Friday, December 31, 2010

What's the matter with the Save Darfur Coalition?

"What's the matter wih the Save Darfur Coalition?" someone asked me yesterday.   She told me she'd been giving regularly, in response to regular solicitations, for years, and she seemed to think that the organization delivered humanitarian relief on the ground, in Darfur.

Here's the Better Business Bureau's review of Save Darfur, in 2007, which said that it failed to meet three standards of charity accountability:

Standard 3: Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings 

Standard 12: Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all

Their program budget that year had been over $48 million, nearly $34 million of which went to advertising their campaign regarding U.S. foreign policy.  They gave nothing to deliver food, medical relief, shelter, education, or infrastructure in Darfur.

Its Executive Director David Rubinstein, in 2007, earned $169,678.

BBB Wise Giving Report for
Save Darfur Coalition

BBB Wise Giving Report issued February 2009
BBB Wise Giving Report expires February 2011
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

Find out more about this charity:

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Charity Contact Information

Name:Save Darfur Coalition
Address:2120 L Street, NW
Suite 335
Washington, DC 20037
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BBB Wise Giving Alliance Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 2005, District of Columbia
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: “to raise public awareness and mobilize an effective and immediate response to end the atrocities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.”
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Evaluation Conclusions


Save Darfur Coalition (SDC) does not meet the following 3 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Standard 3: Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings - An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.
  • SDC does not meet the meeting frequency provision of this Standard for meetings held in the past fiscal year because although six meetings were held, only one was in person.
Standard 12: Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses - Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. If the charity has more than one major program category, the schedule should provide a breakdown for each category.
  • SDC does not meet this Standard because its financial statements did not include a detailed functional breakdown of expenses by natural classification (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities.
Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.
  • SDC does not meet this Standard because it states it does not have an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year.
Save Darfur Coalition (SDC) meets the remaining 17 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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SDC is a coalition of faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations, and community groups devoted to ending the genocide in Darfur. Through advocacy efforts, on both the domestic and international fronts the coalition is seeking to bring peace to a war-torn region. The organization advocates for ending the violence against the Darfuri people; facilitating the provision of adequate and unhindered humanitarian aid; establishing conditions for the safe and voluntary return of displaced people; promoting the long-term development of Darfur’s infrastructure; and holding the perpetrators of the genocide accountable.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007, SDC's program expenses were:

Grassroots activity10,266,775
International activism4,567,315
Total Program Expenses:$48,694,925

1 comment:

  1. Hey,wow. this is pretty meaningful. i got a letter from the Save Darfur Coalition today, and it had postcards to send to people, with pictures like those to help spread awareness for the people in Darfur. Good job.Thank you!!!
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