Charity Review

  • Issued: January 2013
  • Expires: January 2015

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Accredited Charity

Meets Standards

703-310-1130

2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 350
Arlington, VA 22202

http://www.refugees.org
Accredited Charity

703-310-1130

2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 350
Arlington, VA 22202

http://www.refugees.org
Accredited Charity

Accredited Charity

Meets Standards

Standards For Charity Accountability

Governance

  1. Board Oversight

    Oversight of Operations and Staff: Standard 1

    Description
    Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Board Size

    Number of Board Members: Standard 2

    Description
    Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Board Meetings

    Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings: Standard 3

    Description
    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.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Board Compensation

    Compensated Board Members: Standard 4

    Description
    Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Conflict of Interest

    Conflict of Interest: Standard 5

    Description
    No transaction(s) in which any board or staff members have material conflicting interests with the charity resulting from any relationship or business affiliation. Factors that will be considered when concluding whether or not a related party transaction constitutes a conflict of interest and if such a conflict is material, include, but are not limited to: any arm's length procedures established by the charity; the size of the transaction relative to like expenses of the charity; whether the interested party participated in the board vote on the transaction; if competitive bids were sought and whether the transaction is one-time, recurring or ongoing.

    The organization meets this standard.

Measuring Effectiveness

  1. Effectiveness Policy

    Board Policy on Effectiveness: Standard 6

    Description
    Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Effectiveness Report

    Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness: Standard 7

    Description
    Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

    The organization meets this standard.

Finances

  1. Program Expenses

    Program Service Expense Ratio: Standard 8

    Description
    Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Fund Raising Expenses

    Fund Raising Expense Ratio: Standard 9

    Description
    Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Accumulating Funds

    Ending Net Assets: Standard 10

    Description
    Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Audit Report

    Financial Statements: Standard 11

    Description
    Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Detailed Expense Breakdown

    Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses: Standard 12

    Description
    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.

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Accurate Expense Reporting

    Accuracy of Expenses in Financial Statements: Standard 13

    Description
    Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements. For example, audited or unaudited statements which inaccurately claim zero fund raising expenses or otherwise understate the amount a charity spends on fund raising, and/or overstate the amount it spends on programs will not meet this standard.

    The organization meets this standard.

  7. Budget Plan

    Budget: Standard 14

    Description
    Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

    The organization meets this standard.

Fund Raising & Info

  1. Truthful Materials

    Misleading Appeals: Standard 15

    Description
    Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, that are accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not meet this standard. A charity should also be able to substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied in the charity's solicitations.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Annual Report

    Annual Report: Standard 16

    Description
    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.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Website Disclosures

    Web Site Disclosures: Standard 17

    Description
    Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Donor Privacy

    Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy: Standard 18

    Description
    Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Cause Marketing Disclosures

    Cause Related Marketing: Standard 19

    Description
    Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Complaints

    Complaints: Standard 20

    Description
    Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues.

    The organization meets this standard.

Conclusion

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Purpose

  • Year, State Incorporated

    1958, New York

  • Affiliates

    American Civic Association
    CAMBA
    College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center
    Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
    International Institute of Akron
    International Institute of Buffalo
    International Institute of Connecticut
    International Institute of Los Angeles
    International Institute of Minnesota
    International Institute of New England - Lowell
    International Institute of New England- Boston
    International Institute of New England- New Hampshire
    International Institute of Rhode Island
    International Institute of St. Louis
    International Institute of Wisconsin
    International Services Center
    Jewish Vocational Services
    Nationalities Service Center
    Northern Area Multi-Service Center
    Owensboro Immigration Refugee Services
    Pacific Gateway Center
    Western Kentucky Refugee Mutual Assistance Association
    YMCA International Services
    Youth Co-Op, Inc.- Miami
    Youth Co-Op, Inc.- Palm Springs

  • Stated Purpose

    "to protect the rights and address the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide by advancing fair and humane public policy, facilitating and providing direct professional services, and promoting the full participation of migrants in community life."

Programs

USCRI's Refugee Services Division works through six regional field offices and 25 community-based partner agencies to resettle refugees and help immigrants in the U.S. access housing and orientation services, as well as targeted programs on food and nutrition, financial literacy, citizenship and disabilities. The organization reports that approximately 5,000 to 10,000 refugees are resettled each year through its network. Through the Immigrant Services Division, USCRI works to ensure that thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children are treated justly, securing them pro bono legal representation in their immigration proceedings. The organization reports that as of 2011, the program provided basic legal assistance and/or pro bono attorneys to over 5,000 children, relying on our trained, nationwide network of more than 375 law firms and offices. In the summer of 2011, USCRI also conducted the training of more than 300 U.S. Immigration Judges on the complex migration stories of young defendants, helping to increase the Judges’ awareness of the many sensitive issues involved in cases of unaccompanied migrant children. In 2011, USCRI established the National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Project, with the support of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The organization partners with 70 organizations to provide assistance to foreign victims of human trafficking in 29 states and six territories throughout the United States by offering safety, shelter, medical care, food, clothing, mental health services, and more to ensure survivors achieve self-sufficiency. USCRI collaborates with law enforcement agencies across the U.S. in the investigation and prosecution of hundreds of human trafficking cases.

National programs 24,326,148
Erie programs 3,006,330
Vermont programs 2,443,462
Raleigh programs 1,606,475
Albany programs 1,428,637
Dearborn programs 1,419,980
Children's Center 856,054
Des Moines program 385,379
International Organization for Migration 291,753
International program 194,776
Total Program Expenses: $35,958,994

Governance & Staff

  • Chief Executive

    Lavinia Limon, President and CEO

  • Compensation*

    $213,439

  • Chair of the Board

    Scott Wu, Board Chairman

  • Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation

    Managing Director, Blue Horizon Equity

  • Board Size

    10

  • Paid Staff Size

    135

*2010 compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.

Fund Raising

Method(s) Used:

Direct mail, special events, grant proposals, Internet appeals, and planned giving.
Fund raising costs were 2% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $35,356,511, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)

Tax Status

This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.

Financial

The following information is based on USCRI's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.

Source of Funds
Government grants 33,336,690
Program services fees 2,057,704
Foundation grants and other contributions 2,019,821
IOM collection fees 1,370,834
Other revenue 175,839
Member agency dues 80,000
Investment gain, net 29,350
Total Income $39,070,238
  • Programs: 98%
  • Fundraising: 2%
  • Administrative: Less than 1%
Total Income $39,070,238
Program expenses 35,958,994
Fundraising expenses $845,925
Administrative expenses $174,531
Total expenses: $36,979,450
Income in Excess of Expenses 2,090,788
Beginning Net Assets 4,372,958
Ending Net Assets 6,463,746
Total Liabilities 5,753,070
Total Assets 12,216,816

An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.