IMA World Health co-founds Corus to lead diverse family of nonprofits, for-profits

  • John Rivera
  • May 21, 2020

WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE—IMA World Health and Lutheran World Relief have jointly launched Corus International, a model of the international NGO of the future and the new parent of a family of faith-based nonprofits and for-profits.

“The challenges of those we serve around the world are complex, interconnected and, most of all, solvable,” Corus President and CEO Daniel Speckhard said. “Corus blends an array of proven approaches with deep expertise and fresh innovation to fuel the kind of exponential impact we desperately need in these unprecedented times.”

In addition to IMA World Health and Lutheran World Relief, the Corus family includes UK-based technology company Charlie Goldsmith Associates; impact investing firm Ground Up Investing; and direct-trade coffee producer LWR Farmers Market Coffee.

While Corus is new, it stands on nearly 150 years of combined experience tackling the global challenges of poverty, health care access and climate change. IMA World Health accounts for 60 of those years, founded by a consortium of faith-based relief agencies to provide medical supplies to poor populations. Today IMA World Health is a global leader in public health operating in some of the world’s most fragile settings.

With the advent of Corus, IMA World Health is expanding its work to provides solutions to health-related problems in the developing world.

“As part of the Corus family, we’re expanding and deepening our bench of technical experts, who are leaders in their fields able to work across sectors and now have more resources to achieve holistic programming,” said Speckhard, who continues as President and CEO of IMA World Health. “With the Corus model, we’re ultimately changing the dynamic so families and communities can become substantially more self-reliant and resilient. And we’re deepening our commitment to improve not just the health but the entire well-being of a person.” 

Longtime collaborators, IMA World Health and Lutheran World Relief have for more than a year blended IMA’s expertise in public health with LWR’s work in rural economies and humanitarian assistance, together expanding efforts to end Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, for example. Now, alongside Corus, they are mounting a worldwide initiative to prevent and treat COVID-19 while fighting poverty stemming from related economic setbacks.

Corus also leads for-profits Charlie Goldsmith Associates, acquired in 2019, and Ground Up Investing. CGA develops and applies context-suitable technology to meet the needs of people in the world’s hardest to reach and most complex environments. Along with other farmer-forward investments, Ground Up owns a coffee wholesaler in Uganda that works to increase farmer incomes by improving quality, yields and prices.

This summer, IMA World Health and Lutheran World Relief are transitioning their logos to reflect the new mark of the Corus family.

With a staff of 800 throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, Corus maintains headquarters in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.