I've mentioned Fast Company's Social Capitalist Awards previously on several occasions, including a post last December titled 7 Best Bets for International Donations. The Social Capitalist Awards recognize organizations for their social impact and effectiveness. Of the 45 organizations that won the award for 2008, 16 organizations deal primarily with international issues. Those 16 organizations are listed below. Organizations that also earned Charity Navigator's 4-Star Rating for financial efficiency and strength are denoted with an asterisk(*).
Organization / Location / Focus
1) ACCION International* / Boston, MA / Microfinance
2) Acumen Fund* / New York, NY / Enterprise financing
3) Calvert Social Investment Foundation / Bethesda, MD / Microfinance
4) Endeavor Global* / New York, NY / Entrepreneurship
5) Heifer International / Little Rock, AR / Livestock & farming
6) KickStart International* / San Francisco, CA / Irrigation & farming
7) Mercy Corps* / Portland, OR / Emergency relief
8) PATH* / Seattle, WA / Health
9) Peaceworks Foundation / New York, NY / Israel-Palestine
10) PSI / Washington, DC / Health
11) Room to Read* / San Francisco, CA / Literacy & education
12) Root Capital* / Boston, MA / Enterprise financing
13) TransFair USA / Oakland, CA / Fair trade & farming
14) Unitus* / Redmond, WA / Microfinance
15) VisionSpring (formerly Scojo Foundation) / New York, NY / Vision
16) Witness / Brooklyn, NY / Human rights
Last December, I filtered the list down to 7 organizations that were both Fast Company Social Capitalists and Charity Navigator 4-Star Charities, but that list left off some young organizations that Charity Navigator does not yet rank (such as VisionSpring). And two organizations (Acumen Fund and Endeavor Global) have since earned the coveted 4-Star ranking.
A major focus area for 6 of the 16 organizations (ACCION, Acumen, Calvert, Endeavor, Root, Unitus) is helping individuals or enterprises gain access to capital. 3 organizations (PATH, PSI, VisionSpring) focus on health. And 3 organizations (Heifer, KickStart, and TransFair) focus on farming. Mercy Corps, Peaceworks, Room to Read, and Witness each have their own unique focus area among the 16 social entrepreneurs.
14 of the 16 organizations are found in one of the following metro areas: New York City (5), San Francisco Bay (3), Boston (2), Seattle (2), Washington DC (2). Heifer International and Mercy Corps are both off the beaten path, located in Little Rock and Portland, respectively.