Architecture for Humanity (architectureforhumanity.org) taps into a network of 50,000 professional designers to conceive and construct buildings for people beset by poverty, natural disaster, or dislocation. Founded in San Francisco in 1999 in reaction to the thousands of people displaced by the war in Kosovo, the nonprofit has expanded since then, providing direct benefits to an estimated 25,000 people a year. Architecture for Humanity has focused recent efforts on building schools in Haiti, and is already at work in post-tsunami Japan. All of its designs, some of which are generated through annual competitions, are detailed in an open online network so that inexpensive, innovative solutions conceived for one place can be freely applied to others.
Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator ranks not-for-profit organizations on the effectiveness of their programs, their control of administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest ranking.