American Jewish World Service Renews Commitment to Support Underserved Communities Around the World

Joins with Other Funders in Signing Philanthropy’s Promise Pledge

NEW YORK, NY—American Jewish World Service (AJWS) announced today that it signed the Philanthropy’s Promise pledge, which asks foundations and grantmakers to prioritize the needs of and empower low-income people, communities of color and other underserved populations. AJWS is delighted to sign the pledge as it reaffirms its 28-year-old commitment to end poverty and help the most marginalized people in the developing world realize their human rights. Approximately 40 foundations signed the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy’s (NCRP) pledge this year, bringing the total number of signatories to 165 foundations from across the country representing nearly $3.76 billion in annual giving.

“We wholeheartedly endorse Philanthropy’s Promise pledge and urge grantmakers and philanthropists to take a critical look at where they target funds in order to support initiatives that create lasting social change,” said Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS. “For almost 30 years, AJWS has worked to empower people throughout the developing world to achieve justice and self-sufficiency through the promotion of human rights, education, economic development, healthcare and sustainable agriculture. We look forward to collaborating with other signers of the pledge and learning from their approaches to change the lives of the world’s most marginalized people.”

NCRP launched Philanthropy’s Promise in 2011 with 64 grantmakers that made commitments to allocate at least 50 percent of their grant dollars to explicitly benefit underserved populations, and 25 percent towards supporting advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement.

“The amount of philanthropic dollars pales in comparison to the enormity of the needs of our communities and the issues that foundations care about, which is why grantmakers need to make sure that their strategies bring the maximum results,” said Sean Dobson, field director of NCRP. “Foundations that have signed on to Philanthropy’s Promise understand that high-impact philanthropy prioritizes underserved populations so that they become an integral part of addressing the causes of social problems.”

Both large and small foundations from across the country signed the Philanthropy’s Promise Pledge, including private foundations, family foundations, corporate foundations, community foundations and other grantmaking public charities with a broad range of issues such as solving poverty and homelessness, promoting LGBT equality and women’s rights, and fighting environmental injustice.

A complete list of grantmakers signed on to Philanthropy’s Promise, along with public statements explaining why the foundations joined and a video about the initiative, is available at You can also follow the initiative on Twitter using the hashtag #PhilanthropysPromise.

For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at