Please read this review about RI. I am a long-time donor and a former employee of this organization. I worked for RI for several years in various roles in HQ and am now working for a donor organization in DC. Most reviewers here have an agenda and some agendas are more obvious and self serving than others. I know of the former employee that gave a blisteringly negative review of the organization and the CEO (who happened to be her supervisor). She left the organization after making many many mistakes, not meeting performance requirements, and when she was held accountable for her work she blamed her boss for her own professional shortcomings. The CEO is not kind, he is not likeable, but he is fair and he has a track record of promoting people who perform well under pressure with a heavy heavy workload. If you work hard, follow his direction, stop making the same mistakes over and over, then you do well in this organization. People who are not able to perform well and who refuse to be held accountable for their work often point a blaming finger to their boss or a coworker. RI is no different from other offices in this respect. Also, about the review of alex karimi, the self proclaimed documentarian. I googled him and found nothing about his professional documentary film-making capability. So that speaks for itself. RI is a young and rapidly growing organization that has made and continues to make a high level of impact for people in places that other NGOs will not even touch (Somalia is just one example of this). RI is good at delivering its product. RI is not good at promoting itself.
I have been donating to Relief International for the past 5 years and have always had a pleasant experience but even more so in the past 2 years.
RI is active in over 25 countries which is of importance to me because I like to help globally but would rather do so through one organization that I trust instead of researching for a reputable organization each time I’d like to donate to a new country. Even so, I frequently have questions prior to donating to a project which I have not contributed to in the past. I have contacted RI’s headquarters office on several occasions to ask these questions and voice concerns and every time my questions were patiently answered by a philanthropy associate who explained what the projects mission was and how my money will be used.
I try to make quarterly contributions and receive acknowledgement of my donation with-in two weeks. Yet, I always loose one or two letters through-out the year and need to contact RI for duplicate copies before filing taxes. This process has always been quick and easy, they e-mail me copies of the letters to have right away and I receive the hard copy by mail with-in one week. It is a great assurance to know that the NGO I am donating to is organized and that my money does not fall through the cracks.
I just read the complaint by the ex-employee of RI. I know from my own personal experience that RI is not as organized as it gives the impression. I am a documentary filmmaker and would very much like the ex-employees who have any complaints about RI to contact me for an interview. I will personally follow through and invite Mr. Rastegard and his staff to defend themselves and explain why they reject the claims made. email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Review from CharityNavigator
I donated to RI for a mother's day campaign and my family has donated via its church, which had selected RI as a destination for its international fundraising support one year. For us, it was a way to help support projects with women and girls. For the church they liked the type of programming that was well described on the website, and that it was community based. We and the church liked that RI tried to keep routine updates about their work via the website. This helps us understand more about the work itself and how it can be hopeful - most of the news is very dire. We were also able to direct questions to the RI office, and had the opportunity to talk to real people about the project and how our donation was helping. We appreciated having someone take time to talk with us.