Mission: Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies.

Nongovernmental, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit, Direct Relief assists people and communities without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay.

Direct Relief's assistance programs - which focus on emergency preparedness and disaster response and the prevention and treatment of disease - are tailored to the particular circumstances and needs of the world's most at-risk populations.

Direct Relief honors the generosity of its donors by following a firm policy of full transparency in all of its operations.

This tradition of transparent, direct, and targeted assistance, provided in a manner that respects and involves the people served, has been a hallmark of the organization since its founding in 1948 by refugee war immigrant William

Direct Relief is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1949, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  https://www.directrelief.org

 6100 Wallace Becknell Road
Santa Barbara CA 93117 

  805-964-4767


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Star Rating System


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 100.00, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2020, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

99.4%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

0.3%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

0.1%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

1.6%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.00


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.71 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

15.63%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are up to five of this organization's highest compensated employees. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts include salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



THOMAS E TIGHE, PRESIDENT AND CEO

$507,533


BHUPI SINGH, EXECUTIVE VP, SENIOR ADVISOR

$388,928


DAWN LONG, SENIOR VP, COO

$248,333


JONATHAN STEINER, VP OF FINANCE, CFO

$213,860


ADAN GROUMAN, DIRECTOR, IT

$210,968


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Gifts, grants, or loans to other organizations (BMF activity code: 602)

Gifts or grants to individuals (other than scholarships) (BMF activity code: 561)

Other health services (BMF activity code: 179)


Foundation Status:

Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2) (BMF foundation code: 16)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Direct Relief reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Sent


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

Donations to our organization were up during the early months of Covid, but demand similarly increased for Direct Relief's services, including for PPE, antibody therapies, Covid-19 testing supplies, and vaccine logistics. And while donations for Covid-19 have tapered, demand globally remains high.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

Direct Relief had to procure significant quantities of PPE and other supplies to provide to its partner network. Direct Relief also stepped up its grant-making efforts in response to the financial losses experienced by the organizations with which it works.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Direct Relief expanded its support offerings to include procured medical supplies and transportation support globally. Direct Relief also built additional cold-storage capacity at its headquarters to handle Covid-19 vaccines.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Direct Relief developed new onboarding policies for employees. It also adjusted how it staffs its main warehouse and will permanently maintain its expanded refrigeration capacity to address vaccine and other temperature-sensitive medication needs in the U.S. and globally.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
8/3/20212020 100.00
9/1/20202019 100.00
7/1/20192018 98.23
5/1/20182017 100.00
5/1/20172016 100.00
7/1/20162015 100.00
6/1/20162014 100.00
Rating Version: 2.0
5/1/20152014 99.94
7/1/20142013 99.71
8/1/20132012 99.90
5/1/20122011 99.91
9/20/20112010 99.92
Rating Version: 1.0
2/1/20112010 99.88
7/1/20102009 89.52
5/1/20092008 92.39
6/1/20082007 99.88
3/1/20072006 92.42
3/1/20062005 94.91
10/1/20042003 92.41
1/1/20042002 86.34
2/5/20032001 92.42
10/15/20022000 92.41

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Direct Relief cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Direct Relief reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$1,196,440,268

Spent in most recent FY

77%

Percent of program expenses


COMMUNITY HEALTH - DIRECT RELIEF, THROUGH ITS COMMUNITY HEALTH INITIATIVES, EQUIPS HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IN LOW-RESOURCE SETTINGS WITH THE MEDICAL RESOURCES THEY NEED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, AND CARE FOR T ... (More)


$165,802,539

Spent in most recent FY

10%

Percent of program expenses


DISEASE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT - TO ALLEVIATE THE DISEASE BURDEN IN RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD, DIRECT RELIEF SUPPORTS A GLOBAL NETWORK OF LOCALLY-RUN HEALTH FACILITIES WITH T ... (More)


$188,750,650

Spent in most recent FY

12%

Percent of program expenses


DISASTER RESPONSE - DIRECT RELIEF, THROUGH ITS DISASTER RESPONSE PROGRAMS, ADDRESSES THE NEEDS OF VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES BEFORE DISASTERS STRIKE BY PRE POSITIONING EMERGENCY MEDICAL MATERIALS WITH HEA ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Direct Relief is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies -- without regard to politics, religion, identity, or ability to pay. Nongovernmental, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit, Direct Relief's assistance programs focus on emergency preparedness, disaster response, and the prevention and treatment of disease and are tailored to the particular circumstances and needs of the world's most vulnerable and at-risk populations. Direct Relief honors the generosity of its donors by following a firm policy of full transparency in all of its operations. This tradition of transparent, direct, and targeted assistance, provided in a manner that respects and involves the people served, has been a hallmark of the organization since its founding in 1948 by refugee war immigrant William Zimdin.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


Direct Relief aspires for a world in which its services are no longer needed.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Ensure health professionals in resource-poor communities are equipped to meet the challenges of diagnosing and caring for people in need.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Ensure disaster-prone communities are prepared for more frequent, more destructive emergencies.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Expand access to medications and health services for under-served populations.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

To effectively advance its mission, Direct Relief aims to recruit, train and retain high-performing employees and motivate, recognize, and reward excellent performance. To enhance employees’ knowledge, skills, and expertise related to their work, Direct Relief provides ongoing online and in-person learning opportunities to staff at every level. Additionally, Direct Relief offers financial assistance in the form of complete or partial payment for approved training programs, courses, workshops, and seminars. Other professional development opportunities available to staff include membership to professional organizations, job-related certifications, licenses, continuing education credit courses, and subscriptions to job-related scholarly journals, books, and computer-based resources.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Direct Relief has long sought partnerships with public and private-sector organizations that leverage for humanitarian purposes their expertise. This approach has led healthcare manufacturers and other corporations in sectors ranging from technology to transportation to contribute needed resources and services that match urgent health needs in over 80 countries worldwide, including the U.S.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


(1) PPE: When the virus broke out in January 2020, Direct Relief was one of the few non-profits prepared to make a substantial and immediate impact on the crisis with a large supply of PPE and critical care medications that it distributed to safety-net health centers and clinics, hospitals and public health agencies around the U.S. and globally. In the year after the pandemic began, Direct Relief delivered more than 100 million PPE items,m including masks and gloves, free-of-charge, to health workers throughout the U.S. and world. (2) Critical Medicine: In addition to PPE, Direct Relief’s early identification of needed intensive care medication became an essential source of information during the crisis. Its pre-packaged modules of ICU medications were requested by and delivered to the most advanced hospitals, from Chan Zuckerberg General to the University of Miami Hospital. (3) COVID-19 Vaccines: To assist public health authorities and healthcare providers distribute Covid-19 vaccines, Direct Relief invested approximately $2.5 million in cold-chain pharmaceutical distribution capabilities, increasing its medical refrigeration and freezer capacity three-fold. (4) Research: Collaborating with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Direct Relief launched the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network—an information and research hub using anonymized mobility data from phones to understand how people limited their movements during the pandemic. (5) Grants: As is the case in all emergencies, the pre-existing gaps get bigger as resources are redirected to the crisis. That’s why Direct Relief’s focus since the onset of Covid-19 has been on supporting its partner network of community health centers, free and charitable clinics, and other safety-net health facilities that care for people who are among the least fortunate and most vulnerable to crises. These healthcare providers have expanded their services during the pandemic, often without reimbursement.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Direct Relief is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.


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Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.


Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:


How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.



Methodology


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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