About Us

World Connect invests directly in the ideas of local leaders in the Global South who are best positioned to drive self-sustaining development in their communities. Our support leads to improvements in health, education, economic opportunity, and the environment, impacting women and girls in particular, and builds social capital, grows leadership, and sustainably shifts power.

Why We Do It


The persistence of poverty and inequity worldwide can be overcome when those living the challenges are empowered to lead their own development forward. World Connect disrupts historic models of top-down, foreign-led aid, by investing directly in the ideas and leadership of communities, which validates, strengthens, and sustains local capacity. World Connect is designed to disappear; if we succeed, we don’t need to be around forever.

How we dot it

What We Believe

Global peace, security, and stability is advanced by addressing poverty. We see development as soft diplomacy as well as a moral imperative.

Locally-led development produces better results, at much lower cost, than traditional top-down development approaches.

Capacity exists in every community; it doesn't always need to be built, but, rather, identified, cultivated, and supported with direct investment.

Empowering women to lift their communities creates essential economic and social benefits.

Grants impart leadership and autonomy more than loans.

A connected world is not built on various one-sided exchanges, but through authentic collaboration that builds trust.

Contact Us

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World Connect was founded in 2003 by Chairman Emeritus Bill Haney and Dr. Kim Wilson along with Julia Haney, Amelia Haney, Emily Nuss, and Sarah Nuss. At its founding, World Connect was working to improve maternal and infant health outcomes in the Dominican Republic. In 2009, the organization expanded its focus and began partnering with Peace Corps Volunteers and community leaders to fund locally designed and led projects across the world to improve health, increase access to education, especially for girls, advance economic opportunity and protect the environment. To date World Connect has made 1,759 investments in Global South communities across 40 countries -- 95% of which have achieved intended goals, 85% of which have sustained in the years beyond the first investment, and 70% of which were led by first-time-ever grant award winners. World Connect has always valued proximate leadership and ownership of community-led progress and this philosophy is the cornerstone of our success to date. The Haney family, Irene, Bill, Maura, Julia and Amelia continue their generous support and advocacy for World Connect.