Increasing support for worldwide relief efforts.

Feb 26 2020 | PayPal editorial staff

Direct Relief raises mission-critical funds, with help from PayPal Giving Fund.

As its name indicates, Direct Relief offers humanitarian medical aid directly to people who have been affected by natural disasters, conflicts, and poverty. The nonprofit was launched in 1948, and works in the United States and more than 95 countries. In 2019, Direct Relief provided $1.3 billion in humanitarian assistance across the United States and around the world. In its “Top 10 List” list for 2019, Charity Navigator recognized Direct Relief as the fourth ranked, and as the largest California-based charity on the list.*

Speed is critical to Direct Relief’s ability to deliver medical supplies and grants to people in need. The organization works with healthcare providers and other partners in order to understand the situation on the ground, assess immediate healthcare needs for survivors, and respond quickly and efficiently with help. Donations to Direct Relief help to fund projects like the shipment of hurricane-preparedness materials to regions likely to be impacted by storms, and transportation of medical supplies to areas with fragile health systems.

Reaching new donors.

To support its programs, Direct Relief was looking for ways to reach new donors and make it easy for people to contribute. “We don’t really use direct mail because the response rate is typically low,” explains Thomas Tighe, president and CEO at Direct Relief.

PayPal Giving Fund is helping Direct Relief to reach a new audience, connecting the nonprofit with PayPal’s growing base of hundreds of millions of potential donors in more than 200 markets, as well as with PayPal’s merchant partners. 

“There are people who would have never found us otherwise,” Tighe says. “Without PayPal, we would’ve never been able to penetrate their consciousness. PayPal and PayPal Giving Fund provide a streamlined and frictionless way for us to reach more donors, and for donors to connect with us and provide support.”

Once Direct Relief enrolled in PayPal Giving Fund, the nonprofit received a profile page on PayPal’s fundraising site. Donors discover nonprofits like Direct Relief by searching for causes that they want to support; they can donate through PayPal, at no charge to the nonprofit.

PayPal partnership helps to fund delivery of medical services.

Being featured in PayPal’s fundraising platform has made a huge difference in Direct Relief ’s ability to raise mission-critical funds, especially during disaster relief and holiday campaigns. Since 2016, the nonprofit raised over $8.9M through PayPal Giving Fund.** 

The partnership with PayPal has empowered Direct Relief to make an even greater – and swifter – impact in places like Mexico, Syria, Yemen, and the regions in the southern United States and the Caribbean still recovering from the effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria while also mobilizing responses to natural disasters in 2019 including Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and wildfires across California and Australia.

In 2019, Direct Relief delivered $1.28 billion in humanitarian medical material aid to partner organizations in all 50 U.S. states and in 96 other countries, plus $20.92 million in critically needed financial support to several partner organizations worldwide. These funds were used to respond to crises, rebuild damaged facilities, provide training for frontline health workers, and extend care to more patients who lacked other options. 

As large-scale emergencies become more frequent and intense, Direct Relief remains committed to the long-term recovery of health systems in affected communities that will be essential in future disasters.
“What PayPal has enabled just through its payment system has translated directly into more people being able to participate in supporting other people in need in a very practical, meaningful way,” Tighe says, “and with more of the funds contributed actually getting to the purpose of why they were contributed.”

About PayPal for Nonprofits.

More than 950,000 charities, nonprofits, schools, political campaigns, and crowdfunders around the world trust PayPal to help them fundraise billions of dollars every year. PayPal can help your nonprofit with in-person and online fundraising – through the PayPal Donate button and solutions for mobile donations, event fundraising, and more. PayPal offers special discounts for charities and universities.

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

*Charity Navigator, “Top 10 Charities Everyone’s Heard Of”:
**Based on PayPal internal data 2016-2019

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