Community Capital Project Essay

Pages: 8 (2472 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics

Community Capital

Organization Description

The organization for whom I volunteered in the most recent service learning component was World Vision. World Vision was founded in 1950 as a Christian humanitarian organization and is now one of the largest charities around the world. World Vision has an international presence, operating in approximately 100 countries and serving an estimated 100 million people (, 2011). The charity focuses on providing remedies and support for two main issues -- poverty and injustice. World Vision is guided by its mission statement: "World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty." The organization began by helping children orphaned in the Korean War and took its efforts global in the 1960s (Ibid.)

The structure of World Vision is that there are national offices for each country, and these are interdependent rather than independent. The charity has a staff of over 40,000, almost all of whom work in their own countries. The charity believes that having local staff helps it to more effectively address local issues and deal with local conditions. In addition, the staff and their volunteers have a high level of commitment to their causes, not just as a result of the common religious foundation but because of the stake that the staff has its own community (Ibid).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Community Capital Project Assignment

World Vision operates around the world, covering all major areas. The organization works in 24 African countries, primarily in the sub-Saharan and Sahel regions. Work is spread widely in the Asia-Pacific region. In this region, offices are split between those primarily for fund-raising (Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan etc.) and those for charity work (Cambodia, East Timor, Mongolia). Offices in Europe generally provide fund-raising and support for aid offices in the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Similarly, American and Canadian offices provide fund-raising for other nations in the Americas. In the United States, World Vision has a number of offices providing a mixture of fund-raising and aid programs, the latter in depressed rural areas of the U.S. (Ibid).

At the core of the charity is the Sponsor a Child program, which was the original program started by founder Dr. Bob Pierce in Korea. The program works by signing up donors to set monthly donations that can be used for children or families in a large number of countries. The funds are diverted to local offices where they are then administered to the neediest. The child that is sponsored receives direct benefit in this program, but the entire community does as well through the provision of education, health care and clean water.

According to the charity's 2010 Audited Financial Statement, it has total net assets of $174 million. World Vision received in 2010 $528 million in private cash contributions, $240 million in public cash and food contributions and $251 million in gifts in kind. Program services including child sponsorship ($224 million), relief and rehabilitation ($322 million) totaled over $805 million. Total expenses were at just over $1 billion for the 2010 fiscal year. The company's overhead as a percentage of revenues is 14.5%, a figure that increased in 2010 as revenues from donations declined. (, 2011). scores World Vision as a four-star charity and notes World Vision's high level of transparency and accountability (, 2011).

There are a number of volunteer and internship opportunities at World Vision. The charity has several offices around the U.S. At which one can volunteer to serve the community. The offices are staffed by full-time staff, who are a critical component of service delivery at World Vision. Domestically, there are programs to help Americans facing poverty, and there are programs whereby Americans can provide support for efforts elsewhere. Volunteers are only used in domestic offices. There are there main locations for volunteering -- at the charity's headquarters in suburban Seattle; at the gifts-in-kind distribution centers in Pittsburgh and Denver.

Recently, World Vision has become involved in a microfinance program as well. This program encourages donors to finance small entrepreneurs in developing countries. These loans help the entrepreneurs to build their businesses and improve their livelihoods. Microfinance programs are a popular form of economic development, and World Vision has begun to implement them in Mexico, Armenia and Rwanda among other countries. This program has substantial growth potential for the charity, because it has been demonstrated to be effective in building local economies by empowering entrepreneurs who are otherwise too small to receive credit from their nation's banking systems.

Service Activity

The service activity that I undertook was at the Denver Gifts-in-Kind Facility. The U.S. Customs Service had seized a large shipment of counterfeit Nike shoes. Instead of destroying them, the Customs Service donated them to World Vision for distribution to needy people outside of the United States. My work during the Community Capital Project was primarily with these shoes. The shoes were sorted and prepared for shipment to Africa where they were to be distributed. There were four of us working on this project, and over the course of our volunteer service we prepared and boxed 9400 pairs of shoes.

This activity allowed World Vision to get the shoes to Africa faster, and it also allowed the charity to better distribute the shoes. Each pair was analyzed for gender and size, and this information was marked on the boxes. Thus, when the World Vision teams in Africa receive the shoes, they will be able to quickly and easily distribute those shoes to the neediest. This activity only took us 8 hours to complete -- we were able to put shoes on the feet of 9400 people in a very short time frame as the result of the generous donation by U.S. Customs and by our own hard work and initiative.

The service activity was conducted by myself and three other people, none of whom knew each other prior to this activity. As a result it was a wonderful opportunity to meet different people who are interested in helping others, and who have worked on similar projects for World Vision before. The effort reinforced the good that we can do in the world just be donating a small amount of our time.


At the Daniels College of Business, the school is dedicated to developing ethical business leaders, with a strong sense of community involvement (Daniels College of Business, 2011). Individual involvement in the betterment of the community is expected, and this philosophy is one of the underlying forces behind the Community Capital Project. Fukuyama (1999) asks what role the building of social capital can play in a free-market liberal democracy. Social capital is related to financial capital, but that understanding is poorly understood as yet. When we work for others -- in the true charitable sense of the phrase -- we may serve ourselves but more importantly the work that we do creates opportunities and builds bonds.

I look at my work at World Vision. In just eight hours, a small team of volunteers was able to help thousands of people on the other side of the world. Providing the basics of life and of success to others only enhances our world in the long-run. I see shoes as being a small item, but one that contributes to self-esteem and one that contributes to good health. People gain, directly, from the volunteer work. They see their opportunities increase and that in turn provides opportunities for all of us. In a liberal, capitalist, democratic system all that we ask for is the opportunity. The concept is predicated on the idea that opportunity for one will result in opportunity for all, given enough time. This is the foundation of what charities like World Vision do and why it is important for leaders in our society to contribute to such efforts.

I look at the microfinance program as the embodiment of the Hobbesian ethic. Social unrest is anathema to liberal economics, because unrest creates uncertainty and risk. Unrest will naturally flow, Hobbes argues, from inequality of outcomes, from the threat that one represents to the well-being of another. A concept like microfinance helps to bridge the inequality in the world today, and in doing so brings people close together in search of common solutions to common problems. We protect ourselves, therefore, by helping others, and in addition we create greater economic opportunity for ourselves as well. The Ricardian world of global world does not rest on one taking from another, but from mutually-beneficial exchange. When World Vision or another charity engages in microfinance, I see that as promoting true Ricardian trade.

Another interesting element of the Community Capital Project is the degree to which it helps instill higher ethical standards in business students. As producing ethical leaders is part of the mandate of the Daniels College, the CCP plays a vital role in reminding us of our ethical obligations. Wittmer (2004) argues that ethics can be taught. Morality is acquired early, but the understanding morality and its application… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Community Capital Project" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Community Capital Project.  (2011, March 11).  Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Community Capital Project."  11 March 2011.  Web.  18 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Community Capital Project."  March 11, 2011.  Accessed September 18, 2020.