New NGO leads diverse family of nonprofits, for-profits

WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE— Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health have launched Corus International, a model of the international NGO of the future and the new parent of a family of 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 is celebrating 75 years as a leading global aid and development organization, and IMA World Health is celebrating 60 years as a worldwide leader in public health. The longtime collaborators combine LWR’s work in rural economies and humanitarian assistance with IMA’s expertise in public health. Together, they expanded efforts to end Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo and lately mounted a worldwide initiative to prevent and treat COVID-19 while fighting poverty stemming from related economic setbacks. 

“It’s clear that poverty and health are intrinsically linked, and you can’t address one without the other,” said Speckhard, who continues as president and CEO of both Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health. “With the Corus model, we’re ultimately changing the dynamic so families and communities can become substantially more self-reliant and resilient.”

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.

The Corus enterprise’s multidimensional attributes extend to its diversified resources. Among the family’s partners are USAID, DFID, the EU, UN, church bodies and congregations, foundations and governments, and hundreds of thousands of supporters that include donors, investors and consumers. 

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