Our goal is to continue to grow our financial resources and increase the impact of our programs. In this way, together we can help people living in poverty exercise their rights and improve their lives.
For every $1 you give: $0.77 goes directly to emergency, development, advocacy, and public education work. $0.15 is invested to generate future revenue. $0.08 is spent on support costs.
Oxfam America is rated highly by leading independent charity evaluators, including Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator. Oxfam has the Better Business Bureau’s highest rating and seal of approval for charitable organizations by meeting all 20 of its Standards for Charity Accountability. Oxfam is also a "Top Charity" and recipient of an "A" rating from Charity Watch. These rankings place Oxfam among an elite group of charitable organizations nationally.
Over the past year, we have witnessed heartbreaking tragedies and the effects of power imbalances around the world and here in the United States. Whether caused by nature, by violence, or by greed, all require action. Oxfam America is taking action and—through the efforts of many—we are making a difference.
Oxfam America distinguishes itself because we ask the right questions. We ask hard questions. Not just of the US government, corporations, and political leaders in the countries where we work—but of our partners around the globe and, most important, of ourselves. We also pursue answers vigorously and develop innovative approaches to reducing poverty. This year has been no exception.
As we look to the next decade, we must reflect on the challenges we see and ask: Are we fit for purpose for what lies ahead? But, perhaps most important, we see a way forward. We do not accept that injustice is inevitable. Although we are grappling with thorny issues as part of a confederation-wide planning process, this year we will put the finishing touches on our strategic plan for the coming decade.
It was an exceptional year for Oxfam America. We provided an unprecedented $62 million in support to our program services. The generosity of our supporters made this possible; donations were up 63 percent. For the fourth consecutive year, our overall program support exceeded 79 percent of our total spending. Moreover, with increased contributions and careful management of expenses, we boosted our net assets by $8.3 million, assuring that we have the financial base to continue helping people to overcome poverty.
In 2009, Oxfam America addressed the still-uncertain fund-raising environment by making tough choices about how to invest our resources. Thus far, we have weathered the financial and economic downturn well and have been able to meet our commitments to the people Oxfam serves.
In an economic climate in which businesses are "going back to basics" and retrenching, Oxfam America finds itself in a unique position. We're optimistic. Those of us in the relief and development business know that good times are often followed by bad, rainy seasons by drought, peace by war. It's fair to say that we adapt readily in crises.
Oxfam America's financial results for the year continued to build upon the successes of prior years and have positioned us well for future growth of our program activities and fulfillment of our mission. In 2007, unrestricted contributions grew 15 percent to $36.5 million from $31.7 million in 2006. Total net assets grew by $9.9 million in 2007. Total expenses grew in 2007 by $5.6 million. For the year, program-related expenses represented 80 percent of our total expenses.