FAQs

The FAQ is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions Direct Relief receives. If you have a question that is not answered, please contact us so that we can get you an answer right away.

Mission & History

Q: What is Direct Relief? What does Direct Relief do?
A: Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization, active in more than 80 countries and all 50 U.S. states, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Nongovernmental, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit, Direct Relief provides assistance to people and communities without regard to politics, religious beliefs, or ethnic identities. Direct Relief’s assistance programs focus on maternal and child health, the prevention and treatment of disease, and emergency preparedness and response, and are tailored to the particular circumstances and needs of the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations. This tradition of direct and targeted assistance, provided in a manner that respects and involves the people served, has been a hallmark of the organization since its founding in 1948 by refugee war immigrants to the U.S.

Q: Who started Direct Relief?
A: In 1945, William Zimdin, an Estonian immigrant who had amassed significant wealth in pre-war Europe, began sending thousands of relief parcels containing food, clothing, and medicines to relatives, friends, and former employees who were rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of World War II. For the full history, please see the History Page.

Financials and Funding

Q: How are Direct Relief and its programs funded?
A: Direct Relief does not rely on any funding from government grants. Direct Relief’s support comes entirely from private individuals, associations, foundations, and businesses who entrust us with cash and resources so that we can fulfill the organization’s humanitarian mission to help improve the health and lives of people around the world.

Q: Why is the Direct Relief Foundation separate?
A: The Direct Relief Foundation was established in 2007 after a bequest was received in recognition of the long-term benefit the funds could provide to the organization. Direct Relief Foundation enables these funds to be managed separately, with a long-term view, but also to be available when needed at the discretion of the Board of Directors of Direct Relief, who also serve on the Board of the Direct Relief Foundation.

Because the Direct Relief Foundation is a supporting organization of Direct Relief and a separate legal entity, the law requires that its finances be managed, audited, and reported separately in the Form 990. However, the financial activity of the Direct Relief Foundation has to be consolidated in the financial statements of Direct Relief, in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

The Direct Relief Foundation is a “type 1” 509(a)(3) supporting organization. Other common examples of supporting organizations of this type are university endowments and groups organized to support essential work of community hospitals. Click here for more information on supporting organizations from the IRS website.

Q: Is my contribution tax-deductible?
A: Direct Relief is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and 100% of contributions are tax deductible.

Direct Relief’s Federal Tax ID, or Employer Identification Number (EIN), is 95-1831116.

Q: Will I receive a receipt for my donation?
A: Yes, you will receive a charitable tax receipt for income tax purposes.

Q: If I make a donation, how will the funds be allocated? Can I specify a specific country or initiative I would like the funds to go to?
A: Direct Relief has a history of honoring the requests of our donors. Donations can be allocated to a specific country or initiative and 100% of the donor’s funds will be applied to the area specified. In the event Direct Relief is not working in the country you have requested, or otherwise cannot comply with your request, we will contact you to allow you to make another designation, or to refund your donation.

If you are sending in a check to our organization, please make the check out to “Direct Relief” and indicate on the memo line where you would like your funds to be directed. Credit card donations can be made by phone or on our secure website at: live-directrelief.alleydev.com. Simply click on the button that reads “Donate Now”.

Q: I would like to donate to Direct Relief. Where should I send my donation and do you accept cash, credit, and online gifts?
A: Online donations are accepted on Direct Relief’s secure website. Simply click on the button that reads Donate Now.

Check donations can be made out to Direct Relief and mailed to the following address:

Direct Relief
27 S. La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Donations are also accepted over the phone by calling (805) 964-4767.

Q: What are the different ways in which I can donate to Direct Relief?
A: There are many ways in which you can donate. Please refer to our Ways to Give page on our website for details.

Q: I am interested in organizing a fundraising event to raise funds to donate to Direct Relief. How do I go about organizing the fundraising event?
A: You can host an event on your own, with your school or group to fundraise. We make it easy by giving you guidelines and ideas and allow you to create your own fundraising page that you can solicit donations for. Please refer to our website for details.

