscape in the United States is a little rocky right now. In fact, you may be tempted to write off the entire city of Washington, D.C. Don’t despair! Besides hosting an awesome Idealist grad fair, Washington is also home to Advocates for The Other America. AFTOA is a lobbying firm which represents the interests of low-income Americans. If you’re concerned about the increasing gap between the haves and have-nots in the United States, check out AFTOA see what they’re doing to let politicians know that poverty needs to be a national priority.

How are YOU tackling poverty?

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Comments (4)

  1. Brenda Moore writes:
    September 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Java Hope helps marginalized women emerging from welfare own and operate a coffee cart business. They earn a sustainable income and become tax payers, not tax burdens.

  2. Martin Kailie writes:
    September 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Poverty is one of the most serious global challenges. There are several groups and regions of poor people in the world. We, in Green Africa, regard women farmers in post war communities in Africa as the world’s poorest. In addition to the grinding poverty in the rural areas, women face gender discrimination that further disadvantages them from access to farmland, capital, markets and other production resources and services.

    Green Africa fights poverty by organizing rural communities and supporting women farmers to drive economic and social change. We think it will make good economic sense if the world taps and utilizes the huge resource in women and girls. We know that women are poorer mainly spot of gender discriminatory beliefs and practices, and we spot huge potentials in our womenfolk.

    Martin Kailie
    Green Africa

  3. Haley Brightman writes:
    October 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Crossway Community, Inc. is a pioneering and entrepreneurial nonprofit organization offering an integrated, evidence-based approach to reducing poverty and creating social change.

    We maintain a deep belief that every individual and family is capable of success when equipped with a set of educational, professional, and personal tools. Our programs are both evidence-based and need-based and assist our students in cultivating the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy and society.

    The programs and services Crossway Community provides are delivered through through three distinct but collaborative entities: the Family Leadership Academy, the Crossway Montessori Programs, and the Community Lifelong Learning Center.

    At the Family Leadership Academy, young mothers are provided with the opportunity and the resources to reshape their lives and learn to be effective parents. While participating in the Family Leadership Academy, their children attend the Crossway Montessori Programs, where they are encouraged to become independent, creative, and able thinkers. The Community Lifelong Learning Center brings the community to our campus through a variety of recreational, cultural, and civic events, activating Crossway’s mission to foster community, creativity, and learning for all families.

  4. Organization Spotlight at ‹ blueNEWS writes:
    March 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

    […] Read more at Turbine in action (Photo Credit: blueEnergy) […]

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