Active Charities

Delivering aid (with full accountability), always costs money.

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.

1Ummah Welfare Trust100% Donation Policy
2One Nation100% Donation Policy
3Islamic Aid100% Donation Policy
4Muslim Global Relief100% Donation Policy
5One Ummah100% Donation Policy
6Abdullah Aid100% Donation Policy
7SKT Welfare100% Donation Policy
8Global Helping Hands100% Donation Policy.
9Children of Adam100% Donation Policy.
10Muslims in Need100% Donation Policy.
11United Palestinian Appeal98% Donation Policy
12Muslim Hands0-10%
13Muslim Charity0-12%
14Islamic Relief4-13%
16International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement6.5%
17Disasters Emergency Committee7.3%
18Children of Peace9%
19iF Charity10%
22Medical Aid for Palestinians13%
23Humanity Inclusion14%
24Save the Children14%
25Physicians for Human Rights15% (On Average)
26SOS Children’s Villages16%
27Penny Appeal17.84%
28Middle East Children’s Alliance18%
30Human Concern20%
31Rebuilding Alliance20%
32Oxfam International23%
33UNRWARefer to Annual Report
34Palestine Children’s Relief FundRefer to Annual Report
35Muslim AidRefer to Annual Report
36Human AppealRefer to Annual Report
37Global Relief TrustRefer to Annual Report
38Defense for Children International (Palestine)Refer to Annual Report
39Palestine International Medical Aid (PIMA)
40Arab Campaign for Education for All
41Palestine Red Crescent Society
42Baitulmaal USA
43American Friends Service Committee
45Reach Education Fund
46Al-Amal Institute for Orphans
47Challenge to Change
Note: The expenses vary from country-to-country for charities with operations across the world

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 Appeal20
Plan International UK17
The Central British Fund for World Jewish Relief16.3
Save the Children14
Christian Aid13
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development13
Relief International UK9

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.

LaunchGood2.9% credit card processing fee + 0.30 cents
JustGivingbetween 1.9%-2.9%
GoFundMe2.9% credit card processing fee + 0.30 cents
MuslimGivingVoluntary fees decided by users
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