It's my first day voluntereing for IR USA and my first week in the united states. I am from Ethiopia and have moved to the United states only five days before, today has given me a sparkling glimpse of what proffesional life can be in the USA. I am helping in the front desk area, where every one passes by showing of a beautiful and confident smile, which shows their satisfaction in their jobs and respect to each other. One of the reasons that drew my interest to volunteer to IR was my interest in developing a carrer that will not only earn me a living but one that will build my ethical and moral values. So far, Islamic Releif has assured me the possibility and realisticness of my dream work enviroment.
I first started volunteering for Islamic Relief two years ago. I remember how excited I was for the chance at volunteering for such a good cause. I have spent countless hours volunteering at the IR USA office and at their special events and I am proud to say that I am a better person because of it. Volunteering for IR USA has not only provided me with the necessary skills I need for working in the real world, but it has also opened my eyes to all the hardships and sufferings going on around the world and realizing that not everyone is as privileged as I am. Knowing that because of my effort, whether it was simply entering data into a computer or ushering people to their seats at a fundraising dinner, somewhere in the world, I helped to put a smile on a person's face. And to me that is what really matters. Islamic Relief operates not as a business, but as a caring family, reaching out to those in need, not holding back on help because of a person's religion, background or culture. In the eyes of IRUSA, a person in need is a person in need, no matter who they are. I am so blessed to have been able to volunteer with such a wonderful organization and better yet, to have become part of the IRUSA family.
Islamic Relief USA - My thoughts? Extremely professional, well organized, and does what it sets out to do...helping those in need. I personally appreciate the transparency that exists at all levels of the organization. It comforts me to know that every dollar is accounted for and goes directly towards the cause. It is heavily invested in its volunteers and that speaks volumes, but what's amazing is that the volunteers are just as invested in IRUSA. All the staff members I have met are sincerely passionate about what they do and it shows in their work. It has received the awards for many years on its excellent standards. It is a pillar and an excellent example of what a nonprofit truly should be. Other nonprofits should take note and strive to be like IRUSA.
When searching charities I wanted to find a charity that would be safe and secure and serviced people from around the world. I liked the global reach that Islamic Relief has. From emergencies like the recent ones in Alabama and Haiti and as far East as Japan. Islamic Relief was quick to put and appeal to raise funds and work with other charities to raise awareness. I like the collaboration with other organizations that create an interfaith type partnership in the work they do. Keep up the great work, I know it’s not easy.
Review from Guidestar
I have had great experience with this organization and trust their work, their reports, and their aid workers. Their honesty is over the top.
I have been a donor for Islamic Relief since 2002. I have not found a non-profit more passionate and more transparent in the work they do. I also appreciate the hard work this charity does and how responsive they are if I need assistance.
I was looking at the numbers posted in this site. 147 milliion dollars raised. sounds like they know how to raise money. I have donated for many years to this charity. The only thing that I didn't like seeing in the numbers was the compenstion to CEO and Counsultant (former CEO) the numbers are for 2009. CEO got about $130K per year and the consultant got more than $217,000 dollars. That seems a bit steep to me. I wonder what were the numbers for 2010.
Review from CharityNavigator
I normally would never take time to write a review about a charity but, in this case, I feel compelled to do so.
I've been donating to this organization, on and off, for several years. I've done so based on their four star charity navigator but have come to realize that that has nothing to do with the quality of a charity's business. It only has to deal with how it spends the money it raises. Therefore, since this organization employs numerous volunteers it has earned a four star rating.
I wanted to warn anyone thinking about joining this group's orphan sponsorship program. It is a hoax, a fraud, a scam. I know that sounds harsh but that's the impression the organization has given me.
I signed up for their program after attending a conference where they were exhibiting a booth. Their volunteers unfortunately are not told the truth about the program so I don't doubt that they were telling me what they honestly believe. They told me I would receive a letter with my orphan's profile shortly after subscribing to the program. They told me I could visit the orphan anytime to check up on him or her. They told me that the organization devotes 100% of the money to the child's welfare. I was, needless to say, excited and signed onto the program.
After several months of constantly calling the organization and practically begging to receive something, I finally got my orphan's profile by email and then by mail. I was relieved. However, a part of me was confused. If they were already deducting my credit card, who were they making the payments to? I suspect it was going into a general bank account used to pay for their services. If that's the case (and I can't confirm it) then why bother telling people they are sponsoring 1 particular child? Is it more of a marketing ploy? I can understand that--- it's more effective to connect to someone's emotions by showing them a specific child than to tell them they will be benefiting orphans in general.
Anyway, I was ready to put the entire matter behind me and actually went to a dinner sponsored by them and donated more money. Then, I received another orphan profile. I was excited thinking that it was an update on my orphan! The letter thanked me for being a sponsor. My excited quickly evaporated as I realized that my orphan had drastically changed! It was an entirely new child! I was shocked! Could this be an error? Maybe they sent it to the wrong sponsor? Nope, my name was on there.
I am left confused, angry and greatly disappointed. Oh, and remember how the naive volunteer assured me that I could visit the orphan if I wanted? Not true. The letter clearly states that that would be against the rules (which makes sense to me but it does reflect poorly on the organization. It clearly needs to do a better job at educating its own volunteers so they don't "innocently" give false statements).
I can appreciate the hard work it goes into making a charity successful. However, the sloppy service I experienced leaves me with this question--- if they weren't able to properly send me a welcome letter with my orphan's profile promptly, how can I trust that they are able to deliver relief services to the needy globally?
Since first signing onto the program, I've shared my experience with friends and family. I've come to discover that many of them also never received any information about their orphan. I've also come to discover that what this organization seems to do best is raise money.
Review from CharityNavigator