The generous support of our donors has allowed us to reach over 120 million people since 1984. Behind that impressive statistic is millions of pounds worth of donations, a massive global aid operation, and a huge amount of trust. It is an investment of trust on the part of our donors – or amanah – that we take seriously at Islamic Relief.
When we promise your donation is in safe hands, we mean we work very hard to ensure you can trust us to use your donation in the most effective way to ease the suffering of others. You can trust us to deliver aid programmes of the highest quality that bring immediate relief and long-term benefit to people’s lives. You can also trust that your money goes where we say it is going. You can trust that we follow the Islamic, legal and good practice standards you would expect of the world’s largest independent Muslim charity.
None of that would be possible if our admin costs were 0% – which is a claim some charities make. And we would not be able to continue our work if we didn’t spend a portion of our income on raising more funds.
Where your money goes
Your donation is safe in our hands because we are transparent about how much we raise and where it is spent. In 2019 we raised £130 million and reached almost 6.8 million people. £100 million of that was from individual donors; the rest from institutional funding or donations from our charity shops. For every £1 you donate to Islamic Relief, 87p is spent on helping people in need, 9p goes towards raising more funds and 4p is spent on admin costs.
Admin is overhead expenses like rent for offices and equipment like computers and phones. It also covers the cost of safeguarding vulnerable people, providing first-class training to staff, auditing our accounts, ensuring cyber security and complying with all our legal obligations as a charity.
Fundraising is about communicating with our donors, letting them know what humanitarian issues the world is facing and the difference we can make with their support. It covers all the different ways we raise money including online appeals, fundraising events and activities, placing adverts, printing leaflets, coordinating volunteers, etc. For every £1 we spend on fundraising, we make £10 back, allowing us to reach even more people in need.
Why you can trust us
We are accountable to Allah, to our donors and to all those we have the honour to serve. In line with our Islamic values of ihsan (excellence) and amanah (custodianship), we are committed to ensuring your donations are used in the most efficient way and we provide the best possible service to those we serve.
We believe in transparency and accountability. That’s why we’re clear that we have admin and fundraising costs and that they are necessary expenditure for a global charity committed to the highest international humanitarian standards. Information on our admin costs and financial accounts are published every year in our Annual Report and Financial Statements which are independently audited, lodged with the Charity Commission and published on our website.
That does not mean we are perfect. We are constantly seeking opportunities to cut costs without cutting corners, to work more efficiently and to reduce waste. We train all our staff to adhere to our Islamic, ethical and humanitarian standards and continue to explore ways to improve our practices and reduce expenditure. What we don’t do is bypass professional standards or expect to operate solely on goodwill just because we are a Muslim charity. If anything, having Islamic in our name and operating in some of the world’s most troubled regions invites a level of scrutiny that means our processes, performance and transparency have to be second to none.
Why you need to ask questions
Every charity is accountable to its donors, and every donor has a right to ask questions about how their money is spent. We hope the conversation will move from ‘why do you have admin costs?’ to ‘how efficient and effective are you with my money?’ and ‘how is my donation making a difference?’
If a charity is claiming to have zero admin costs, ask questions. If an aid programme is not evaluated for its impact, ask questions. If staff are not trained in safeguarding vulnerable people, ask questions. If an organisation doesn’t protect your personal data, ask questions. And if well-meaning humanitarians are not experts in their field, ask questions.
We’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions about how we spend donors’ money. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to provide as much information as you need to assure you that your donation is in safe hands.
If you have any further queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org