It’s the fourth quarter and IOCC faces a fundraising challenge: raise nearly 50% of our total private donations for 2008 in the final three months of the year. In one sense this is typical; many charitable organizations also raise most of their revenue in the final quarter because that is when most people give. But given the once-in-a-century financial crisis, this is not a typical year.
For a humanitarian aid organization, this isn’t just the bottom line in the plus or negative column. Rather, it’s the support for our HIV/AIDs prevention program in Ethiopia; the $1 million shipment of surgical supplies to crumbling Zimbabwe; the vocational training for an Iraqi refugee so she can build a new life in Syria; winter supplies for a family in Georgia until they can return to their village or start a new life elsewhere.
I hope you will take advantage of IOCC’s Metropolitan Committee fundraising events being held throughout the country. Nearly 500 volunteers put on a full calendar of pan Orthodox events, from bike-a-thons to banquet dinners, to raise money in support of IOCC. Come out and learn more about IOCC and our special mandate to help the world in the name of all Orthodox Christians. I look forward to a visit to the U.S. by His Grace IRINEJ, Bishop of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who will be speaking at events on behalf of IOCC’s special fundraising initiative for Kosovo throughout the month of November. We hope to see you there.
To our faithful supporters and to those who may be considering a first-time donation to IOCC, be assured that our commitment to the highest standards of financial accountability is unflagging. On average, 92 cents on the dollar are spent on IOCC programs, with only 8 cents for fundraising and administrative costs. And for the second year in a row, IOCC has received a four-star rating by Charity Navigator (a four-star rating means an organization “exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause”). We hope you will support IOCC according to your means and cheerfully, as the Gospel instructs us.
Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director and CEO
Since 2004, IOCC has implemented a comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness and training program with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Along with this training, children orphaned by AIDS and adults who are living with the disease are also assisted through home-based care and start-up capital for small businesses. IOCC implements the program, which has reached over 7 million Ethiopians, in partnership with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC). In 2007, IOCC was awarded a $7.8 million contract by USAID to expand the program from 20 to 30 dioceses through the year 2011. Here are just a few of the thousands of success stories that IOCC has been able to help bring about.
IOCC is assisting the Four Homes of Mercy in the West Bank. (photo credit: IOCC Jerusalem)
IOCC Jerusalem and FinnChurchAid have begun a new initiative to provide 8,500 work days for unemployed Palestinian construction workers to renovate youth centers and recreational facilities near Bethlehem, with more projects slated to start in the villages of Bethany and Beit Sahour. IOCC is also working through the East Jerusalem YMCA to renovate community youth centers in Gaza including centers in Khan Younis and Rafa. Supplies of food, hygiene and educational materials will also be provided to vulnerable families. And the Four Homes of Mercy, a residential care facility for severely disabled persons, which is operated by the Arab Orthodox Invalid’s Society, will also have their monthly electricity, heating fuel, water and food provided by IOCC and its partners. The total project goal is to raise nearly $2 million (nearly $1.42 million will be through IOCC Gift-in-kind donations) through an Action by Churches Together (ACT) appeal.
“Life Inside the West Bank Barrier,” IOCC staff report from Jerusalem
IOCC acknowledged the long-standing service of three board members at its October Meeting. Father Leonid Kishkovsky, Mr. Thomas M. Suehs, and Dr. Beverly Yanich will be rotating off IOCC’s Board at the end of the year. Father Kishkovsky has represented IOCC for ecumenical and government relations issues. Dr. Yanich has chaired the Programs Committee and was instrumental in helping to bring about the US Program. Mr. Suehs has served on the Administrative Committee and helped to develop IOCC’s human resources policies. IOCC is grateful to them for helping to build the organization during its formative years. (Photo left to right: IOCC CEO Constantine M. Triantafilou, board members Thomas M. Suehs, Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, Beverly Yanich, and IOCC Chairman Alex Machaskee.)