Charitable Organizations

"What we create together is a relationship in which we work on making a difference in people’s lives. I welcome the unprecedented opportunity for us to work globally on that which concerns us all as human beings."

-Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard demonstrates his longstanding commitment to bettering the human condition through non-profit, voluntary action. He founded and raised the funding for a number of such organizations which focused on issues from world hunger and education to juvenile delinquency and crime. Many of these organizations continue to operate and contribute to the betterment of people's lives to this day.

The Breakthrough Foundation
The CareGivers Project
The Education Network
The Holiday Project
The Hunger Project
The Mastery Foundation
Prison Possibilities, Inc.
The Werner Erhard Foundation

The Breakthrough Foundation

The Breakthrough Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, changed the direction of thousands young people’s lives through their groundbreaking Youth at Risk Program. President George H.W. Bush highlighted the Breakthrough Foundation in his list of a "thousand points of light."

Independent studies conducted in 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1988 showed that among participants of the Youth at Risk program, felony crime was reduced by up to 50%; drug use was reduced by 33%; truancy was reduced by nearly 75%; and employment hours worked increased by 550%.

One such study is the National Institute of Justice Evaluation of Youth at Risk Program which concluded that the Youth at Risk Program had a profound impact on the 155 youth participants of the study.

Youth at Risk programs continue to operate throughout the world. Some examples are:

New York Youth At Risk (Name changed to Unlocking Futures)
Arizona Youth At Risk Video - Developing Solid Citizenship Skills
Colorado Youth at Risk 2007 Video - Inspire, Inquire, Join the Conversation!


The CareGivers Project

The CareGivers Project was an independent not for profit organization that created programs to help empower and renew caregivers who were struggling with emotional, mental, and physical stress in their service as short- and long-term care providers to people with terminal illnesses.

The Caregivers Project continues to provides renewal workshops for caregivers.

The Education Network

The Education Network, an independent grassroots organization, commits itself to the transformation of education in the USA. This national organization provides training through non-traditional conversations enable people to realize their fundamental commitment to make a real and lasting difference with students on a daily basis and impact the future of education in their communities.

Visit The Education Network website.

The Holiday Project

The Holiday Project, an independent non-profit organization managed by volunteers nationwide, organizes visits and gift-giving to people confined in hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, prisons, and other institutions during Christmas, Chanukah, and other holidays throughout the year.

The Holiday Project (National Organization)
The Holiday Project Washington D.C.
The Holiday Project Visits Lonely, Elderly - The West Side Spirit
Letter from a Holiday Project Volunteer
Homeless Kids Manage To Smile - San Diego Union 1979
Colorado Holiday Project


A CBS news broadcast in December 2013 featured The Holiday Project and the impact it has had on people's lives:


The Hunger Project

“There were a series of meetings that involved a great many impressive people, including Buckminster Fuller, Werner Erhard, John Denver, Dr. Robert W. Fuller and others who were looking at major questions about humanity as we approached the last 25 years of the century and in fact the millennium.  And one of the questions they asked was: What is the fundamental breakdown in human integrity, that if resolved, would produce a profound breakthrough for life? And it became clear to Bucky and Werner and to some of the other people that millions and millions of people were dying of hunger in a world that was awash with food.  This was a breakdown - not in distribution or production - but a breakdown in human integrity, that we would allow that to continue." Lynne Twist from The Soul of Business   

The Hunger Project, an international grassroots organization, dedicated itself to the end of hunger in the world. Praised for its effectiveness by world leaders and authorities on dealing with the persistence of hunger, the United Nations Economic and Social Council roster recognizes the continuing work of the Hunger Project to create the sustainable end of world hunger..

The Hunger Project Source Document
Hunger Project Videos
The Hunger Project: Empowering Women and Men to End Their Own Hunger
Bangladesh - the Hunger Project, Video
est Graduate Jeff Bridges' Work to End Hunger
Roy Prosterman and John Denver at the Hunger Project, 1987, Video
Unleashed Women - Ending Hunger by 2030 - Hunger Project Australia

The Mastery Foundation

The Mastery Foundation grew out of a series of conversations in the late 1970s and early 1980s among Christian and Jewish clergy who had experienced a personal transformation when they participated in The est Training. In 1984 Werner Erhard developed a program designed specifically for this constituency and their work continues to this day. Throughout its existence, Werner Erhard has continued to generously donate his expertise and services, at times developing new program material and leading courses. The distinctions and tools he created are at the heart of all the programs and courses of the Mastery Foundation.

Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and Israel: Werner Erhard developed the Ireland Initiative for the Mastery Foundation in 1999 in collaboration with Peter Block as a three-day conference to bring together a broad base of community leaders already working on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The Mastery Foundation continues to lead this course in places where religious differences are a source of conflict, including Northern Ireland and Israel.

Werner Erhard participated in the formulation of the Mastery Foundation School for Leadership at its Inaugural Conference in 2006, and continuing in 2007 and 2008. For more information visit The Mastery Foundation School for Leadership.

Prison Possibilities, Inc

Prison Possibilities, Inc. was an independent non-profit organization that enabled men and women in prisons to alter their predictable futures. This organization's programs demonstrated concrete results in significantly lowering the rate of re arrest and imprisonment among those inmates who have participated. A number of the inmates who participated in the programs continue to this day to make the program available to others.

Earl Babbie, Ph.D., "est in Prison - General Overview", American Journal of Corrections, Nov-Dec 1977 & Jan-Feb 1978

Mark Woodard, "The est Training in the Prisons: A Basis for the Transformation of Corrections?" , University of Baltimore Law Journal, 1982

Neal Rogin, "Getting 'it' in Prison", Graduate Review, June, 1978

The Werner Erhard Foundation

The Werner Erhard Foundation, founded by Werner Erhard in 1973, granted nearly $4 million to more than 300 projects in the areas of international relations, health and well-being, eduation, science, and cultural exchange.

Many of the projects founded by the Werner Erhard Foundation have evolved into independent self-sustaining organizations that continue their work in bringing about a transformation in the quality of life on our planet.

For ten years the Werner Erhard Foundation produced an annual theoretical physics conference attended by the leading thinkers in the field. Some of the discussions later evolved into now-leading edge theories in physics.

"The ultimate purpose of the foundation is the full realization of the promise of human beings and our institutions. The foundation's intention is to create the space for an explosion of knowledge and attainment in the area of human consciousness and human experience similar to the one that occurred 250 years ago in the physical sciences which has so dramatically affected the material well-being of humankind." - Werner Erhard, 1973


The Hunger Project: One World One Song, sung by Dionne Warrwick for the 2013 World Hunger Day



The Hunger Project


About The Hunger Project




Youth At Risk




Youth at Risk - Dreams and Desires




The Holiday Project




How To Organize A Holiday Project Visit








Werner Erhard was awarded with the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award for his "notable effort to end the starvation and hunger suffered by millions throughout the world and for drawing broad public awareness to the value of integrity in our everyday lives."







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