Direct Relief Ranked 100% Efficient in Fundraising by Forbes


Ratings Awards

Direct Relief medical supplies leave storage for distribution in Haiti after an earthquake devastated the country in 2010. (Photo by Alison Wright for Direct Relief)

Direct Relief has received a perfect score of 100 percent in fundraising efficiency from Forbes, according to a special report on “America’s 200 Largest Charities.”

This new rating continues a nine-year period during which Direct Relief has earned a fundraising efficiency score of 99 percent or better, with the organization receiving a perfect score of 100 percent for eight of those years. Direct Relief is among just 20 groups on this year’s list rated as 100 percent efficient in fundraising, and is one of only two of the 20 based in California.

Forbes’ annual rating of 200 top American charities calculates three major efficiency ratios for each nonprofit: charitable commitment, fundraising efficiency, and donor dependency.

Direct Relief received a score of 99 percent in the charitable commitment category, which measures “how much of total expense went directly to the charitable purpose.” Only 15 groups scored 99 percent or higher in this category.

“We are pleased that Forbes’s survey has again found Direct Relief to be in the top tier for efficiency and commitment among all U.S. nonprofits,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO. “Using each dollar as productively as possible is always important, but it’s even more so during these tough economic times when more people need help and there’s less money available.”

The rating of Direct Relief is based on its 2010 fiscal year during which the organization’s assistance programs doubled as it expanded its nationwide charitable medicines program for uninsured patients in the United States and managed an unprecedented emergency effort in response to the Haiti earthquake.

  • Chronicle of Philanthropy: Rated Direct Relief as California’s largest international charity based on private support;
  • The NonProfit Times: Named Direct Relief as one their NPT 2010 Top 100 charities in the country;
  • Membership in the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

Direct Relief was featured in November in the Forbes online column “Good Works”, which covers entrepreneurs and other topics:

The full list of Forbes’s ratings and methodology for The 200 Largest U.S. Charities is available at:

2010 U.S. and International Programs Accomplishments:

  • Efficiency: Direct Relief spent less than one percent of its total expenses on fundraising and less than two percent overall on non-programmatic expenses.
  • Emergency Response and Preparedness: Direct Relief has been the largest nonprofit provider of medical material aid to Haiti since the January earthquake and in response to the cholera outbreak, with over $54 million year to date and also continues to respond to the floods in Pakistan, the tsunami and volcano eruption in Indonesia and the floods in Vietnam, among other global emergencies. Direct Relief was honored by the US Department of Health and Human Services for developing a standardized medical kit for citizen-volunteers of Medical Reserve Corps members in the U.S.
  • International Medical Programs: Direct Relief has provided surgical materials to enable 4,000 obstetric fistula surgical repairs in seven countries, managed the world’s largest nonprofit HIV test-kit distribution program (2.4 million kits provided), and provided medicines and supplies to care for millions of patient treatments in 60 countries abroad, with an emphasis on programs focused on maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and local health system strengthening.
  • USA Programs: Direct Relief USA is the only nonprofit program licensed to provide prescription medications in all 50 U.S. states and is the largest nonprofit provider of free prescription medications to low-income, uninsured patients in the country.  In 2010, the program has provided medications to fill 10 million prescriptions to patients at community-based nonprofit clinics and health centers in all 50 states.

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