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Samaritan's Purse

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16 User Reviews
Samaritan's Purse was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Boone, North Carolina. The current president and CEO, as well as chair of the board is Franklin Graham. Samaritan's Purse's program includes disaster recovery and relief, medical support and supplies, as well as its most well-known program Operation Christmas Child.

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The Good

  • 89.5 percent use on program delivery
  • Award winning

Fundraising Expenses

In 2015, Samaritan's Purse spent $38,971,587 of its annual revenue on fundraising.

Program Percentage

Most charity watchdog organizations expect charities to use an average of 70 percent or more of its annual revenue for program delivery. In 2015, Samaritan's Purse used 89.5 percent of its revenue for program delivery.

Awards

Samaritan's Purse was recognized by the Liberian government on the country's independence day. They were awarded the Global Image award and Officer Grade of the Order of the Star of Africa award for its role in assisting the Liberian government in its recent Ebola outbreak. Samaritan's Purse was the only international organization which was recognized with these prestigious awards in 2015. 2006 and 2015 Samaritan's Purse received Webby awards for its audio/visual communications. In 2006, the Webby was awarded to the organization for the best nonprofit/charitable organization category. Samaritan's Purse's winning presentation in 2015 was for a piece about the Sudanese people, entitled, "South Sudan - The Heartbeat of the Innocents."
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The Bad

  • Past financial data is not available
  • Expensive administrative expenses
  • Negative press

Total Income

Samaritan's Purse does not publish financial data from past years on its website. Figures for 2014 and 2015 are available on the organization's consolidated financial statements and the IRS Form 990. Basic financial data for 2011-2013 is published by Charity Navigator. 2015: $593,792,192 2014: $504,967,964 2013: $457,723,576 2012: $374,091,979 2011: $384,903,502

Administrative Expenses

In 2015, Samaritan's Purse used $23,643,532 for administrative expenses. Of that, $572,145 was spent on Franklin Graham's salary. This is equivalent to 2.4 percent of the organization's expenses. Franklin Graham has been reported to have received salary from his father's organization of near the same amount, which is related to Samaritan's Purse. After the first allegation of his salary from both organizations, a space of a few years passed with Mr. Graham not receiving a reported salary from his father's organization, which was resumed in 2012.

Accessible Financial Information

Samaritan's Purse publishes financial information on its website; however, the organization does not publish its annual report or financial information from past years. This demonstrates a general lack of financial transparency.

Negative Press

Most of the external criticism for Samaritan's Purse falls under one of two categories: the organization's most well-known program, Operation Christmas Child, or about its current President and CEO, Franklin Graham. Operation Christmas Child Since 1990, Samaritan's Purse has asked for donations of shoeboxes filled with items for children in developing countries to share at Christmas. This program has been wildly successful, as millions have worked to participate in the call. Operation Christmas Child, while popular, has been a source of several criticisms. Some allege that the proselytizing work which goes along with the boxes is unethical or against their personal beliefs. Others are not aware of the addition of materials which are religious in nature, specifically promoting the ministry of Franklin Graham and his well-known father, Billy Graham. Others have alleged that the program itself is flawed and undermines the local economies of the developing countries by taking possible business away from local and smaller shops. Some reports state that the toys and trinkets included in the boxes are things which the children don't need or are otherwise culturally insignificant. Finally, perhaps the most serious criticism of the program comes with allegations that it is covertly racist, with boxes showing a variety of children printed upon them, with stereotypical images of children of color. Some even suggest that the program itself is flawed in that it does not promote independence,but a dependency on outside help. Franklin Graham There are many who do not agree with Franklin Graham's (or his father's) interpretation of Christianity; however, there are more serious issues which have plagued Samaritan's Purse. Franklin Graham has posted anti-Muslim statements on his personal Facebook page, calling for an end to all Muslim immigration. He has also been quoted speaking anti-Muslim rhetoric, describing the religion as "wicked," and "violent". Many people object to the large salaries that leaders of charitable organizations receive. Franklin Graham has been reported to be drawing two large salaries, one from Samaritan's Purse and the other from his father's ministry, with the combined total being over $1 million. His salary from Samaritan's Purse is considerably higher than leaders in other charitable organizations.

