Catholic Charities USA's Agency Network Employs More than 700 Clients through Social Enterprises

Jan 31, 2013, 09:20 ET from Catholic Charities USA

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The majority of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) network agencies report having developed or are interested in developing a social enterprise according to Catholic Charities USA's latest quarterly snapshot survey which included a special section on this innovative approach to addressing poverty in local communities.

"Social enterprise programs are just one of the many innovative ways that Catholic Charities agencies address poverty in their communities," said CCUSA President Rev. Larry Snyder. "These programs not only deliver services effectively and efficiently, they often result in a profit for the implementing agency, enabling our network to reinvest those dollars in service provision, allowing us to help as many people in need as possible."

A social enterprise directly addresses a challenging social need and serves the common good, either through its products and services or through the number of people it employs.

Types of businesses operated as social enterprises by Catholic Charities agencies include transportation services, property rental, in-home care, translation services, thrift stores, produce greenhouses, and sale of creative goods including quilts and knit scarves.

The social enterprises described in detail by 11 agencies have employed more than 700 clients to date, and range in size from three employees to nearly 200.  Almost half of these social enterprises are profitable, or project profitability within six months with profits going towards supporting and strengthening other service programs operated by the agency.

Additional findings include:

  • More than a quarter of agencies are already operating social enterprises.
  • 95% of agencies have developed or are interested in developing a social enterprise.
  • Six agencies reported that they are actively planning a social enterprise.
  • Twenty-four agencies are interested in developing a social enterprise, but have not begun implementing the idea.
  • Thirty agencies (70%) reported that they are either actively planning a social enterprise or are interested in developing one.

The online survey was distributed to CCUSA membership to measure programs and services provided between July 1 and September 30, 2012.  Responses were received from 46 Catholic Charities agencies in 30 different states who served approximately 3,330,876 people in need over the last year.  In 2011, Catholic Charities USA and its network of local agencies served more than 10 million individuals.

About Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA's members provide help and create hope for more than 10 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA