Community Health Charities
MS Society

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iDE is a U.S.-based not-for-profit organization with a unique business approach to fighting poverty. For more than 30 years, iDE has pioneered innovative market-based approaches to increase agricultural incomes and improve access to safe water and sanitation.

iDE has reached more than 22.8 million people.

Our Values

  • We believe in the right of poor women and men to a secure livelihood
  • We believe that markets can be a powerful force for enabling smallholder prosperity
  • We regard the rural poor as potential customers, producers, and entrepreneurs
  • We listen to and learn from the people we work with
  • We value innovation and entrepreneurship
  • We are results oriented, aiming for significant impacts for large numbers of people
  • We strive for economic, social, and environmental equity and sustainability

Beginnings in Africa

iDE's origins as a formal organization lie in a visit to a Somalian refugee camp in 1982. It was there that founder Paul Polak noticed a critical lack of transport limiting the economic opportunities of refugees who were relying on manual transportation for all commodities. Following the principle "in technology, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," iDE re-engineered the local donkey cart and interested local artisans in manufacturing one with a more efficient center of gravity, using abandoned car parts for affordability. The donkey carts were a success; more than 500 were sold, producing $1 million of net income for cart owners.

Scalable Success With the Treadle Pump

When iDE began working in Bangladesh in the early 1980s, we noticed a lack of access to water in rural villages, and believed that manually powered irrigation pumps could solve the problem and allow farmers to increase productivity. Through successful social marketing campaigns, iDE increased annual sales of manual irrigation pumps from 14,000 to 75,000 in a five year period. After that initial success, we identified a better solution in the treadle pump, which is more efficient and easier to operate than manual pumps. To date, more than 1.5 million treadle pumps have been sold in Bangladesh, creating 1.4 billion dollars in net additional income per year.

The success of iDE's first two projects confirmed our belief that simple, affordable technologies enable the rural poor to become micro-entrepreneurs, creating a path out of poverty that is both sustainable and replicable.

New Technologies and Expanding Enterprises

Beginning in 1995, iDE developed low-cost, small-scale drip systems for irrigating home gardens. In Nepal and India, 50,000 of these systems have been purchased and installed with income-generating results parallel to those achieved by the treadle pump.

In 1994, iDE started a coconut processing plant in Vietnam to help the thousands of small farmers that depend on coconut sales as their primary source of income. The plant is now locally owned and managed, employing 80 people and processing over $300,000 worth of coconut each year with 60 percent going to export markets in Asia and the Middle East.

Also by 1994, iDE had established five successful country programs in Asia. Beginning in 1997, iDE expanded efforts into Africa, where we currently operate in five countries. In 2006, iDE entered Latin America with a pilot program in Nicaragua; since then we have expanded operations to a total of five countries in the region.

iDE Today

Today, iDE uses a market oriented development model to increase the income of the rural poor by improving market access, increasing agricultural production, and creating sustainable local businesses. iDE's projects are country specific, aimed at increasing income for those living on less than a dollar a day in the most efficient and viable manner possible according to each region's unique opportunities.

To date, the hard work and vision of iDE staff throughout the world have helped more than 19 million people lift themselves permanently out of poverty.


Community Health Charities

Nonprofit of the Week

Community Health Charities of Colorado is the only Colorado nonprofit dedicated to inclusion of health nonprofits in workplace giving campaigns. For over three decades, Community Health Charities of Colorado has offered the power of efficient payroll deduction fundraising to our workplace partners, encouraging individual employees to designate the charity of their choice in their workplace giving campaign.

Our Health Matters at Work® program provides employers tools for their employees to easily find the most credible health information, programs and services offered by Colorado and America's most trusted health charities.

ur Mission:

To unite caring donors in the workplace with our nation's most trusted health charities.  

Financial Accountability
Community Health Charities of America is one of the most cost-effective nonprofit organizations in the country, with Administrative and Fund Raising (AFR) expenses at just 2.2%. 

Our Member Charities
Community Health Charities of Colorado partners with Colorado's most trusted health charities. It is likely that every employee–or someone they know or love–has been affected by at least one of these worthy causes.  

Our Campaign Partners
Community Health Charities is partnered with some of the best employers, those who give their employees the health choice. The potential for growth is limitless as more employers realize the value of choice and make us part of their workplace giving campaigns.  

Board of Directors
Community Health Charities of Colorado is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. The Board of Directors is made up of community volunteers from the business and nonprofit arena.
CHC Colorado Staff

The professional staff of Community Health Charities is here to help your organization in any way, from sharing health and wellness information and community involvement opportunities with employees to running a successful workplace giving campaign.   

Community Health Charities of America
Community Health Charities of Colorado is an affiliate office of Community Health Charities of America.  Nationwide, affiliate offices of CHC work together for a healthier America.


MS Society

Founded in 1946, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society ( is a collective of passionate individuals who want to bring about a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesn't. Through its dynamic nationwide chapter network, the Society funds research, furthers education, and provides services and programs to its 750,000 general members, including 400,000 people who live with multiple sclerosis.

The Society has chapters in fifty locations across the nation. Its home office operations are housed in New York City, Denver and Washington DC. All told, 1200 employees and 500,000 volunteers support the Society's work annually. Approximately 75% of the Society's annual expenditures go towards research, services and programs for people with MS and their families, support and education for health care professionals, and federal, state and local advocacy efforts.

The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.
  • We are moving research forward by relentlessly pursuing prevention, treatment and cure.
  • We are moving to reach out and respond to individuals, families and communities living with multiple sclerosis.
  • We are moving politicians and legislation to champion the needs of people with MS through activism, advocacy and influence.
  • We are moving to mobilize the millions of people who want to do something about MS now.


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