Donor Communication

Donors receive regular email and postal mail updates, usually additional fundraising requests. There are several people who have complained about the repeated solicitations from Samaritan's Purse. In fact, the only complaint which has been filed with the Wise Giving Alliance involved repeated attempts by an individual to remove their information from the organization's mailing lists which were unsuccessful. Samaritan's Purse maintains social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Independent charity watchdog, Charity Navigator, has rated Samaritan's Purse with four out of a possible four stars. They also earned an overall score of 98.23 out of 100 for its financial disclosure and accountability.
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The Bottom Line

The choice to support or not to support Samaritan's Purse is one which is dependent largely on one's religious and political views. Those who are in favor of more evangelical conservative Christian beliefs would possibly be more comfortable supporting the organization, while others may not feel the same. The organization lacks some transparency, which is unusual for charitable organizations, but not as uncommon for nonprofits which include active ministry in their programs.
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16 Reviews

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Rodriguez Mindalia Westport, CT

I do not know a lot about Samaritan's Purse. I contribute to them whenever I can. Why? Because I see that they go everywhere and help as much as they can, and the help is significant. I understand those who do not want to give. When I was a young girl, our family home burned down and the Red Cross put us in a hotel. So I know what it is like to be without anything and to hunger. My family received help, when most needed. So we are required to give to help others. You do not need to know who is being helped. For it is better to give than to receive. I also want to say not to judge, as I have sowed my seed, and GOD has multiplied it above and beyond what I have expected, more than five fold. So give freely, expecting nothing in return and GOD who sees everything will see what is in your heart and he will multiply it unto you accordingly. If salaries disturb you, leave that to God as well, as those who are given must account to GOD for what they do with the money they receive. Account for yourself, and leave the rest to GOD. I will continue giving to whom GOD places in my heart. I personally cannot travel to so many place to give help, as I would love to. However SP can go for me. Many are suffering during this Pandemic, I have given and given and given what I can. I believe because of that GOD has protected my family and I, for we lack nothing even though we are unemployed since COVID. I give him all the praise and Glory to his kingdom. I am not a customer of SP, I am a giver. Amen.

7 months ago

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Polly Newcastle upon Tyne, NET

I called the company to ask when I would be informed of where my box had went to, the lady who I spoke to was lovely she then put me through to a man who could answer a question I had about when exactly the boxes get sent to the children PRIOR to the current pandemic. He then informed me that it can be as long as 12 weeks for children to get their boxes after we have given them. He also said this didnt matter because the majority of the children in Africa who get them are not Christian. This floored me. A completely disgusting and stupid remark to make. I interrupted on that note to say, and I must say I said calmly that there are many children in the world who are not christian but still celebrate Christmas with gifts. I said I would not be choosing to help Samaritans Purse in the future. To which the man started shouting at me on the phone so I hung up. If it is taking up until march or april for these children to get their gifts then I would suggest asking the people in the uk to have their shoe boxes ready 12 weeks or more prior to the current collection date. I had shared the Christmas shoe box appeal at my university, with family and friends promoting it as It was something that seemed so special. I put so much thought into my shoe box and spent quite a lot. It was so warming to hope a little child would get my gifts and have a lovely Christmas. Samaratins purse are scum.

3 months ago

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Mike Hicks New Philadelphia, OH

WOW.... HURRICANE MICHAEL RESPONSE Samaritan's purse has been an organization I've supported in some way for about 20 years. But I have never seen their actions first hand. Anyone that does more then serve three people is bound to have some complaints because no one can be all things to all people. And no organization is big enough to be everywhere there's a need all the time. But the human needs after Hurricane Michael were real and immediate, on a life-threatening level for many people that just thought this was another average storm coming ashore. When they moved into Wewahitchka to serve the Gulf County area it was truly an incredible feat of coordination and effectiveness. I was blessed by not needing their assistance but I have personal friends that have benefited greatly from the love and service provided by Samaritan's Purse. I am seriously impressed and this organization is moving into the top of the charities that I'm willing to support. This kind of response and coordination does not come cheaply, and people that are capable of managing this kind of operation are able to command serious salaries in the private Market. No one should complain about what anyone in this organization makes as an income, because the amount of money that is given to actual programs is big as a percentage, and if anyone, as I've just learned through my own efforts, tries to help on a smaller scale it just costs way more money than it does going through an organization that is set up to be truly effective. Once again I have to say I am seriously impressed. Well done Samaritans Purse, and thank you for the blessing you have been my friends and our devastated region.

