Islamic Relief USA

Rating: 4.72 stars   224 reviews

Issues: Disaster Aid, International, Philanthropy

Location: 3655 Wheeler Avenue Alexandria VA 22304 USA

Mission: Islamic Relief USA strives to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy, and diseases worldwide regardless of color, race, religion, or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects allowing communities to better help themselves.
Target demographics: Islamic Relief USA provides assistance to anyone in need, anywhere in the world, regardless or race, color, reliegion, or creed.
Geographic areas served: United States and Internationally. Islamic Relief USA operated domestically in 24 states in 2010, specifically VA, MI, MD, TX, NJ, RI, IL, CA, KS, SD, GA, PA, OR, MN, NY, MA, DC, WA, AZ, NV, ME, CT, OH, and OK. In 2011, Islamic Relief USA assisted with the Alabama tornado devastation. Islamic Relief USA operated in 33 countries in 2010: Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Cambodia, Chad, Chechnya (Russian Federation), China, Columbia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Gaza/West Bank), Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Programs: ORPHANS 1-TO-1 SPONSORSHIP: Islamic Relief's One-to-One Orphan Sponsorship helps the world's most desperate orphans. The beneficiaries live in the world's poorest and most devastated countries, where millions of children are orphaned and left to struggle for survival. 100 percent of our sponsors' contributions are sent directly to an orphan's guardian, where Islamic Relief's One-to-One Orphan Sponsorship allows children to remain with a loving family member who may not have been able to care for them otherwise. RAMADAN “FEED THE NEEDY” PROGRAM: During the month of fasting, known as Ramadan, Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sunset. Feeding people at the end of the fasting day represents a very rewarding spiritual act according to Islamic tradition and teachings. The Ramadan “Feed the Needy” Program offers an opportunity for many needy people around the world who face food insecurity and hunger to be provided with a ‘Ramadan Food Pack’, which ensures that their burden is eased during the month of Ramadan. A wide range of beneficiaries were selected, they included categories like widows, orphans, destitute, aged, disabled, refugees and people affected by disasters. The beneficiaries are selected in conjunction with local welfare groups working alongside Islamic Relief offices in a given country. QURBANI “MEAT DISTRIBUTION” PROGRAM: Qurbani “meat distribution” activities are performed during the season of Eid al Adha. Muslims from the United States donate money which is used to purchase and slaughter livestock – mainly sheep, goats and cows. The meat from these animals is then distributed to the needy people in the poorest regions of the world on behalf of the donors. According to Islam, one sheep or goat equals one Qurbani; one cow, buffalo or camel equals seven Qurbanis. Qurbani meat is distributed in three different methods, the method chosen for a country is dependent on several factors including cost, availability of livestock, logistical issues and current situation of that country e.g. war, famine, natural disaster. This year again a wide range of beneficiaries were selected, they included categories like widows, orphans, the destitute, the aged, the disabled, refugees and disaster affected populations. The beneficiaries are selected in conjunction with local welfare groups working alongside Islamic Relief field offices in a given country. INTERNATIONAL GIFT IN KIND (GIK) DONATIONS: Typical donations include hygiene kits, newborn supplies, school supplies, orphans supplies (children’s clothing), children’s toys and books, medical supplies, emergency medical supplies, shelf-stable food, and medicine sent to disaster and relief locations worldwide. DOMESTIC GRANTS: Each year Islamic Relief USA provides cash to assist medical clinics, warming centers, shelters for the homeless and/or victims, educational institutions, food banks, and social service offices. DOMESTIC “DAY OF DIGNITY” PROGRAM: Islamic Relief USA provides beneficiaries in the U.S. with food (on-site meals), canned goods (select locations), clothing (t-shirts, hats, socks, undergarments), school supplies (backpacks, pencils, books), toys, blankets, sheets, towels, medical care (including oral cancer screenings, glaucoma screenings, and blood pressure readings), physical exams, dental care, first aid, wound checks, haircuts, job training (select locations), and other social services to all who attend, regardless of their backgrounds. DOMESTIC “ZAKAT” PROGRAM: Every year, IRUSA uses donated Zakat money to support the Domestic Zakat Partnership Program. Domestic Zakat is administered through local Zakat partners to provide limited financial assistance to those in need. This assistance is primarily focused upon providing basic living costs, such as food shelter, clothing, and other family needs. DOMESTIC “QURBANI” PROGRAM: Every year during Eid Al-Adha, Islamic Relief USA slaughters and distributes Qurbani meat throughout the United States. Islamic Relief USA distributes the Qurbani meat to mosques, Islamic centers, and service organizations across the country, who then distributes the meat to the neediest in their local communities. After the slaughter had been completed, the meat was packaged in five-pound packets and frozen. Local organizations were then asked to distribute ten pounds of meat per family.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I've volunteered and donated to their various programs. I am familiar with a number of their employees and they are great people, both personally and professionally. IR USA has a number of programs to address the various needs of people around the world. Knowing that their overhead is so low it's a good charity to donate to.
To the guy with the bad review - please read up on the great work they've done and please stop criticizing an entire organization based on a few honest mistakes.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Best Muslim charity by far. I just ready some stupid review of Financial fraud. How stupid can people be mistaking transparency with fraud. Tired of Muslims only criticizing good Muslims do. May Allah guide them

