Islamic Relief Usa

Rating: 4.72 stars   225 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
Write a Review

See How 3Hrs Can Help

More Info

EIN 95-4453134
(888) 479-4968
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Edit: To reviewer AbuFaris:
Actually, I am writing this as a personal review just as you are supposedly, although you claim to have written before, but you are writing under multiple different member names? Sounds like fraud to me. And also, none of this is fluff, it's the truth. Look up the topic for yourself unless you would like for me to create you a source list? Several sources I mention include this very site and others in the field of philanthropy. Also, the point is that you're mistaking transparency for "fraud" at a time when the industry itself is changing. You say: "I find the editorial, In my opinion, full of fluff and lacks substance," but can you tell me who these other successful and notable charities with no overhead are? Are you quite certain that you know all the details of how these supposedly no overhead organizations fund their operations? I can give you an example: Famously, Smile Train, an organization that treats children born with cleft lip and palate conditions, has claimed that “100 percent of your donation will go toward programs … zero percent goes to overhead.” Nevertheless, the fine print goes on to say that this is not because the organization has no overhead; rather, it is because Smile Train uses contributions from “founding supporters” to cover its nonprogram costs. Interesting right? The point I was making is that donors hurt charities ability to grow and have greater reach and impact in the work they do, with this argument about overhead and salaries alleged "financial fraud". This is a real trend in the industry and humanitarian work is suffering because of it. And as far as your questions go, much of that information is public knowledge, like the salary of a CEO, which isn't what you or any other negative reviewer reported. And also, that IRUSA was somehow exposed by the media, which isn't true, they were one of few organizations to blow the whistle on and move away from practices of drug company intermediaries and their valuing system when providing/selling medicines to charities. ... The U.S. department of agriculture is one of many who continued this even in recent years. Now that should be upsetting to you. These are my answers that I found out on my own READING. You can too.


This is in response to any negative reviews about administrative costs, financial audits, and whatever other issues you may have about the "logic" of financing a charity that actually reaches millions of people in need every single year and growing. If you are negatively reviewing a for all intents and purposes stellar Islamic organization that is reputable in the United States and globally on the basis of bogus theories about how much it costs to finance any charitable operation and deliver reporting on those operations, you have personal agendas and issues that extend way beyond the scope of this response.

I will say that every donor should change their mentality about what it means to give charity, and serious think, with your brain, about how many people Islamic Relief USA is able to benefit with every single donation it collects. And then consider, very carefully, with your educated brain, how effective your say, $100 donation would be in terms of a dollar/reach ratio. Rather than focus on a very traditional, and illogical logic, of the weight of administrative costs to deliver quality services to ENTIRE COMMUNITIES of people in need (a logic that actually hurts non-profit organizations and charitable groups from growing), you should consider a much more sound and positive logic that considers effectiveness per donor dollar. In other words, for every dollar you give to a charity, how much work does that dollar do in your name? How many people does it help and touch? And, would you be able to have the same reach with your dollar if you chose to deliver that dollar on your own? The answer is NO.

Long-term stability of development and humanitarian work SHOULD be part of what you consider when you choose to donate to an organization. You really need to get beyond this notion of "overhead" as an indicator of charity performance because ACTUALLY it's been proven to NOT be a valid indicator, on its own, of the quality of organization you are donating to. This very website, which you are so callously using as your platform to bash charities is one of many that have denounced this practice in ranking charities, in addition to Charity Navigator, the BBB, Guidestar and more. This practice actually starves nonprofits from investing in themselves to build decent infrastructures that ARE NOT CORRUPT and actually provide QUALITY SERVICES to the people who need them in addition to creating jobs, advocating for change on major issues, and more.

Organizations that are trying to build a sturdy and robust infrastructure that includes information technology systems, financial systems, skills training, fundraising processes, and other essential overhead, succeed in delivering charitable services MORE EFFECTIVELY and EFFICIENTLY than those that do not, not mention help provide millions of jobs that are lacking in a broken worldwide economy.

Yet, you should know, it is also a fact that MANY GOOD NONPROFITS are actually NOT SPENDING ENOUGH on building this infrastructure according to many experts in the field. Did you know, that the Charities Review Council has maintained a Use of Funds standard that calls for nearly 30% of expenses on admin and fundraising combined for nonprofit organizations and that this percentage has been expanded to include up to 40% recommended?

