Best Buddies

Mission: To establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Vision: To put Best Buddies® out of business. About Best Buddies: Best Buddies International is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted solely to providing opportunities for friendship, employment, and leadership development for people with IDD. In the United States, the organization’s 2013 cash budget is just over $25 million; globally, it is close to $40 million. If Best Buddies had to pay its volunteers, operating costs would be closer to $193 million. 81% of all revenue goes directly to Best Buddies programs for people with IDD, while only 19% is spent on administration and fundraising. History of Service: Best Buddies was born when founder Anthony K. Shriver recognized that people with IDD lacked opportunities to socialize with their peers without disabilities. Believing that friendship is key to building the self-esteem essential to a happy and productive life, Shriver incorporated Best Buddies as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 1989. Today, Best Buddies offers eight programs: Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters. Participants: With more than 1,700 chapters around the world, Best Buddies positively impacts the lives of over 800,000 people with and without IDD. Countries: Best Buddies operates accredited programs in more than 50 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Venezuela and Viet Nam, with additional country programs in advanced phases of development. 2020 Initiative: Best Buddies created the 2020 Initiative in 2011, with the goal of opening offices in all 50 states, expanding into 100 countries, and impacting three million people with and without IDD worldwide by the end of 2020. The initiative also includes plans to train 4,000 Buddy Ambassadors, develop 1,000 jobs for people with IDD around the world, and increase the number of school-based chapters to 2,500. As a result of these ambitious expansion efforts, Best Buddies hopes to become a household name by the end of 2020.