Health partnerships, expanded domestic assistance, and emergency response plans announced at nonprofit's annual shareholders' meeting
SANTA BARBARA, CA (June 05, 2007) - Direct Relief International announced over $244 million in financial and in-kind revenue -- all from private sources -- and having furnished over $141 million in humanitarian assistance during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007. The figures were released at the organization's fifth annual shareholders' meeting, which included leaders of community health services in Africa, Latin America, and the United States.
Record Revenue Reported. Cash revenue of $42.5 million included a gift of $32.4 million from the estate of Mr. H. Guy DiStefano of Issaquah, Washington. In-kind contributions of $201 million wholesale included contributions from dozens of the world's leading healthcare companies.
"In a year that was thankfully marked by the absence of high-profile disasters as in each of the two previous years, we were very pleased and deeply thankful that people and businesses increased their level of support," said CEO and President Thomas Tighe. He also noted that, for the fifth year in a row, Direct Relief had been rated by Forbes magazine as 100 percent efficient in fundraising efficiency - one of only two groups among all nonprofits in the United States.
Expanded Assistance and New Partnerships. Direct Relief launched a nationwide Vitamin A campaign in El Salvador in fiscal year 2007 with Salvadoran partner organization FUDEM. This three-year project, similar to the long-standing national sponsorship of the national Vitamin A program in Nicaragua, was among the program highlights reported.
Among other highlights were:
- A record 34 million courses of treatment provided through local health care programs worldwide
- The addition of 39 new healthcare partners internationally
- Rapid escalation of support to US safety net clinics serving uninsured persons, including free medicines being provided to over 800 clinics in all 50 states
- New global partnerships forged with Marie Stopes International, the African Medical Research and Education Foundation (AMREF), the Foundation for Hospice Support in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the South Africa Hospice and Palliative Care Association
- Progress on previous years' emergency activities (tsunami, Pakistan and Indonesian earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina) towards which more than $20 million in cash investments have been made to over dozens of local health organizations in affected areas. Over 95 percent of all such designated contributions have been spent.
Dynamic Corporate Involvement. Direct Relief also reported the tremendous and catalytic support that it had received during the year. FedEx, Abbott Laboratories, Schering-Plough, Boerhinger-Ingelheim, BD, Merck, Procter and Gamble, Leiner Healthcare each made significant major investments in Direct Relief's health and emergency response activities. In addition, Direct Relief unveiled its worldwide activities on premium Google imagery software donated by Google, whose support also led to a record 8 million unique visitors to Direct Relief's website during the year.
Bequest to be used for Emergency Fund, Initiatives, and to Cover Overhead. The unanticipated gift of $34 million dollars, "Is a tremendous boost to our efforts to expand assistance to people in need," said Tighe. With these funds, Direct Relief--
- Has established an emergency revolving fund to enable quick response to emergencies
- Will cover 100 percent of its traditionally low administrative and fundraising expenses
- Will seek matching co-funders to support long-term plans to strengthen local health services
- Has established a separate, wholly controlled supporting foundation to enable long-term organizational viability
"We understand clearly that this gift is to Direct Relief International, but it is for the people whom we serve. This gift will translate directly into millions of people receiving care that they need and otherwise would not receive and more frontline clinics around the world having resources they need and otherwise would not have," said Tighe.
Continued Efficiency, High Leverage. The organization retained its historically high efficiency while increasing the scope of its work. In addition to furnishing $4.8 million in cash grants to locally run healthcare projects, Direct Relief furnished 1094 tons of humanitarian medical material through 1071 shipments to 60 countries. In its core medical material assistance programs, the organization provided $21.86 in wholesale medical material aid medical aid for each dollar spent.
Tighe also explained that because a significant amount of the $200 million in medical donations was received late in the fiscal year, those inventories would be drawn upon in the current fiscal year.
Direct Relief began holding annual Shareholders' meetings in 2002 as a means of providing greater transparency to its donors and the public as to how the organization receives and allocates its resources, and to provide an opportunity for collaborative learning and discussion between its worldwide partners.
About Direct Relief International
Founded in 1948, Direct Relief International is a Santa Barbara, California-based nonprofit organization focused on improving the quality of life by bringing critically needed medicines and supplies to local healthcare providers worldwide. In 2006, Direct Relief provided over $200 million in direct aid through medical material assistance and targeted cash grants to more than 300 healthcare facilities and organizations in 56 countries, providing 23.8 million courses of treatment. Direct Relief is one of two charities ranked by Forbes that has received a perfect fundraising efficiency score for five consecutive years.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jason Kravitz, Communications Director (805) 964-4767, Jim Prosser, Press Secretary