There are a small number of high-impact charities that are active in Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OpT), as well as in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kashmir, Somalia and elsewhere.
A leading organisation like UNRWA which manages large schools, clinics, and off-site camps is understandably going to have sizeable expenses given their enlarged footprint, impact, headcount, and infrastructure – while a small charity with for e.g., 2-3 volunteers may spend much smaller amounts on expenses, but in terms of scale, will also have a much smaller reach compared to UNRWA, Oxfam and others.
A large, established charity will also likely have the experience and local connectivity to assess what is needed today, tomorrow and in the medium to long term while a small charity might be able to operate with minimal complexity and move much faster.
Put simply, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Given their history, track record, reach, impact, commitment and achievements to-date, running a charity is about delivering aid (with full accountability) which understandably – always costs money.
Each of these leading 47+ charities/NGOs play a very important role in their own respective way.
While there are at least 10+ known Muslim charities with a 100% donation policy, most well established Muslim charities spend an average of 16% on operating expenses, with 8% spent on fundraising and the other 8% on governance including audits.
16% also appears to be largely in line with leading non-Muslim charities around the world:
|Charities||% Spent on Expenses|
|World Vision UK:||21|
|United Jewish Israel Appeal||20|
|Plan International UK||17|
|The Central British Fund for World Jewish Relief||16.3|
|Save the Children||14|
|Catholic Agency for Overseas Development||13|
|Relief International UK||9|
For source (Ayaan Institute: Aiding the Ummah : Analysing the Muslim Humanitarian Charity Sector in the UK), click here.
The costs of sending donations into Gaza are exploitatively high.
For example, if one were to send HK$2,000 into Gaza via PayPal, Western Union or MoneyGram, they will stealthily quote an FX rate that is approximately 4% higher than the official FX rate (HK-USD-Shekels). Next, they will charge approximately HK$150+ for the transfer, costing in total no less than 8%-12%, of the amount one is trying to send.
Put simply, for every US$100 sent into Gaza, Western Union, PayPal and others will unashamedly pocket up to $12+ for itself. They will likely claim the regulatory compliance cost is high and while this is partly true, 12% is astronomically high by any standard.
LaunchGood, JustGiving, DonorBox, GoFundMe & MuslimGiving
There are also several crowdfunding platforms today.
|LaunchGood||2.9% credit card processing fee + 0.30 cents|
|GoFundMe||2.9% credit card processing fee + 0.30 cents|
|MuslimGiving||Voluntary fees decided by users|