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Obviously most of the reviews here are written by Islamic Relief themselves to boost their rating or status. I on the other hand am not a member anymore and regretted giving them so much in donation over a ten year period until I discovered their financial deception. I have made several requests to talk to someone at Islamic Relief to explain their deception but no one has ever returned my calls. Every time I call their office I get the same answer that no one was in the office and they are travelling.
I am not making up a story here. Please check out their tax forms, it is all in black and white and do your math. They are only giving out about 60% of donated money to the poor and the rest is admin fees, salaries, travel expenses and reserve as assets. I am outraged to learn that the money I was giving out to the poor ended up fattening IRUSA wallets and paid over $250K in CEO salaries and benefits. It is charity for God sake not a business.
IRUSA need to come clean and explain their position, otherwise they will be losing many donors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change management, lower CEO salary to a reasonable rate, and explain past shortcomings.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you for your concern. We are happy to answer your questions. Islamic Relief USA has always maintained low overhead costs. Charity watchdogs recommend that nonprofits spend at least 60% to 65% of their revenues on programs. In 2013, fully 83% of donations given to Islamic Relief USA went to emergency relief and development programs, directly helping people in need. Prior to 2011, IRUSA utilized a standard method of valuing pharmaceuticals that was in line with current industry standards at the time, which was according to U.S. wholesale market prices. The industry trend began changing in 2011 with a push for more conservative methods of valuation. In 2011, IRUSA voluntarily decided to adjust our valuation method, and adopted the industry's most conservative standard of valuation --- in accordance with their market value in their destination countries. We understood when making this change that it would appear to be a drop in our organization's revenues, making our overhead costs appear higher in proportion. Our overhead expenses have not increased, and our donations have remained steady. Most importantly, we are sending more aid to beneficiaries in need around the world than ever before. In addition, the CEO salary for the year you referenced -- while on par with median CEO compensation for large nonprofits -- has not been standard at Islamic Relief USA. Our current CEO's salary for 2014 is much lower, and it's less than half of average for CEOs at nonprofits of comparable size. We remain committed to the beneficiaries we serve and grateful to our generous donors, and welcome the opportunity to answer questions at any time on our approach. Ultimately, we believe the measure of our impact is felt most by our beneficiaries, and take the utmost care to ensure each person is positively impacted and treated with dignity. We encourage donors to visit our website to learn more about the impact IRUSA has had in the places we serve. We apologize that you were unable to reach the staff members you attempted to contact. Please feel free to contact us with any questions and concerns, and we would be happy to speak with you. Our call center staff are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time to assist donors and answer questions. In addition, our 2013 IRS form 990 will soon be available on our website, and we think you will be pleased with it. Thank you for your interest in Islamic Relief USA.

Rating: 5 stars  

I love the work you do and how you help countries around the world. I love you mission on helping anyone regardless of Religion or Color or ethnicity. You make me proud to be Muslim and I am honored to be associated with you guys. you are doing great work and great relations with the government.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I just had an event for the birth of my child. They have an amazing peer to peer on their site. I managed to tell people not to bring gifts but instead help the people of Gaza. Their staff where very helpful in getting it set up for me and I tracked all the donations for my event surprisingly I actually doubled what I thought I would receive. Keep up the great work IRUSA

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I like the work you do in America if you could communicate those programs more so we can help would be great

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have dealt with many charities in the past. Honestly I haven't seen one run as good as Islamic Relief USA. I stopped by the office to drop of a donation and was impressed of the professionalism. They run it better then non Muslim charities in my opinion.

