Efficiency and Leverage
In recent years, Direct Relief has spent less than two percent of its financial resources on fundraising efforts and administrative costs, such as salaries and benefits for staff members. Direct Relief’s long record of managing its resources in the most efficient manner possible has been a central part of the organization’s success in providing assistance to millions of people when they are most in need. Direct Relief’s financial practices are also why it has earned the continued support of our donors and recognition from the most credible non-profit rating organizations, such as Charity Navigator, as well as members of the media who monitor the best practices in philanthropy.
Each year, Direct Relief receives generous financial and material support from our donors, whose gifts are both small and large. We and our partners overseas and here in the United States are grateful for every contribution, regardless of its size, that helps the organization and its people carry out its mission.
For example, in 2007, Direct Relief received an unanticipated, unrestricted, and extraordinary bequest of more than $34 million from the estate of a longtime donor, the late H. Guy DiStefano. This generous gift led to the establishment of The Direct Relief Foundation, which is wholly controlled by Direct Relief’s Board of Directors. This structure was created to clarify the distinctive, long-term, and strategic nature of these funds for Direct Relief, in contrast to donations that come from our continuing donors, or those gifts that are restricted for specific projects or emergencies. Separating the funds also enabled Direct Relief to use the funds as part of a long-term investment strategy that will benefit the organization for years to come. The Foundation has no paid employees, and its finances and annual reporting, though separate, are consolidated with Direct Relief International’s reporting to provide a clear view of the organization’s resources and how the funds are being used.
In addition to financial contributions from our supporters, Direct Relief also receives millions of dollars’ worth of material contributions. In particular, leading pharmaceutical companies from across the country contribute up-to-date medicines supplies and modern medical equipment that are central to Direct Relief’s overseas and domestic programs. In addition, a number of the nation’s leading transport companies donate their services to Direct Relief, which provides the organization with the means to ship and deliver our material assistance to some of the most remote areas of the world when a disaster strikes.
How Direct Relief Determines the Value of Materials and Services from Donors
Direct Relief’s financial accounting for the value of these products, supplies, and transportation services is based on conservative and sound business practices. In particular, Direct Relief uses independently established wholesale prices (not our donors’ retail prices) as the basis to determine their monetary value. The organization is enormously grateful to our donors for providing these supplies and services and abiding by our accounting procedures.
Accountability and Transparency
A fundamental principle for Direct Relief and how it carries out its mission is to maintain a firm policy of full transparency in its finances, especially in how the organization uses the donations that it receives each year. The organization has held open “shareholders meetings” for the people and companies that invest in our operations with their financial and material support. Direct Relief also publishes its financial documents on its website for anyone to view.
Finally, Direct Relief also maintains clear conflict of interest and “whistleblower” policies that enable the organization to maintain its financial integrity and its reputation for transparency to our supporters and the broader public.
Learn more about Direct Relief’s policies regarding donations, valuation of in-kind resources, program funding, and compensation here:
- Compensation Philosophy
- Donation Policies
- Program Funding FAQ
- Valuation of In-Kind Resources
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Whistleblower Policy
- Audited Financial Statements
- Federal Form 990
- Annual Reports
- Articles of Incorporation
- IRS 501(c)3 Determination Letter
- California Certificate of Nonprofit Status
- California Franchise Tax Board Entity Status
- Licenses and Affiliations
Direct Relief’s Federal Tax ID number is: 95-1831116.