For every 1p that we spend on fundraising, we raise an additional 10p, that’s an extra 90p on top of your £1.

Your donation is almost doubled!

Yes our admin is just 4p!

For every £1 we spend:

  • 87p goes directly into helping people in need
  • 4p towards administrative costs
  • 9p to raise more funds

For every £1 we use for fundraising, we raise £10 more.

So your donation is almost DOUBLED, Alhamdulillah.

Please note that when you make a Zakat donation, a maximum amount of 12.5% is allocated towards administrative and fundraising support costs.

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 120 million lives since 1984.

In Syria, in 2019 alone, we provided £35 million worth of aid and in Yemen, 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.

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

We aim to use your generous donations in the most effective way possible, 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.

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



can provide a family with food for a month
can provide four people with medical treatment through a mobile health clinic in Jordan
can provide an essential hygiene kit to four families living in conflict
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Frequently Asked Questions

How are your donations spent?

For every £1 we spend:

  • 87p goes directly towards helping people in need
  • 9p is invested into raising more funds
  • 4p goes towards administrative costs

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

For every £1 donated to Islamic Relief, 87p goes directly towards programmes and initiatives that help people in need.

4p is spent on administrative costs and 9p is invested into raising more funds.

For every 1p we spend on fundraising, we receive 10p back in donations. That’s 90p on top 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.

Please note that when you make a Zakat donation, a maximum amount of 12.5% is allocated towards administrative and fundraising support costs.

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 UK and Islamic Relief Worldwide websites. This information is also included in our Annual Report which is independently audited and lodged with the Charity Commission. The Annual Report is distributed to key stakeholders, placed on our websites, promoted on social media and is also available from the Charity Commission website.

We have also written an article about our admin costs in the quarterly bulletin of the Muslim Charities’ Forum (MCF), of which we are a leading member. This year, our pre-Ramadan awareness-raising campaign is focusing on our admin costs. 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 that money is not going to the wrong places.

Admin costs can cover governance costs (e.g. audits), monitoring and evaluation (to ensure the projects are delivered and had the planned impact), rent for buildings, insurance, appropriate staff salaries, volunteer expenses, equipment (e.g. laptops, phones) etc.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) warns that “it can be a false economy to skimp on some of the ‘back office’ or infrastructure that charities need to get the job done properly. No charity wants to spend more than it has to on computers, for example, but if its ICT systems aren’t up to the job, it could lead to inefficiencies and lost time.”

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.

Why does the page on your website explaining how donations are spent have different figures from those shown on the Charity Commission website?

The expenditure breakdown on the Charity Commission (CC) website does not show Admin/support costs separately. Each of the CC expenditure headings: Raising funds, Charitable activities and Other includes a share of admin costs.

In our breakdown we have shown Admin separately, as we understand this is an important figure for some of our donors and that it may be difficult for donors to calculate this figure directly from the notes to our financial accounts. We want to be transparent and make this information accessible to our donors.

Also Other costs in the CC breakdown are included within the ‘Raising funds’ category in our breakdown as these are primarily trading activities that raise unrestricted funds.

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

In 2020 Islamic Relief Worldwide raised approximately £130 million. This allowed us to support und 13.8 million people in 37 countries around the world with emergency relief and development programmes. For further information, please visit our website and social media accounts or request a copy of our Annual Report.

How much do you spend on fundraising?

There are lots of ways in which Islamic Relief raises funds and we spend just 9% 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 1p we spend on fundraising, we receive 10p back in donations. That’s 90p on top of your £1 donation, so it is almost doubled Alhamdulillah!

What about charities that have 100% donation policy - why can’t Islamic Relief do the same?

It is very unlikely for a charity to be able to have a 100% donation policy. We think this is just creative accountancy or marketing speak which are used to try to attract donors to a particular charity. All charities have admin costs: if they are not covered by donations, they have to be covered by other methods.

Islamic Relief is an accountable and transparent organisation and we can confidently state that in order to help those in need, admin costs are necessary. Islamic Relief would not be able to operate on the scale it does without spending money to ensure it reaches as many people in need as possible.

But charity X says that it has a 100% donation policy. How are they saying this is possible?

Each charity has to spend money on admin costs. But each charity can report how those admin costs are covered. Some say that they have a 100% donation policy because they want to say that no individual donations are spent on admin.

