The biggest drawback to IJM is that they don't provide long term care or holistic recovery to any of the survivors of trafficking that they rescue. All clients are rerouted to other NGOs to for the long term aftercare process even though IJM gets to report their stories. They do not operate any shelters or care facilities. With that said, they do great work and are great people! I admire their drive and willingness to serve the least of these.
I agree that the salaries are very high according to Charity Navigator. $357,867 for the Field Office Director in Kenya seems too high - especially given that cost of living is cheaper in Kenya. Non-profit workers are often underpaid (I know, I work at a non-profit), but IJM seems to overpay. They should reconsider what simplerer staff salaries could do for their clients, programs, and the least of these. Having a salary lower than your peers is part of the sacrifice required in the NGO sector. The average lawyer earns $130,888 so it would appear that the salaries listed by Charity Navigator are making more than lawyers in the for-profit industry.
Very professional organization and bringing about good things for developing countries and their governments.
I wish I could give 10 stars.
As an attorney active in politics in Washington, D.C. I am often asked to donate to political and charitable causes. The number of "asks" far exceed the amount I am able to contribute. Hence, I perform a significant amount of due diligence into a non-profit before contributing (and the number of non-profits to which I consider contributing is fairly small to begin with). International Justice Mission (IJM) has impressed me greatly. In fact, it's mission, it's accountability structure, it's transparency, and it's success in its mission is incredible and is better than anything I've seen anywhere else in the United States non-profit world (with the possible exception of CRS, which is an equal in impressiveness but totally different type of organization).
I've visited IJM's offices. I've sat in their morning staff meeting. I've toured their offices. I've interviewed their HQ and Field Office workers, and they are a stellar group of people. This organization uses its funds so efficiently. I've examined their financials and believe that their employees are working for a 15-50% discount (depending on the position) of what they could earn at other non-profits and massive (sometimes 500-700%) discounts on what they could (or did) earn in the private sector or government. Their job is a labor of love and it shows.
Let me provide an illustration of why IJM is great and of the support it gets (which isn't enough, by the way, IJM needs more funds to do more work)-- A top, liberal law firm in DC (Covington & Burling) has donated to IJM, had its employees attend IJM fundraisers, and has at least 4 alumni attorneys (partners and associates) who left Covington and now work at IJM. This is but one example of how IJM is neither conservative or liberal, but rather a true human rights organization with no goal other than justice.
IJM is a Christian organization and it serves mostly non-Christians. It also derives significant support from non-Christians. It is truly a "service" organization. it is also professional to its core. Excellence, efficiency, and a focus on success are core values of this organization.
I have been a donor to this organization in the past, and as an attorney who is an expert in this field, I cannot give a higher recommendation to IJM.
A gift to IJM has a significant chance of actually saving a person from slavery, forced prostitution, trafficking, or death. There are few places where one can give money and know that their gift has a high probability of achieving those goals. And those are but a few of the good things that IJM uses it's donations to help achieve. I don't work for IJM so I couldn't possibly list the many ways a donation helps but I can point you to their website-- www.IJM.org -- and I can give it my absolute highest recommendation.
If you have any doubt, read their website and read their IRS Form 990. Then compare the IRS 990 with another non-profit to which you are considering donating. I am sure you'll see a difference immediately. Now imagine that this difference applies across the board. Then realize that IJM saves children from forced prostitution and provides aftercare to give them a new life. IJM saves families from slavery and provides education so they can go on and be productive members of society.
IJM doesn't simply sweep in and empty a brother full of children and trafficked women. It stops the brothel. It puts the pimp in jail. It warns the punters that they will be prosecuted. It prosecutes them. It sends a warning to other brothels, pimps, punters, and traffickers that they will be caught. It helps the children and women saved through counseling and education. And it STICKS WITH THE VICTIMS FOR YEARS!!!! Helping them get well and helping them give back to society and work against oppression.
This organization is truly amazing and it has been an honor to donate to them and an honor to see them work. I've even considered working for them even though this would be a massive pay cut. They are truly that good, and what they achieve and work for is truly that important.