Here's just one example, and there are many more studies like it:
"Underfunding overhead can have disastrous effects, finds the Nonprofit Overhead Cost Study, a five year research project conducted by the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. The researchers examined more than 220,000 IRS Form 990s and conducted 1,500 in-depth surveys of organizations with revenues of more than $100,000. Among their many dismaying findings: nonfunctioning computers, staff members who lacked the training needed for their positions, and, in one instance, furniture so old and beaten down that the movers refused to move it. The effects of such limited overhead investment are felt far beyond the office: nonfunctioning computers cannot track program outcomes and show what is working and what is not; poorly trained staff cannot deliver quality services to beneficiaries."

In short, YOU, negative reviewers and your concerns about overhead are actually really ignorant and hurtful to people working really hard everyday to dedicate their lives to making the world a better place.
You are contributing to a vicious cycle that corrupts organizations more than you may be aware of. It's a cycle that goes something like this:

1. You have unrealistic expectations about how much it costs to run a nonprofit and what it means to have your money do work to deliver aid.
2. You pressure nonprofits to conform to your unrealistic expectations.
3. Nonprofits respond to this pressure in two ways: They spend too little on overhead, and they underreport their expenditures on tax forms and in fundraising materials.
4. This underspending and underreporting in turn perpetuates funders’ unrealistic expectations.
5. Over time, funders expect grantees to do more and more with less and less—a cycle that slowly starves nonprofits.

Research concludes that the first of these steps is the most detrimental and you really need to realize the impact your negative reviews have without sound basis for argument. For example, it's often seen that in an effort to appease donors like you, nonprofits won't offer competitive salaries for qualified specialists, and so instead make do with hires who lack the necessary experience or expertise. Similarly, many organizations that limit their investment in staff training find it difficult to develop a strong pipeline of senior leaders. This is just one point among many.

GOOD CHARITIES SPEND MORE ON "ADMIN" BUT IT'S NOT MONEY WASTED AND IS NOT DETACHED FROM DELIVERING QUALITY AID TO PEOPLE IN NEED.

That's not to say Islamic Relief USA is perfect or that there aren't areas where it can't improve in the industry, but ultimately, IRUSA is a growing organization, growing in the face of adversity I should remind you, and yet maintains a good reputation in the industry for the work its doing and how it's doing it. And they continue to keep working to improve because they are faith-based, and are aware of the moral and ethical concerns that must be grappled with when it comes to how to best reach people in need with the money of good people.

That being said, IRUSA's CEO is actually UNDERPAID by industry standards. The $250K number that you all pulled up without checking for yourselves is WRONG. This is public information that you can find yourselves if you choose to be educated. And honestly, maybe IRUSA should have a CEO paid $250K, and maybe underpaid staff who risk their lives every day to deliver services or who work long hours to reach people in need and develop programs should be compensated for their skills and time. Then you would have the best of the best working for your charity rather than APPLE or FACEBOOK.

Anyway, some considerations ... Choose to listen to the neighing and gossip of the masses or educate yourselves on how to really support GOOD organizations who you can help to benefit humanity in the long-term.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

thank you for being there when people need you. You have changed the world and have been bringing happiness to people's life

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have used this multiple times for emergency relief this year. And each time, they have done it right and they also send mails asking for more donation.

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

Email donors a picture/blog post of what they did with that particular campaign fund.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

There's nothing more important than being part of the mission God has put us to.
This organization is blessed in a way that participants can get involved with fundraisers, dinners, programs and all forms of charity to help make a difference. I'd say donate, donate, donate! Let's make a difference

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

I wouldn't make any changes to this organization. Let's spread awareness!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Easy, quick and most importantly you feel good your donation is helping others less fortunate - alhamdoullah

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Islamic Relief is among the first responders after any crisis anywhere in the world. They raise awareness about great causes and make it very simple to help those in need through our donations. They also provide on-site eye-witness reports to enable the general public to understand the plight of those who are suffering.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Using this charity has been the best experience in donating I have ever encountered. There are many options as to where I would like to donate and I especially enjoy receiving newsletters in the mail about the various unfortunate people who have been helped by this organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

They have been engaged in massive accounting fraud and have deceived donors for years. They have actually changed CPA's every year to avoid getting caught, and in the past at least 2 CPA firms have refused to sign off on their financial statements and disengaged from them. They overstated the value of drugs received by them in "donations" (gifts in kind), showing receipts of $140,000,000 when the actual market value of the drugs was less than $506,000. Between 2007 and 2009, they were advised repeatedly by their former controller to change their accounting standards, and they refused to do so. Read about the scandal at http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampbarrett/2011/11/04/scandal-erupts-over-inflated-drug-values-used-by-charities/

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

seeing how they committed fraud.

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

fire the board and CEO, and bring in the former Controller as CEO and put in place a robust audit mechanism.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

How did you learn about this organization?

personal relation

 
Flag review