For example, some charities say that their admin costs are covered by corporate donations or grants from institutional donors or by their profit-making work (such as their charity shops). And 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.

However, we believe it is more appropriate to show that admin costs are necessary, 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 Charity Commission, who register and regulate charities in England and Wales to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence.

The Charity Commission is an independent, non-ministerial government department accountable to Parliament. If the Charity Commission has any concerns about the way a charity is running itself or presenting its information, it can hold the charity to account.

It is crucial that charities are scrutinised 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. For example, “Kids’ Company” boasted that they kept overheads as low as possible by keeping paper records for 36,000 children and young adults it supported, stored in 80 filing cabinets. This was a significant factor that led to the charity’s collapse. Meanwhile, Islamic Relief Worldwide is a global charity, which has been in existence for more than 35 years; spending 4% on admin and 9% on raising more funds, but able to reach over 13.8 million 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 our size and 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 fulfil their roles effectively, and they are not luxurious or any bigger than they need to be.

Why can’t Islamic Relief staff work for free or 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.

Islamic Relief is also working to help communities build their future with long-term projects and this can take a huge amount of work, commitment and time for staff.

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. Without staff, the work could not continue.

Those working for Islamic Relief are also an investment to raise more money, awareness and funds which ultimately means we can reach and help more people.

The scope of international development, campaigning, advocacy and working to raise awareness of those suffering across the work is a mammoth task and even full-time staff cannot cover everything. This is why we also ask volunteers to help by giving their time to help with events, fundraising, advocacy, campaigning and delivering aid to vulnerable people right here in the UK. We engage around 3,000 volunteers in the UK – their contribution is invaluable and highly appreciated.

Nearly all Islamic Relief’s overseas staff and volunteers are local people who come from the communities they serve.

Does Islamic Relief spend money on anything else apart from aid programmes, 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 work attracts extra funding from the United Nations and other big organisations it works with. This means even more aid, and even more lives are saved and changed.

How much do you pay staff?

In 2020, over 450 staff were employed by Islamic Relief in the UK. This includes charity staff in our offices in Birmingham and London, plus staff in our training department, HAD, plus staff in our charity shops and recycling company, TIC.

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 different parts of the world. This is usually lower than other charities of a similar size as we are fortunate to attract staff and volunteers who are committed to working for Islamic Relief. This includes the CEO – who is paid a lot less than other charity CEOs of the same size.

It may also be worth bearing in mind that the CEO not only manages the charity, but also the profit- making branches of the Islamic Relief network – such as the Humanitarian Academy for Development (our training arm) and TIC (our trading arm). Despite this, the CEO is still paid a charity salary only – which is much less than what they would earn in the private or public sector.

We also have local staff in field offices, who implement the programmes overseas and deliver the work on the ground.

Islamic Relief is a global organisation, raising more than £130 million. We are a complex organisation because as well as delivering aid programmes we also run a network of charity shops and a clothing recycling business. As befitting such as wide-reaching organisation, we have to recruit senior staff with a wide-ranging set of skills. 95% of our overseas staff are local people so the money goes back into the local community and economy.

What is your CEO’s salary and can this be justified?

The CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide earns less than £100k – it is far less than CEOs of other UK based charities of a similar size and remit.

We consider this salary appropriate for a CEO of an international NGO and a social enterprise:

  • with an income over £130m
  • a worldwide network of 37 offices in some of the most troubled countries of the world,
  • a workforce of 450 in the UK (approaching 4,000 globally)
  • a complex structure encompassing a network of fundraising offices in the Americas, Middle East and Europe
  • two profit-making organisations (HAD and TIC) which raise money to support the charitable aims of the organisation.

Running a charity and social enterprise of this size is a huge task that requires overseeing hundreds of people working in different crucial roles. We also run a network of charity shops and a clothing recycling scheme to generate profit and help more people in need. The CEO is often working long hours away from family and overseeing a huge responsibility. In comparison to many other NGOs of a similar scale and size, the CEO of Islamic Relief is paid on a lower scale.

Do Zakat donations have admin costs?

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

When you make a Zakat donation, we take a fixed amount of 12.5% in admin fees.

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 Aid spent?

Money from gift aid 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.

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 Charity Commission 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 1p we spend on fundraising, we receive 10p back in donations. That’s 90p on top of your £1 donation, so it is almost doubled Alhamdulillah!

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

© Copyright 2022 Islamic Relief Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved. Registered Charity No. 328158

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