Posted by: charityinfo | February 20, 2012

Benchmark of Efficiency


This charity organization began as a small operation to help relatives and fellow Eastern Europeans after the Second World War. A wealthy Estonian immigrant by the name of William Zimdin started to send relief goods to relatives, friends, and former employees in Eastern Europe.  In 1948 he established the William Zimdin Foundation as a non-profit corporation in California.

Dezso Karczag took over after Zimdin’s death. The corporation changed its name to Direct Relief Foundation in 1957 and to Direct Relief International in 1982 reflecting its more global operations. Perhaps Zimdin never imagined that his original intent of helping fellow Eastern Europeans would one day lead to the formation of a large charitable organization with a very high reputation for fund efficiency use.

The organization now provides aid to millions of people every day. The need may be because of disaster or other causes.  Its operation is not only in Europe but the rest of the world including the U.S.  It’s involved in a project restoring vision in El Salvador, providing aid in Haiti, wildfires in Arizona, U.S. tornado storms, and earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

It has established a system of being able to provide relief aid at the least cost possible.  This allows it not only to respond for situational emergency relief but also perform sustained support effort. It has been helping Tibetan refugees for over 40 years now.  The organization is involved in charity work in more than 70 countries.

It has a base of strong donors including medical product donors. It bases its costs on wholesale prices that where independently formed instead of relying on donor companies’ high retail prices.  The organization’s known efficiency in using donations has enabled it to get large funding such as from the estate of long time supporter Mr. Guy DiStefano which gave $34 million dollars. With less than 2% going to staff and fund raising expenses and over 98% going to program expenses, Forbes Magazine has rated this organization as 100% efficient in fund raising.

This shows that even in charity there should be some hard-nosed approaches to expenses in order to become an even more effective organization in giving others a better way of life.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: