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ActionAid USA

CharityWatch report issued
May 2023

CharityWatch Grade

Contact Information

ActionAid USA
1220 L Street NW
Suite 725
Washington , DC 20005

Other Names

ActionAid International USA

Tax Status


Stated Mission

To achieve social justice, gender equality, and poverty eradication by working with people living in poverty & exclusion, their communities, people's organizations, activists, social movements, and supporters.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2021

*Why Not Ratable?

CharityWatch is unable to rate this organization due to how it is structured. This does not imply a negative or positive evaluation.

Some charities engage in significant financial transactions with a related organization outside of the U.S. for which sufficient audited financial information is either not available, is not presented in combined form, and/or is not based on U.S. reporting standards. CharityWatch's methodology is not designed to measure how efficiently one entity of a charity grants funds to its affiliates, partners, or related organization(s) outside of the U.S. In many of these cases, the charity is essentially functioning as a U.S. based fundraising arm. Therefore, when applicable, CharityWatch has calculated a Cost to Raise $100 fundraising ratio for such charities.

Please see the Analysts' Notes section for a more detailed explanation and for this organization's Cost to Raise $100, if applicable.

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
ActionAid USA
meets governance benchmarks.
ActionAid USA
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Niranjali Amerasinghe Executive Director $140,530
2 Richard Payling-Wright CFO $113,313
3 Meredith Slater Director of Development $103,265
Name: Niranjali Amerasinghe
Title: Executive Director
Compensation: $140,530
Name: Richard Payling-Wright
Title: CFO
Compensation: $113,313
Name: Meredith Slater
Title: Director of Development
Compensation: $103,265

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

CharityWatch is unable to provide a complete rating of ActionAid USA or of its parent organization, ActionAid International, due to how the aggregated organization is structured.

ActionAid USA is the United States affiliate of ActionAid International (AAI), an international non-profit antipoverty agency comprised of a federation of Affiliate and Associate Members working in more than 40 countries. AAI's headquarters is located in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the organization's aggregated financial statements (which include the financial activities of the headquarters and its Affiliates and Associates) are presented in Euros and are based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). For this reason, AAI's financial statements are not comparable to those of U.S. based organizations whose financial statements are based on U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and presented in U.S. Dollars. Therefore, CharityWatch is unable to provide a rating of ActionAid International.

ActionAid USA essentially functions as a fundraising arm for ActionAid International (AAI). According to the ActionAid USA audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 8, Affiliation with ActionAid International):

"ActionAid USA has an affiliation agreement with ActionAid International (AAI), a Johannesburg-based organization. Under the terms of the agreement, ActionAid USA has the exclusive right to use AAI's name in the United States through February 2028. ActionAid USA is responsible for all fundraising within the United States for international development projects in the countries where the partner affiliates work..."

During the year ended December 31, 2021, ActionAid USA made grant awards to AAI of $2,498,276 to support "international development projects in the countries where the partner affiliates work," according to ActionAid USA's 2021 audit (Note 8, Affiliation with ActionAid International). The $2,498,276 in grant awards to AAI represents about 87% of ActionAid USA's total grants and subgrants made in 2021 and 60% of its total spending on program services.

ActionAid USA's 2021 tax filing (IRS Form 990) reports that approximately $4.14 million, or about 83%, of its $4.96 million budget was spent on programs in 2021. Approximately $2.50 million, or about 60%, of that program spending consisted of the grant awards to ActionAid International (described above).

Because ActionAid USA functions as a fundraising arm of ActionAid International, CharityWatch is unable to provide a Program % for ActionAid USA. However, CharityWatch is able to provide a Cost to Raise $100 fundraising ratio:

ActionAid USA spent a very reasonable $7 to raise each $100 in public support in 2021.

CharityWatch's methodology is not designed to measure how efficiently a charity grants funds to one of its related or affiliated organizations. For this reason, CharityWatch does not believe it is fair to publish a Program % for ActionAid USA alongside those of other charities that conduct their own programs and/or primarily make grants to other, independent charities.

CharityWatch's inability to provide a complete rating of ActionAid USA is strictly due to how the organization is structured, and not due to an unwillingness to provide information or answer our questions.

In order for CharityWatch to be able to rate ActionAid International in the future, we would require consolidated or combined audited financial statements, expressed in U.S. Dollars and based on U.S. GAAP, that include all of ActionAid International's related entities. Such statements would eliminate inter-organizational transactions, as well as provide a comprehensive view of how the organization both raises and spends public dollars on the whole. This information may not currently be practicable for ActionAid International to provide given that its national headquarters is based in South Africa, and its financial statements are based on IFRS and expressed in Euros.

ActionAid USA reports that its top three contributors in 2021 made contributions in the individual amounts of $2,000,000; $1,200,000; and $730,000 (IRS Form 990, Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors). The $3,930,000 in combined contributions from those three contributors represents approximately 63% of ActionAid USA's reported total contributions and grants received in 2021.

ActionAid USA reports $248,183 for "Forgiveness of note payable," according to the ActionAid USA audited Statement of Cash Flows for the year ended December 31, 2021. The $248,183 matches the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) "Loan Amount" approved for ActionAid USA on May 1, 2020 and forgiven as of May 25, 2021, according to the ProPublica "Tracking PPP" online database.

[The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide loans to qualifying businesses and nonprofit organizations. PPP borrowers could qualify to have the loans forgiven if the proceeds were used for payroll and certain eligible costs.]

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