Lutheran World Relief co-founds Corus to lead diverse family of nonprofits, for-profits

  • John Rivera
  • May 21, 2020

WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE—Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health have jointly launched Corus International, a model of the international NGO of the future and the new parent of a family of faith-based nonprofits and for-profits.

“The challenges of those we serve around the world are complex, interconnected and, most of all, solvable,” Corus President and CEO Daniel Speckhard said. “Corus blends an array of proven approaches with deep expertise and fresh innovation to fuel the kind of exponential impact we desperately need in these unprecedented times.”

In addition to Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health, the Corus family includes UK-based technology company Charlie Goldsmith Associates; impact investing firm Ground Up Investing; and direct-trade coffee producer LWR Farmers Market Coffee.

While Corus is new, it stands on nearly 150 years of combined experience tackling the global challenges of poverty, health care access and climate change. Lutheran World Relief accounts for 75 of those years, founded by Lutherans in the United States at the end of World War II to serve refugees worldwide.

With the advent of Corus, Lutheran World Relief is expanding its work to help lift people out of poverty as well as its responses to humanitarian disasters.

“As part of the Corus family, we’re multiplying our impact around the world while realizing even greater efficiencies and stewardship,” said Speckhard, who continues as President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief. “With the Corus model, we’re ultimately changing the dynamic so families and communities can become substantially more self-reliant and resilient. And we’re deepening our commitment to the Lutheran values that compel us to act out our faith in the world.”

Longtime collaborators, Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health have for more than a year blended LWR’s work in rural economies and humanitarian assistance with IMA’s expertise in public health, together expanding efforts to end Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, for example. Now, alongside Corus, they are mounting a worldwide initiative to prevent and treat COVID-19 while fighting poverty stemming from related economic setbacks.

Corus also leads for-profits Charlie Goldsmith Associates, acquired in 2019, and Ground Up Investing. CGA develops and applies context-suitable technology to meet the needs of people in the world’s hardest to reach and most complex environments. Along with other farmer-forward investments, Ground Up owns a coffee wholesaler in Uganda that works to increase farmer incomes by improving quality, yields and prices.

This summer, Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health are transitioning their logos to reflect the new mark of the Corus family.

With a staff of 800 throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, Corus maintains headquarters in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

John Rivera, May 21, 2020 email