Top Five Richest Non-Profit Organisations in the World

By Steve Morgan [CC BY-SA 4.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

It may seem counter-intuitive at first blush, but today’s big non-profit organisations are incredibly successful at generating revenue. A non-profit is characterised by the act of investing its surplus revenues back into its primary philanthropic purpose or mission rather than distributing it to the organisation’s shareholders or owners.

Serving that mission often requires a significant amount of revenue and resources. Depending on the nature of the services they offer and the financial demands of their operations, budgets of the largest non-profit organisations in the world run into billions of dollars.

Large non-profits are highly efficient in revenue-generating operations. We have compiled a list of the five richest non-profit organisations in the world, with statistics sourced from The NonProfit Times.

5. Catholic Charities U.S.A

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $3,738,264,678

Founded in 1910, Catholic Charities U.S.A has grown to become one of the largest non-profit organisations in the world, with revenue of over US $3.74 billion as of 2017. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the organisation serves as the national office for more than 160 catholic charities that serve millions of people a year, regardless of their religious, social or economic backgrounds. The charitable services provided by the organisation include housing, health care, food supply, HIV prevention and disaster relief, and are primarily aimed at alleviating poverty in communities across the United States. Most recently, Catholic Charities has stepped up to help alleviate the housing situation in the United States. In January 2019, they launched the Healthy Housing Initiative, which seeks to reduce chronic homelessness by 20 per cent over five years in designated cities.

4. The Salvation Army

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Revenue: $3,746,160,000

Founded in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth in London, the Salvation Army is an international Christian charitable organisation. Currently, it has a presence in about 132 countries with 26,753 officers and 112,203 employees. As part of its humanitarian activities, the Salvation Army was one of the major relief organisations to provide emergency humanitarian aid across the southern United States and Puerto Rico in the immediate aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Much of the support has focused on providing basic needs such as food and water for the victims, many of whom have been rendered homeless. Of the $125 million dollars raised for hurricane relief efforts in 2018, $34 million were designated for immediate response and $91 million targeted for long-term recovery care. The organisation has also launched a fundraising campaign on its website in order to better facilitate donations.

3. United Way Worldwide

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $3,919,051,274

Headquartered in Virginia, United Way Worldwide has impacted more than 61 million lives in 1,800 communities across 40 countries and territories globally. In 2018, United Way was served by 2.9 million volunteers and 8.3 million donors. United Way Worldwide is driven by a vision to improve people’s way of life through its work in education, income and health. In communities around the world, United Way volunteers work with local leaders to identify needs and develop strategies for improving its economic and human success through education. In February 2019, the organisation placed at #5 on Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. A recent example of this innovative spirit involves partnering with Lyft for the Relief Rides program, which provided approximately 12,000 free rides for non-emergency transportation such as medical appointments and job interviews to those in need.

2. Goodwill Industries International

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $5,874,351,995

Goodwill Industries International is a non-profit organisation that provides education and training to job seekers across the board, especially to those who normally wouldn’t be qualified to obtain jobs as a result of their age, disabilities or criminal backgrounds. Founded by Rev. Edgar J. Helms in 1902 to help the poor have a source of livelihood by repairing and selling used household items collected from the wealthy, Goodwill has evolved to become the second largest non-profit organisation in the world today by revenue with revenues of $5.87 billion as of 2018. In 2017, Goodwill’s employment initiative helped more than 288,000 people train for careers in the financial, tech and healthcare industries, amongst others. In total, the organisation served more than 38.6 million people in 17 countries across the globe. Goodwill has moved into the 21st-century training space, having more 36.5 million people use a computer or mobile devices to access training virtually.


Country of Origin: Switzerland

Revenue: $7,401,688,000

The Young Men’s Christian Association (popularly known as YMCA or simply the Y) is a non-profit Christian organisation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1844, the YMCA impacts nearly 65 million people in more than 200 countries through its youth-focused community development initiatives. It is also the largest non-profit organisation in the world, with revenues of $7.4 billion in 2017. Driven by its mission of building a “human community of justice with love, peace, and reconciliation for the fullness of life for all creation,” its core program areas include sustainable development, educational and vocational training, leadership development, emergency response and peacebuilding. These programs are delivered by more than 919,000 members throughout the 7,139 local associations as of 2017.