Review from Guidestar
I want to address some of the comments regarding compensation. As Americans, we have our taxes withheld and used in ways to fund high salaries of mayors, police, fire, congressional reps, etc., and may feel that these are too high, but what can we do? Can we recognize that from some of the support of our local, state and federal frameworks we do benefit from many community, infrastructure, institutional, legal, and financial, and commercial safeguards, benefits, checks and balances? Yet we still are at high-risk from greedy, grasping, entitled citizens, who do not recognize that the very system that provides them so much abundance and opportunity, is dependent on their moral integrity for sustainability. Those among us who are responsible must continue to shoulder the burden and pay more than our share because of the weakness and corruptness of others. If you can understand this, you are the Noble ones. The ever-expanding Kingdom of God is Good! It is worth contributing to efforts that align with freedom. It is a priviledge to have the funds to be able to do so. Should not men and women whose lives are committed to this kind of work be funded and sent out? The Noble ones must fund this work. Hallelujah to the extent that the US is on board in these noble causes, and even provides various USAID/grants. After all that is our money too. I personally would like to see an end to any public funding of listening to deep outer space; and I'm sure you have projects you would like to have not publicly funded, but despite our distaste, we cannot get our $$ back. So to send people out cost $$$. That is how nonprofits work. The program monies are primarily to allocate people to the worthy tasks. They are on a mission; clients are helped; donors have their aims achieved.
If this CEO's salary is a deterrent for you, you are being narrow minded. First of all, his caliber and effectiveness. There are more well established and well known NGO's whose CEO's make upwards of $1M or more SALARY! Now that's insane. These are people with comparable experience and effectiveness. Second, if you knew leaders with much integrity like him, you would know that he probably spends a lot of his personal funds on giving himself. Do not judge.
While I fully support and endorse the work performed by IJM I have some reservations. I work in the public sector as a career criminal investigator of the US government and have to wonder. How can an organization that derives it financial support by donations justify paying Haugen 215k? As a believer, I am troubled by the very generous salaries of CEO's of faith based NGOs e.g. Samaritans Purse, World Vision etc. While I am not surprised by the NGO CEO compensation outside the Christian community (Red Cross) I expect more from fellow believers.
Review from CharityNavigator
Are these salaries for real? When you align them with your mission, I will donate. $201,931 0.92% Gary Haugen President, CEO
Other Salaries of Note
$224,835 1.02% Philip Langford Director
Review from CharityNavigator
I highly recommend this organization. They provide great resources, specifically for the faith community on why social justice is issues that they should be involved in (from a Biblical perspective). Yet they also are one of the forerunners for social justice work all around, setting an example, and pulling others along. Other large organizations have gleaned from their experiences.
Honestly, I think IJM really helped bring about a concern for Modern Day slavery and human trafficking. I remember not too long ago, I think in 2005 myself and countless others around the USA watched a documentary on how IJM went about freeing sex slaves, children even, internationally. I have also heard and spoken with both one of their speakers and employees. Their office is open for those who want to see, help and be a part. I love that they allow for local involvement and volunteers. But really, it is their training and creating awareness of major injustice issues which is why I commend IJM.
Their working model is great, working within legal barriers, and greatly influencing corruption in the government to rise to a greater standard, as IJM relies on them to work with. Their practice is also sustainable. I really believe their whole heart is in this, and they employ so many legal professionals, giving them a way to use their skills for good.
Review from CharityNavigator
Alternative Gifts Internatioinal has for many years supported the mission of IJM through our annual fundraising catalog and gift markets. We admire IJM's work in exposing sex trafficking, seeking justice, and making sure criminals are fully prosecuted. But even more important is the work IJM does to rescue the poor innocent girls and women from such horrible conditions. AGI donors have worked hard to take the work of IJM and share it with communities so we draw attention and aid so IJM may continue their work. IJM is a terrific organization to support.
Review from CharityNavigator