Direct Relief works in the U.S. and internationally to equip doctors and nurses with life-saving medical resources to care for the world's most vulnerable people. | Credit: Courtesy of Direct Relief / David Uttley

Santa Barbara–based charity Direct Relief has become the third largest in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine’s newly released annual ranking of the 100 largest U.S. charities by private donations. 

Direct Relief received $1.99 billion in private donations — a 39 percent increase over last year — in its fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, and secured a score of 100 percent for both charitable commitment (how much of a charity’s total expense went directly to the charitable purpose) and fundraising efficiency (the percent of private donations remaining after deducting fundraising expenditures). This year, the organization has provided assistance to every U.S. state and 99 other countries worldwide. 

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Direct Relief, one of the world’s foremost channels for humanitarian medical aid, utilized an unprecedented $1.82 billion in donated medicines and services and $171 million in private cash contributions to provide more humanitarian assistance this year than ever before. In the U.S. alone, Direct Relief has responded to large-scale wildfires, the most active hurricanes in U.S. history, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The organization has supported more than 2,400 healthcare providers in medically underserved areas as well as hospitals and public agencies through 26 thousand deliveries of medications and supplies and over 13 million units of personal protective equipment. Public generosity further enabled Direct Relief to disburse over $43 million in cash grants to more than 500 nonprofit community health centers and free and charitable clinics in the United States, which often serve racial and ethnic minority groups especially vulnerable to COVID-19 hospitalizations and complications.

The organization accepts no government funding, instead relying on private, charitable contributions and donated medicine and supplies at wholesale prices. Zero percent of donated funds go to Direct Relief’s fundraising efforts, and designated contributions for specific programs or emergency responses are utilized only on expenses related to supporting that program or response.

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