Keep up the great work guys you deserve the top charity award

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have donated to many charities in the past but I have not seen people who work as hard as the people do in Islamic Relief USA. Even at 18% overhead they still do great work in doubling their donations. When the crisis hit in Palestine they are the only organization I trust that is getting the work and necessities to the people.

They are very transparent and when I contact them they are very responsive.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish they would visit my Masjid more

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a donor to Islamic Relief for over 10 years. My overall impression of the organization has been one of professionalism, kindness, and a clear mission to help those less fortunate. They have spanned the globe with their relief efforts and work quickly and effectively to get to the sites of tragedy and need. I have never had to donate with another organization, as IR has always been in the right places when needed and are highly trustworthy.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the changes that they've made in the lives of the Orphans through the Orphan Sponsorship Program. We've received letters from our sponsored orphans that were truly touching a great to share with my kids as an example on how to offer ourselves to those less fortunate.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Maybe a newsletter to regular donors displaying what their donations are contributing. This may already exist, I just haven't received it yet.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I LOVE ISLAMIC RELIEF. I have been a volunteer for well over 5 years now, i have traveled for Islamic relief, been trained with IR , as well as worked with the CEO first hand and have to say he is the most humble, and down to earth humanitarian I have met in my life. After meeting him, I was confident that the money is going to the right place. I am always skeptical about sending money for causes, and the ONLY organization i trust, and request everyone to trust and donate to is Islamic relief. They are in so many parts of the world providing aid, and everyone knows who they are for their amazing efforts in emergency aid, medical aid/ supplies, shelter operations, psychological, and first aid, as well as funding, and sending supplies to those in need.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I have stopped donating to IRUSA after discovering their massive accounting fraud. I have been donating to them for almost 10 years and have giving them well over $100K and have recommended it to all my friends and relatives, but now, I have told everyone not to support them because of their accounting fraud. They used to inflate the value of the donated medicine they received to help its rating and to lower their administration fees. I have spent almost two days recently sifting through their taxes and financial reports and concluded that they only give out about 60% of what they collect from donation and the rest goes to fees, salaries and expenses. Their CEO compensation is about $250k a year and it increases at a higher rate than inflation. I have donated to other well established larger organizations and their CEOs makes a lot less. They are treating the organization as a business not as a charity. My only regret is not finding out this fraud earlier.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

apologies to all donors and come out clean. Admit previous mistakes and lower administrators compensation to a reasonable rate.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you for your concern. We are happy to answer your questions. Islamic Relief USA has always maintained low overhead costs. Charity watchdogs recommend that nonprofits spend at least 60% to 65% of their revenues on programs. In 2013, fully 83% of donations given to Islamic Relief USA went to emergency relief and development programs, directly helping people in need. Prior to 2011, IRUSA utilized a standard method of valuing pharmaceuticals that was in line with current industry standards at the time, which was according to U.S. wholesale market prices. The industry trend began changing in 2011 with a push for more conservative methods of valuation. In 2011, IRUSA voluntarily decided to adjust our valuation method, and adopted the industry's most conservative standard of valuation --- in accordance with their market value in their destination countries. We understood when making this change that it would appear to be a drop in our organization's revenues, making our overhead costs appear higher in proportion. Our overhead expenses have not increased, and our donations have remained steady. Most importantly, we are sending more aid to beneficiaries in need around the world than ever before. In addition, the CEO salary for the year you referenced -- while on par with median CEO compensation for large nonprofits -- has not been standard at Islamic Relief USA. Our current CEO's salary for 2014 is much lower, and it's less than half of average for CEOs at nonprofits of comparable size. We remain committed to the beneficiaries we serve and grateful to our generous donors, and welcome the opportunity to answer questions at any time on our approach. Ultimately, we believe the measure of our impact is felt most by our beneficiaries, and take the utmost care to ensure each person is positively impacted and treated with dignity. We encourage donors to visit our website to learn more about the impact IRUSA has had in the places we serve. We apologize that you were unable to reach the staff members you attempted to contact. Please feel free to contact us with any questions and concerns, and we would be happy to speak with you. Our call center staff are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time to assist donors and answer questions. In addition, our 2013 IRS form 990 will soon be available on our website, and we think you will be pleased with it. Thank you for your interest in Islamic Relief USA.

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a member of this org as a donor for sometime now and I've witnessed first hand the difference they make on the ground. They've been quite instrumental in delivering timely support and assistance to those in need and I thank them immensely. HB, Australia

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