With this fourth edition of the Global Philanthropy Guide, we are continuing our collaboration to connect you with high-impact, non-profit organizations based in Washington state, working globally. Washington state is fortunate to have a critical mass of organizations and philanthropists in our region making a positive impact on people’s lives in developing countries.

At Global Washington, we call our organizations and philanthropists who are accelerating progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the “Goalmakers.” The SDGs, signed by 193 countries, are designed to set the world on a better course by 2030 by ending poverty, fighting inequality, and stopping climate change.


SDG 1/SDG 8: Before Kate Cochran joined a microfinance organization in 2003, she could’ve spouted off a long list of reasons why she’d never work in international development. Now, 15 years later, she’s the CEO of Upaya Social Ventures, a nonprofit organization that invests in socially minded entrepreneurs in India, who each aim to create 1,000 jobs in three years for the poorest of the poor.

SDG 3: VillageReach is on a mission to solve complex health-care delivery challenges in low- and middle-income countries. They’re all about the “last mile”—not just reaching it, but starting there.

SDG 4: The Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology, located in the East African country of Rwanda, provides girls the opportunity to access a world-class secondary school education regardless of their family income. The school and additional support provided to the girls is the result of the Rwanda Girls Initiative (RGI), based in Kirkland, Washington.

SDG 5: In Afghanistan, the Taliban has had a devastating effect on girls’ education. During their rule, hundreds of girls’ schools were shut down, and many destroyed, displacing hundreds of thousands of students. But what if rural girls in Afghanistan had access to a safe boarding school setting, where they could learn real-world skills from trained female teachers? Sahar Education—in collaboration with the architectural firm Miller Hull, the University of Washington’s Department of Architecture, and the Afghan Ministry of Education—aims to find out.

SDG 6: While getting her master’s degree in public health, Frehiwot Belete, hygiene program manager for Splash in Ethiopia, learned about a non-governmental organization (NGO) that provided a community with access to clean water and improved sanitation without including hygiene education. As a result, that same NGO came back to find the community using the toilet facilities as storage for their crops. This example, Belete explained, is why behavior change around hygiene practices is crucial to any water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) intervention. It is also why she has devoted her life’s work to this endeavor.

SDG 16: Bill Neukom, Microsoft’s first general counsel, was the president of the American Bar Association when he founded the World Justice Project in 2006. It began as a presidential initiative and evolved after his tenure into the independent nonprofit it is today, with offices in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Singapore, and Mexico City. The idea for the organization sprang from Neukom’s growing appreciation for rule of law as he traveled around the world for Microsoft and saw firsthand how important it was for development. Yet, not many people were working to promote it. There wasn’t even a clear definition for the term, as many people used it to mean many different things.