Feature

Charity of the week: Modest Needs

Modest Needs will provide a small grant to hardworking, low-income households who are faced with an unexpected emergency expense.

For many households that live paycheck to paycheck, an unexpected emergency expense—a car repair, a doctor’s visit, or a large heating bill—can trigger a long-term financial crisis. Modest Needs (modestneeds.org) provides a financial bridge by giving hardworking, low-income households a small grant, generally between $750 and $1,000, to help pay for immediate needs. Since 2002, the organization has helped more than 10,000 individuals and families. Applicants from across the country apply directly to the organization for assistance, and undergo a brief but thorough vetting process. Donors also help prioritize which applications are funded by voting on the cases of their choice. Each applicant’s request is featured anonymously on the Modest Needs website, along with grateful testimonials.

Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which ranks not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their control of administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest ranking.

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