December 3, 2001 - Direct Relief headed by RPCV Thomas Tighe named one of Best US Charities

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2001: 12 December 2001 Peace Corps Headlines: December 3, 2001 - Direct Relief headed by RPCV Thomas Tighe named one of Best US Charities

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 12:21 pm: Edit Post

Read this press release on Direct Relief headed by RPCV Thomas Tighe which has been named one of the best US Charities and visit their web site at:

Direct Relief


Direct Relief International Named One of Best U.S. Charities; California Organization in Worth Magazine

Dec 3, 2001 - Business Wire Author(s): Business Editors

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 3, 2001--Direct Relief International, a California-based nonprofit organization that provides international medical aid and emergency relief, has been named by Worth Magazine as one of the best charities in the United States.

The magazine's December 2001 issue lists "The 100 Best Charities," which is based on empirical data, peer review, philanthropy experts' opinions, and an assessment of impact.

The list includes charitable organizations working in the fields of health, human services, environment, relief and development, and education. Direct Relief International, a non-religious organization, was one of 21 organizations listed in the relief and development category. It is the largest of the three California organizations appearing on Worth's list.

"We are honored that Worth selected us as one of the 100 best charitable organizations in our country," said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. "Hundreds of thousands of fine organizations, and millions of committed people are involved in nonprofit activities, so this is a wonderful recognition of our efforts to help people live fuller lives around the world."

Established in 1948 by two immigrant businessmen who fled Europe at the onset of WWII, Direct Relief International provides medical material resources to local health workers in poor countries and in response to disasters. This year, the organization has provided more than $72 million (wholesale value) in medical aid to 57 countries -- enough provisions to serve more than 9 million people and to keep hundreds of local health professionals productively engaged.

With product donations from leading medical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Becton-Dickinson, Merck, Pfizer, and Bristol- Myers Squibb, Direct Relief International leverages its operating budget of less than $2.5 million into medical assistance that last year provided $29 in aid for each dollar it received in contributions.

The organization operates out of a 36,000 square-foot warehouse in California, with a staff of 20 full-time and 9 part-time employees, supported by 400 active volunteers. Its fundraising and administrative expenses are among the lowest of all U.S. charitable organizations, spending only 0.3% of its support on fundraising and a total of 1.14% on combined fundraising and administration in 2000.

"With the heightened public scrutiny of what nonprofit organizations like ours do with their donors' money, this independent validation by a leading financial journal is particularly meaningful," Tighe said. "Although nonprofit organizations often deal with social issues with intrinsic value, they must -- like private businesses -- provide a good service in a way that makes financial sense."

Although it lacks broad-based name recognition, Direct Relief International was recently ranked the 165th largest organization in the United States, based on private support, by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in its annual "Philanthropy 400" list (November 1, 2001 issue). That issue also ranked the organization as the largest California-based organization involved in international work, based on private support.

"These independent, outside reviews are very helpful to communicate to the public the scope and value of what we do in providing assistance," Tighe said. "Our work involves material, but our focus always has been on indigenous people who need the means to overcome enormous obstacles to fulfill the promise of their lives."

In recent weeks, Direct Relief International has provided substantial medical aid to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Tighe, who served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Peace Corps' worldwide operations from 1995-2000, noted that Direct Relief International's support comes overwhelmingly from private sources, not federal government grants or contracts. "Many of the private, nonprofit organizations do excellent work with the taxpayers' money, as does the Peace Corps, which is a federal program. Direct Relief International relies on private support from people and businesses. Though this approach is financially challenging, it is enormously gratifying to see the positive effect of private citizens directly supporting the hard, complicated work of helping people around the world achieve a better life."

Note to Editors: For more information, please visit the Direct Relief International website at http://www.directrelief.org. To arrange for an interview with the president of Direct Relief International, for photos, or information on Direct Relief International relief efforts, including aid to Afghan refugees, call 805/962-5792.

By SUZANNE SOLAZZO (ana.ckr.com - 63.168.109.35) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 12:46 pm: Edit Post

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