Q: The organization I work for is interested in doing an employee workplace giving/matching program to raise funds for Direct Relief. What are the appropriate steps to set up a match program with Direct Relief?
A: Direct Relief works closely with corporations to achieve its mission of improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations. These collaborations involve donations of products and services, financial grants, and other strategic initiatives.

Our tradition is marked by creative collaborations that bring together different types of expertise in the nonprofit and corporate sectors to help vulnerable people during complex emergencies and on an ongoing basis. We work with companies to adapt for humanitarian purposes the insight, approaches, and tools developed for commercial activity. This has long distinguished Direct Relief as being nimble, responsive, and efficient.

Please refer to Direct Relief’s website for details for how your organization can support Direct Relief’s efforts.

Q: Our organization is interested in partnering with Direct Relief to support Direct Relief’s efforts in providing health resources and funds to the underserved. What steps should we take to start a partnership with Direct Relief?
A: Direct Relief works closely with corporations to achieve its mission of improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations. These collaborations involve donations of products and services, financial grants, and other strategic initiatives.

Q: I work for a major pharmaceutical organization and we are interested in donating resources to Direct Relief. What types of products do you accept and how can we find out more about donating products?
A: Our tradition is marked by creative collaborations that bring together different types of expertise in the nonprofit and corporate sectors to help vulnerable people during complex emergencies and on an ongoing basis. We work with companies to adapt for humanitarian purposes the insight, approaches, and tools developed for commercial activity. This has long distinguished Direct Relief as being nimble, responsive, and efficient.

Q: Does Direct Relief accept donated items from individuals, such as, medicine, clothing, cars, hygiene products, toys, food, etc.
A: Unfortunately, Direct Relief is not able to receive donated items from individuals.

Health Care Partners

Q: How can an individual receive aid based on the work Direct Relief does with healthcare providers/clinics, etc.?
A: Direct Relief currently has active partnerships with healthcare facilities/clinics throughout the world that receive donations from Direct Relief and provide care to underserved, uninsured patients in that area. We recommend consulting our interactive map for information on Direct Relief‘s current partners which may be able to provide medical assistance to those in need. In addition, we also recommend you browse the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) map.

To Navigate Our Interactive Map:

1. Open the interactive map on your web browser
2. Enter “[state]” in top right search bar
3. Click on “[state]” once it appears on the drop-down menu
4. Once selected, narrow your search by using the timeline slider bar located at the bottom of the screen; we recommend searching from April 2016 to April 2017.
5. Click on the “Facility Information” tab located on the right
6. Click on the “Facility” drop down menu below the Facility Information bar to navigate our current partners and clinics nearest you

In addition, we also recommend you browse the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) map.

Q: The health center/clinic I work for (in the US) is in need of medications to treat patients. Is there an application I can complete to request products?
A: Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, Direct Relief’s program supports safety net providers by delivering no-cost pharmaceuticals and medical supplies on an ongoing basis. The Safety Net Support program leverages Direct Relief’s partnerships with companies that donate medicine and medical products to assist safety net providers care for their low-income patients who do not have health insurance.

Today, Direct Relief supports more than 1,300 community clinics, free clinics, and health centers across the country with donated medications, medical supplies, and other resources.

For details regarding how to become a partner, please visit our website.

Q: The health facility I work for (outside US) is in need of medications to treat patients. Is there an application I can complete to request products?
A: Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, Direct Relief’s program supports healthcare providers by delivering no-cost pharmaceuticals and medical supplies on an ongoing basis. Direct Relief partners with companies that donate medicine and medical products to assist healthcare providers care for their low-income patients who do not have health insurance.

For details regarding how to become a partner (outside of US) please visit our website.

Volunteering

Q: I am interested in volunteering with Direct Relief. Can you please provide me with information regarding how I can apply and what types of opportunities you have available?
A: Volunteer opportunities at Direct Relief’s facility in Goleta, CA became available periodically depending on the organization’s needs. All opportunities are based on Goleta, CA. Please refer to the website for details and complete an application if interested.

Privacy

Q: Does Direct Relief sell, rent or trade donor information to other agencies?
A: No. Direct Relief does not rent or trade donor information to other agencies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.