For your convenience, Islamic Relief USA has answered your general frequently asked questions below, and has created additional pages for questions about
How are donations to Islamic Relief USA’s spent?
At Islamic Relief USA, we work hard to ensure that every penny is spent in the most effective way possible because we are accountable to our donors, to people in need all around the world, and most importantly, we are accountable to Allah (swt). You can check out our most-recent financial report, 2011 Audited Financial Statement, for details, but here is the break down:
- 80% goes into emergency relief and development projects, directly helping people in need.
- 3% is used for education and to advocate for those who can’t speak out on their own behalf.
- 1% goes toward the protection of our donors and beneficiaries via a system of checks and balances that ensures that your donations are used correctly.
- 9% fulfills other costs, such as providing for the people who assist you when you call or email us.
- 7% is reinvested into generating additional income, enabling us to help even more people out of poverty.
What’s more: Working with other organizations, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Church of Latter-day Saints, allows us to multiply your donations. A recent example of this was when a shipment of medical aid and children’s supplies was sent to Palestine. By working with an allied organization, we were able to distribute more than half a million dollars of humanitarian aid for just a fraction of the cost—turning each $1 you donated into $14 worth of aid.
And, in addition to that, we receive matching gifts from some of the biggest companies in the United States. Institutional funding is another way that allows Islamic Relief USA and other charities to claim 25% on top of donations. This increases the power of your gift. And we don’t spend that on administrative costs—we spend it helping people in need, which is where we believe you’d want us to spend it.
Of course, so much of our work is done by thousands of generous and hard-working volunteers who donate their time to stretch your dollars even farther.
What is the difference between Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief USA?
Islamic Relief USA is an independent affiliate of Islamic Relief Worldwide and the Islamic Relief family of charities. We are completely separate legal entities that work together under the Islamic Relief Worldwide umbrella to provide aid.
Which countries does Islamic Relief work in?
In 2011, Islamic Relief USA provided aid in 35 countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Chechnya (Russian Federation), China, Columbia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kosova, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
To implement work around the world, the Islamic Relief family has field offices in 25 countries.
In some countries, Islamic Relief has multiple offices based on need and location. For example, there are seven Islamic Relief offices in Pakistan.
In addition to the field offices, independent Islamic Relief affiliates operate in 13 countries along with the United States. These offices plan widespread relief efforts, provide funding and implement domestic projects. These offices are in the following countries:
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Do you accept in-kind donations?
Due to logistics and costs, Islamic Relief USA can only consider accepting in-kind donations from institutional donors and manufacturers who deal primarily with in-kind goods as well as other NGOs.The cost to pack, ship, and distribute items from individual donors is typically greater than if they were purchased local to the area of crisis or from a neighboring country. The most effective way to help Islamic Relief aid those in need is through a financial contribution. We encourage our donors to support their local community by giving in-kind goods to masjids or organizations in their area who are best able to distribute the items to those in need. Learn more about IRUSA’s Gifts in Kind program.
What is the benefit of sending my donation through Islamic Relief USA rather than sending it directly to the country I’m interested in?
As a U.S.-based organization with hard-earned credentials to uphold, Islamic Relief USA regularly monitors U.S. laws to ensure that we and our donors remain in compliance with complex and changing regulations. We also take all precautions to ensure that funds are not diverted from their charitable purposes. Also, large organizations such as ours can leverage better prices on large purchases, meaning your donation works in a more cost-effective manner. And donating to a recognized charity qualifies you for a tax deduction.
How is your relationship with the U.S. government?
Islamic Relief USA receives no government funding, but we have an excellent working relationship with the federal government. We work with U.S. agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture on projects (see a related blog from the USDA website, “Food and Faith: Setting a Safe and Healthy Table”.). Islamic Relief USA’s chief executive officer, Abed Ayoub, serves on a board for the U.S. Agency for International development, and staff members regularly attend U.S. government meetings related to the work we do. And each year, U.S. Office of Personnel Management lists us in its Combined Federal Campaign catalogue (CFC #10194) as an approved charity to which employees are encouraged to donate.