Frequently Asked Questions

What is IDRF?
IDRF is a tax-exempt, 501 (C)(3), public charity based in the U.S.A. Founded by a World Bank retiree in 1988, Dr. Vinod Prakash, with the mission to break the cycle of poverty in India.  IDRF offers a platform to empower the marginalized people with skills, services, and infrastructure in partnership with NGOs in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. IDRF development programs cover the focus areas: Education and Skill development, Health Services, Women’s Empowerment, Eco-friendly Development, Good Governance, and Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation.  (see map)

How does IDRF operate?
IDRF’s team is a mix of paid staff and volunteers. IDRF is guided by a Board comprised of World Bank retirees and experts from a wide variety of fields. Our programs are implemented by reliable, local NGOs that have established track-records and are approved to receive funds from the USA.  We keep our overhead barely 4% (so 96 cents of every $1 you donate goes directly to the programs). Please visit this page for more information on our strategy.

IDRF adheres to strict compliance standards and our financial statements are independently audited by Desai and Shah, PC, CPAs in Germantown Maryland.  Our financial statements are available online.

How does IDRF select partner NGOs?
IDRF’s founder and the president has visited India over the past three decades and identified NGOs managed by dedicated, selfless people, who are imbibed with a spirit of selfless, humanitarian service.   These NGOs operate with minimal budgets and serve people without consideration of caste, creed or religion.  IDRF remains in direct contact with such NGOs by receiving periodic reports and financial utilization of the funds invested in the programs. IDRF Board members, staff, donors, and consultants are encouraged to visit the sites of the project.

What are the accomplishments of IDRF?
Thanks to the hard work of our team and our donors’ generosity, we have raised and given grants over $35 million to various programs over the past 30+ years.

We are touched by the magnanimity of our donors.  Fifteen young couples showed extraordinary compassion by donating their cash wedding gifts to IDRF.  Many Indian Americans have fulfilled their dreams of helping schools and hospitals in their villages, while others contributed funds toward 30 mobile medical clinics. Many have also sponsored one-teacher schools, provided homes for widows in dire need, and saved children from blindness.

Visiting our program sites is an exhilarating experience – seeing your donations helping people in critical need.  When IDRF visits our programs, we are invariably moved to double our efforts. We strongly encourage our donors to visit our programs and share their experiences and pictures with us.


How can I support IDRF’s ongoing programs?
When you make a general gift will use your funds where they are the needed most!  However, if you donate to a specific program or NGO, please mention it in the designation/memo. You can donate online, by mail or other methods.   Donations to IDRF are tax-deductible.

Can I be sure that my money will be used properly?
Yes. This is precisely the core strength of IDRF. We attach utmost importance to accountability and integrity. We select only those NGOs with a proven track record, and we monitor each program closely, ensuring the grant was properly spent.   You can find our financial records here.  Further, IDRF representatives visit our program sites in India regularly.  But don’t take our word for it: you can read independent reviews by donors and volunteers like you!  These independent reviews made IDRF one of the five star top-rated nonprofits!

Will my employer match my donation to IDRF?
As a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization, IDRF is eligible for corporate matching. Ask your HR office if they’ll match your gift to India Development and Relief Fund (EIN/Tax-id  52-1555563). Here is our tax-determination letter.


Can I choose an NGO for my donation?
If the NGO that is not already on our program list, please contact us before you make your donation.   IDRF may accept only if the designated NGO fits with our mission and these criteria.

Does IDRF conduct fundraising campaigns?
IDRF conducts an annual fundraising campaign each November. We also make appeals for specific causes as and when needed.  However, we welcome donations year-round. You may think of donating on special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, religious celebrations or memory of a loved one.

Besides donating, how else can I support IDRF?
You could also: