For every 1¢ that we spend on fundraising, we raise an additional 8¢, that’s increase the power of your $1 donation.

Your donation is almost doubled!

Yes our overhead is just 16.1%!

Which means for every $1 we spend:

  • 83.9¢ goes directly into helping people in need
  • 3.6¢ towards administrative costs
  • 12.5¢ to raise more funds

For every $1 we use for fundraising, we raise more so your donation will go farther.

So your donation is more than you donated, Alhamdulillah.


The most important question

The most important question should be ‘is your donation being used effectively?’

With Islamic Relief, the answer is YES! Each day, Islamic Relief works hard to be a safe pair of hands for your donations. We’re accountable to you, to the people we serve and most importantly to Allah (SWT).

Alhamdulillah, because of your support, we’ve transformed and saved over 125 million lives since 1984 as a family, and since opening our USA office in 1993 we have helped millions here at home.

In Yemen, in 2019 alone, we provided over $10 million worth of aid and, we remain on the ground in 19 out of 22 governorates. As conflict and disease continue to grip our planet, we’re there to support vulnerable communities in need.

Due to the support from Islamic Relief USA, Islamic Relief Worldwide is well positioned in countries like Afghanistan and Yemen to receive large gifts from institutional donors. The money provided to support programs in those countries from IRUSA helps build up the capacity and the reputation of those field offices so they are able to leverage even larger gifts from countries and institutions that create a multiplier effect in benefiting the people we serve in those countries.

Islamic Relief has received $22M for UNDP, and funding  in Yemen for the World Food Programme that supports 2.3 Million Yemenis per month, as well as money in Syria with WFP and other UN agencies.  But it also helps other members like the through SIDA funding in Sweden and FCDO in the UK as well DEC.

We don’t pretend to have a 100% donation policy

We aim to use your generous donations in the most effective way, whilst remaining as transparent as possible! Did you know that we’re able to multiply your donations? So, we could claim to have a 100% PLUS donation policy, but we don’t.

So, what does that 3.6% do? Well, as you know, Islamic Relief USA is a non-profit organization working to alleviate suffering right here in the US and around the world. The size of the organization requires an experienced professional staff of accountants, lawyers, management professionals, operations staff, volunteer engagement teams, monitoring and evaluation staff, safeguarding and protections staff, HR professionals, IT staff, and others to ensure fiscal responsibility, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, organizational growth, and proper implementation of our programs.  So its not as simple as dropping aid to someone.

Together, we’re saving and transforming the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Without your support we wouldn’t be able to do any of this, so please continue to give to Islamic Relief and help save even more lives.


Save a life now. Donate Today

Frequently Asked Questions

How are your donations spent?


For every $1 we spend:

  • 83.9¢ goes directly towards helping people in need
  • 12.5¢ is invested into raising more funds
  • 3.6¢ goes towards administrative costs

How much of my donation will go directly to people in need?


For every $1 donated to Islamic Relief, 83.9¢ goes towards programs and initiatives that help people in need.

3.6¢ is spent on administrative costs and 12.5¢ is invested into raising more funds.

For every 1¢ we spend on fundraising, we receive 8¢ back in donations. That’s increases the power of your $1 donation, so it is almost doubled Alhamdulillah!

That said, all of our income is used to help people in need because admin and fundraising costs are essential expenditure in helping us to achieve our aims.

Are people aware of Islamic Relief’s admin costs?


Islamic Relief believes in transparency and accountability. Information on admin costs and annual financial accounts are readily available on the Islamic Relief USA websites.

This information is also included in our Annual Report, which is independently audited and lodged. For nearly three decades, Islamic Relief USA is proud to be a leading charity in the United States. IRUSA’s standard of excellence in business operations and emphasis on community partnership has made IRUSA consistently recognized as a top-ranked non-profit.

As an organisation, we are making every effort to make people aware that Islamic Relief has admin costs and why admin costs are a necessary expenditure for a high-performing and transparent charity.

Why do we need admin costs at all?


It costs money to deliver aid and to do it well, ensuring the people who need it most receive the best possible support and ensuring that money goes to where it is needed.

Admin costs can are not just salaries, they cover governance costs (e.g. audits to comply with legal obligations and Charity Commission rules), rent for buildings, insurance, admin staff salaries, volunteer expenses, equipment (e.g. IT equipment).  These are required expenses due to the size of the organization, it requires an experienced professional staff of accountants, lawyers, management professionals and others to ensure fiscal responsibility, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, organizational growth and proper implementation of our programs. Yet still, IRUSA remains well below the industry standards in spend.

Islamic Relief ensures that it gets the best value for money to help deliver aid on the ground as well as raising more funds for the people who need it the most.

How much did you raise last year and what did you spend the money on?


In 2020 Islamic Relief USA raised a staggering $109 million.

This allowed us to provide support to around 6 million people around the world through emergency relief and development programs.

For further information on our 2020 accounts, please take a look at our Annual Report. Our 2021 annual report will be available shortly.

How much do you spend on fundraising?


There are lots of ways in which Islamic Relief raises funds and we spend just 12.5% of our income on fundraising. The money we invested to raise funds helped to generate an income of $130 million last year alone.

For every 1¢ we spend on fundraising, we receive 8¢ back in donations. Alhamdulillah!

What about charities that say they have 100% donation policy?


Each charity has to spend money on admin costs in order to cover its overheads. But each charity has the freedom to manage these costs and to report on this subject in its own way. Some charities report that they have a “100% donation policy” because they want to say that no percentage of individual donations are spent on admin. However, this does not mean they are not spending money on admin, but rather that the admin is being funded a different way.

For example, some charities say that their admin costs are covered by gift aid, corporate donations, grants from institutional donors or through their profit-making work (such as their charity shops). They may then state that any donation made by an individual goes directly to the work overseas.

However, the fact remains that all charities have to spend money on admin costs. If the admin costs are not being covered by individuals, they are being covered by another source of income.

Islamic Relief is an accountable and transparent organization and we can confidently state that in order to help those in need, admin costs are necessary. We believe it is more appropriate to show that admin costs are necessary, than to hide them, and we prefer to be transparent about them.

Who ensures that admin costs are not misused?


Islamic Relief must submit its independently audited accounts annually to the State Charity Bureaus who register charities around the nation and independent regulators like Guide Star, Charity Navigator, and BBB,  and regulate charities in the USA to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence.

We have stringent financial and governance processes that ensure donors’ money is spent with transparency, accountability and in line with donors’ wishes. As well as being subject to an annual external audit we also have an internal audit function which ensures that controls on expenditure are in place and procedures are followed. Our Board of Trustees have oversight of our accounts through an independent Audit Committee and take personal responsibility for the operations of the organization. The Audit Committee comprises of experienced specialists who give their time without remuneration.

It is crucial that charities are scrutinized and audited to ensure that the public’s hard-earned money is used in the most effective way to help people in need and to maintain trust with its donors.

Why do some charities have big offices and high tech computer equipment?


Research shows that high-performing charities actually spend more on administration than weaker charities.

Islamic Relief Worldwide is a global charity, which has been in existence since 1984. We spend just 3.6% on admin and 12.5% on raising more funds, but have been able to reach over 6 million people last year alone with life-changing and life-saving aid.

We are able to keep these costs down partly due to the economies of scale that arise on account of the scale of our global operations, through comprehensive procurement and tendering processes, as well as having been established for so long.

We invest in the equipment and infrastructure we need to ensure we are able to do our work efficiently and keep our staff safe. Our offices are designed and equipped to provide our staff with sufficient resources to fulfill their roles effectively, and they are not luxurious or any bigger than they need to be.

Why can’t Islamic Relief staff volunteer their time?


The majority of staff at Islamic Relief work on a full-time basis to ensure that donor’s money is spent in the most effective and impactful way. They are professionals who bring specialist skills and knowledge in order for us to deliver our work to high standards. This is how we can ensure that more people affected by conflict and natural disasters as well as those living in poverty can get the best help they need and deserve.

Staff would not be able to do this voluntarily on a full-time basis without a salary as they themselves need to support themselves and their families. Additionally, 95% of Islamic Relief’s overseas staff are local residents who come from the communities they serve, ensuring that the salaries they receive go back into the local community and economy.

To help us make our work go even further, we have around 22,500 volunteers in the US and many more around the world. They give their time to help with events, fundraising and other areas of work. Their contribution is invaluable and highly appreciated.

Does Islamic Relief spend money on anything else apart from aid programs, admin and fundraising?


Yes. Islamic Relief is campaigning on issues such as gender justice and climate change. We are working to end policies and practices that exploit women and girls and threaten our planet and our very future. It is important to raise awareness of these issues that are affecting the most vulnerable people in the world.

By campaigning, lobbying governments, going on marches, running petitions and putting pressure on decision-makers, we can help make the changes needed to pull people out of poverty and ensure that there is justice and equality for all.

This kind of work attracts extra funding from the United Nations and other big organizations it works with. This means even more aid, and even more lives are saved and changed.

How much are staff paid?


Islamic Relief is a global organization, raising over $130 million last year alone. We employ staff in the USA for our fundraising, legal, finance, administration, HR, Marketing and Public Affairs departments, all of which generate income. We also employ individuals in 9 regional offices to implement the programs here in the US and deliver the work on the ground.

As befitting such a wide-reaching organization, we have to recruit senior staff with a wide-ranging set of skills to ensure we deliver projects that have a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.

We have a structured salary system in place to ensure we are able to attract professional staff and that they are paid a fair wage for their expertise, in line with the cost of living in the country in which they live. Our salary bill relative to others in the sector is comparatively low and this fact speaks volumes of the commitment and passion of the people who work for Islamic Relief.

Do Zakat donations have admin costs?


Yes – Islamic Relief utilities a small percentage of Zakat donations towards admin and fundraising costs.

In the Qur’an, Allah (SWT) tells us that Zakat is designated for eight categories of people, including:

“…those employed to administer the funds…” (9:60).

We have sought the opinion of respected scholars, who have advised us that since there are eight deserving categories, each is entitled to a proportion of 12.5%. Accordingly we allocate 12.5% for the purposes of administering the funds along Shariah guidelines.

How is Gift Matching and Grants spent?


Money from Matching Gifts and Grants which is spent on support costs, including admin and raising more funds. This helps our projects and day-to-day work run efficiently, ensuring we use your donations in the most effective way possible.

Matching Gifts, Grants and InKind are included in our overall income and helps us to achieve the 83.9%, 12.5% and 3.6% allocations across projects, fundraising and admin respectively. Without it more of donors’ money would have to be spent on fundraising & admin leaving less for projects.

Isn’t fundraising costs part of admin?


Admin costs help us to deliver aid and to do it well, ensuring the people who need it most receive the best possible support and ensuring that money goes to where it is needed. It can cover governance costs (e.g. audits to comply with legal obligations and State Charity Bureau rules), rent for buildings, insurance, admin staff salaries, volunteer expenses, equipment (e.g. IT equipment) etc.

However, fundraising costs are an investment to generate more income which means we are able to help even more people.

For every 1¢ we spend on fundraising, we receive 8¢ back in donations.

Together we refer to these as ‘support costs’ and both are essential expenditure in helping us to achieve our aims.

Islamic Relief USA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID# 95-4453134) | CFC# 10194 | Islamic Relief USA © 2022 | All Rights Reserved