World Relief Spokane sheds light on government funding

World Relief shows where taxpayer funds go (11-21-17)

SPOKANE, Wash.— An organization that resettles refugees in the region opened up about how it spends taxpayer dollars.

World Relief nationally received more than $71 million in revenue last year, according to their tax filings. 

Reports said $47 million came from government funds and $18 million came from donations. 

Officials with World Relief said the amount of money that comes in to the organization is determined on a per refugee basis. 

World Relief Spokane reported it ended up receiving a little more than $2,000 for each refugee it resettles.

World Relief Spokane Director, Mark Finney, said there are a series of ways the organization stays transparent with their finances.

Finney listed that the organization keeps careful records, is audited annually by not only the federal government but also independently as a 501-C-3 nonprofit.

Finney said the funds provide a number of services to the refugees to ensure they are established.

That included finding them safe, affordable housing, enrolling kids in public schools, signing adults up for English language classes, and helping them navigate the healthcare system.

A point many viewers brought up as a concern was employee and overhead salaries.

Charity Navigator, a website that monitors charities and rates them based on their financial responsibility, said that only about 10 percent of the money the program received in 2016 went to administrative taxes. 

Finney said the organization runs on a tight budget.

“Anyhting that we spend on ourselves is money we’re not spending on ourselves. We’re not here to make a posh existence,” said Finney.

Finney said refugees end up being a net positive for the economy. Finney reported that over 100 businesses in the Spokane area help the organization find work for the refugees. 

Finney said he welcomed anyone with questions to feel free to ask him anytime. 
 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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