2017 Global Impact Award Winner
Michael Thaler is the founder of Effective Ministries Inc. (EMI), an international non-profit that works to improve the physical and spiritual lives of the communities it serves in Niger, Africa. During a mission trip to Niger in 2001, Michael witnessed Nigeriens struggle with everyday necessities that he took for granted. He knew that he had to use his good fortune as a business owner to give more time, talent and money to those in need and thus EMI was founded in 2003. The organization works with multiple partner organizations to enact change in the following five focus areas: health, water, orphans, education and micro-business.
Since its founding, the organization has raised nearly $12 million to improve life in Niger, conducting 96 mission trips with over 1,000 volunteers. EMI built two orphanages in Niger, one of which is where Michael and his wife adopted their daughter, Zalika, and it completed 669 other projects like well construction and educational programming. Michael has taken on numerous roles within the organization, from playing an active, hands-on role in preparing volunteers and leading mission trips to serving as an invaluable advisor, spearheading new projects, speaking to volunteers and supporters about EMI’s work, guiding the Advisory Board and providing critical financial support.