2 years ago

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Leanne Smith Dearborn Heights, MI

Hi my name is Leanne Smith my husband's name is Mark Smith we would just like to thank Samaritans purse for helping us through the flood in Dearborn Heights Michigan we cannot express enough how much we are in gratitude to all the volunteers who came to help us in our time of need not only that they comforted us and reminded us that god is always with us when we felt helpless they prayed for us and it meant so much and lifted our spirits more than they'll ever know thank u now we can start a new chapter in our life and you will always have a special place in our hearts thank u so much❤

1 year ago

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Nancy Whitmire Madison, AL

Samaritan's Purse has been in Jacksonville, AL now for several weeks assisting with tornado devastated areas. I have never seen an organization that does so much for people after a natural disaster! It is unbelievable to witness. They have worked so hard for everyone and do not discriminate on who they help. They are on the ground doing hard labor while other organizations just see behind a desk and turn down requests for assistance. This is a wonderful organization!!

3 years ago

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ron. brown Starkville, MS

Samaritan's Purse came to our community after a tornado. I was able to volunteer a couple of days to help with cleanup. The SP operation was one of the most organized and compassionate that I have ever seen. Very efficient. I have donated, as able, to SP since that time.

1 year ago

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Joshua Michel

At late notice, I was told about this organization and gladly accepted their outreach for volunteers to be dispatched in Fiji for 2016 Cyclone Wyston's aftermath. Seriously friendly people and amazing care for their volunteers. Follower of Christ, Josh.

3 years ago

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Rita La Grange, TX

After Hurricane Harvey, Samaritan's Purse (SP) granted a $3.2 million donation to a local La Grange, TX newly-formed non-profit, Fayette County Disaster Relief Team (FCDRT). SP did not vet this organization beforehand and many in our community now know that FCDRT is a questionable operation involving mistreatment of many Harvey victims. Our citizen's alliance has discovered that part of the donation cannot be accounted for now and SP has come into our county with the goal of "covering up" for their poor decision. The SP donation has turned into a nightmare for our community! Now, two years later, we have little need in our community for post-Harvey relief but, without seeking citizen input, SP is currently teaming with FCDRT to build a 23 acre development with 30 - 50 FREE homes for anyone from anywhere! Our community will, more than likely, become a hub for illegal immigration and our local government, school district, police & fire departments, social services etc will become stressed beyond capacity! My husband and I have been contributors to SP for years but NO MORE!!! BEWARE OF SAMARITAN'S PURSE!

1 year ago

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Ken La Grange, TX

I live in La Grange, Texas. Samaritan’s Purse is in the process of planning for a 22 acre subdivision for supposed Hurricane Harvey flood victims that owned their home and was damaged or flooded in the storm. They are collaborating with a charity called Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team. Samaritan’s Purse gave the FCDRT 3.2 million when this organization had only been in existence for a few months. Can’t get access to financials of FCDRT after repeated request even though they are required to provide this information under Texas State law. There really aren’t any persons affected by Harvey that owned their homes still needing a house. Now SP says they are going outside the county to find people to place in this subdivision. And by the way, the homes are going to be free. This is not a hand up, this is a handout. Not at all like Habitat for Humanity’s program. The area residences are against this project yet SP continues on. My wife and I gave to SP for many years but not anymore. Save your money and help a person in need directly. Many of our friends have quit donating to SP after we explained what has happened here in our town. Be careful as things aren’t always what they seem.

1 year ago

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Brenda Mertes Houston, TX

My aunt and uncle work for Samaritan's Purse. The work they do is tremendous! They have a lot of integrity and love for the people they serve. Absolutely recommend this charity to anyone.

1 year ago

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Michael Roventini Cassville, NJ

Christmas time of 2016 I participated in operation Christmas Child . I was so excited i over stuffed a shoe box with school supplies ,coloring books and a LOGO TOY. i was so disappointed when i tried to tract my shoe box and found out it was never delivered. The check i sent for shipping was cashed and i have no idea where it went. I thought i was making a child overseas happy. Only GOD knows where the shoe box went

2 years ago

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Danielle Powell Long Beach, MS

Very transparent company. Glad to see the openess of where your funds go as it makes you feel more confident. Great to see so much of the donated money actually help someone.

1 year ago

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Zac Cannon Long Beach, MS

My wife and I donate to Samaritan's Purse every Christmas. They are a great organization and they support a great cause and help people who really need the support!

1 year ago

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Sharon Wilkesboro, NC

SP has communities not even 30 minutes from them and have the most impoverished county in all of NC. There is one food centers that give food once a month and the screening process is horrible. There is alot to be said about an organization that makes that much profit but yet economically depressed areas are all around them.

1 year ago

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Rick roll Saint Paul, MN

When I asked them to give specifics about how they are helping it took 2 weeks to get a response that basically said “we are praying for them” I will not give to this company again.

3 years ago

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SkylarPickens Chicago, IL

Samaritan’s Purse is a great charity! They truly are blessed and help whoever is in need.

1 year ago

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