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December 8, 2018

Comparing Mathew 25 Ministries and Samaritan’s Purse

by Anne Paddock

Mathew 25 Ministries and Samaritan’s Purse are very similar organizations in that they are both non-profit 501 (c) (3)’s whose primary mission is to provide humanitarian aid to those in need (although Samaritan’s Purse also appears to be heavily into “spiritual aid”).  In addition, both are managed by members of a family (the Mettey family for Mathew 25 Ministries and the Graham family for Samaritan’s Purse).

Both organizations awarded approximately $200 million in grants (primarily non-cash) in 2017. Whereas Mathew 25 Ministries awarded the most assistance in grants (primarily clothing and household goods, personal care items, and drugs/medical supplies) to countries in Central America and the Caribbean, Samaritan’s Purse awarded the most grants (primarily Shoebox gifts that contain toys, hygiene products, school supplies, clothing, crafts) to recipients in Sub Sahara Africa.

In 2017, both organizations filed an IRS Form 990 which reports the following information:

                                                                      Samaritan’s Purse                             Mathew 25 Ministries

Top Executive Compensation                                       $670,348                                            $239,212

# of Employees given $100,000+ Compensation           72                                                          3

Total of 3 Most Highly Compensated Individuals       $1,311,854                                          $522,129

Males in Top 3 Highly Compensated List                         3                                                          2

Females in Top 3 Highly Compensated List                     0                                                          1

Total Compensation of All Employees                         $137.2 million                                      $3.7 million

Number of Employees                                                    2,818                                                    112

Average Compensation for Employee                          $48,687                                               $33,035

Male Directors/Board Members                                      16                                                        9

Female Directors/Board Members                                     1                                                         3

Total Non-Cash Revenue                                              $236 million                                         $205 million

Received Government Grants                                           Yes                                                        No

Total Cash Revenue                                                       $549 million                                         $13 million

Total Revenue                                                                 $785 million                                         $218 million

Total Expenses                                                               $595 million                                         $211 million

Total Unspent (to fund balance)                                   $190 million                                         $7 million

$ Grants Domestic                                                          $6 million                                             $51 million

$ Grants Foreign                                                             $228 million                                         $205 million

Travel/Conference Costs                                                $48 million                                           $74,537

Advertising/Promotion Costs                                         $15 million                                            $40,719

Total Assets                                                                      $678 million                                         $81 million

Total Cash/PT Securities Assets                                    $448 million                                         $10 million

Total Inventory Assets                                                     $48 million                                           $65 million

Total Land/Bldg/Equip Assets                                        $133 million                                          $6 million

Total Liabilities                                                                 $51 million                                            $0.5 million

Total Net Fund Assets                                                     $627 million                                         $81 million

Fly First Class or Charter                                                 Yes – both                                            No

Pay for Companion Travel                                                Yes                                                       No

Tax Indem and Gross Up Payments                                Yes                                                       No

Housing Allowance                                                            No                                                        Yes

Health and Social Club Dues                                            No                                                        No

Pay for Personal Services                                                 Yes                                                       No

Family Members on Board                                                Yes                                                       Yes


Based on the above, several observations can be made in 2017:

Samaritan’s Purse was primarily engaged in distributing shoe boxes of gifts and spreading spiritual information in Sub Sahara Africa, using aircraft owned by the organization (do they really need a reported 16 aircraft including a King Air to distribute $200 million in shoebox gifts?)

Mathew 25 Ministries was primarily engaged in distributing clothing, hygiene products, drugs, and medical supplies in Central America and the Caribbean, through container shipments.

Samaritan’s Purse provides more perks to the management that runs the organization, including first class and charter travel for themselves and companions (spouses and family members).

Samaritan’s Purse pays their executives significantly more.

Samaritan’s Purse employees have a higher average compensation package.

Both Samaritan’s Purse and Mathew 25 Ministries distributed almost the same amount of goods (both at about $200 million).

Samaritan’s Purse collected significantly more revenue in 2017 and did not spend nearly $200 million in cash contributions which increased the net fund balance significantly.

Both organizations are top-heavy with male management although Mathew 25 Ministries has more females in director and key employee positions.

Samaritan’s Purse spends significantly more on travel and conferences than Mathew 25 Ministries although both organizations distributed about the same amount of goods.

To read the IRS Form 990 for Samaritan’s Purse (2017) ,click here.

To read the IRS Form 990 for Mathew 25 Ministries (2017), click here.

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