United Palestinian Appeal

Transforming lives, empowering communities since 1978

aka UPA   |   Washington, DC   |  www.upaconnect.org

Mission

United Palestinian Appeal works to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians, particularly those in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps throughout the Middle East, and to contribute to the long-term socioeconomic and cultural development of Palestinian society.

Ruling year info

1979

Executive Director

Saleem F Zaru

Main address

1330 New Hampshire Ave Ste 104

Washington, DC 20036 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

11-2494808

NTEE code info

Economic Development (S30)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community and Economic Development

For generations, the land has been a source of livelihood for Palestinians. But since 1967, discriminatory Israeli policies have dramatically reduced the land and water available to Palestinian farmers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian economy is now almost totally dependent on the Israeli economy and international aid.

In these circumstances, UPA’s Community and Economic Development programs create self-sufficiency and sustainable growth by revitalizing agriculture, making infrastructure improvements, and promoting small business development.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

Palestinian students in the West Bank must traverse checkpoints, long routes and random closures to attend school. Palestinians in Gaza and in refugee camps must often obtain an education while struggling through poverty.

UPA recognizes the power of education and offers programs that increase its availability and affordability. These include the Mahmoud Darwish Scholarship Fund and support for youth leadership initiatives, artistic programming, vocational training, and continuing education for adults and professionals.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Students

UPA promotes Palestinian health and wellness by supporting hospitals and clinics, often through large donations of pharmaceuticals. UPA also trains local surgeons in preforming free cleft lip and palate surgeries, and trains mental health practitioners (MHPs) about childhood trauma. The MHPs then teach parents and kindergarten teachers about the topic, enabling them to build a safe and healthy environment for their traumatized children.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

As an organization founded by Palestinian-Americans, we feel a special obligation to share Palestine’s rich culture, heritage, and history with the world. In doing so, we humanize Palestinians. To this end, UPA frequently organizes artistic and outreach events in the United States that showcase Palestinian artists and our programs, while shedding light on the everyday struggles of life under occupation or as a refugee.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

Where we work

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 2020

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

For Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, United Palestinian Appeal aims to:

• Address immediate and critical needs caused by long-term regional conflict, lack of territorial sovereignty, and compromised basic human rights.

• Transform Palestinian lives by creating new educational, economic, social, and cultural opportunities.

• Empower Palestinian communities by developing long-term, sustainable solutions to regional issues.

UPA’s service expands across four program areas and includes different activities identified as programs or projects.

The program areas are Health and Wellness, Education, Community and Economic Development, and Outreach.

Programs are interventions that are developed and implemented by UPA staff. They are usually multi-year commitments and can engage major strategic partners.

Initiatives are groups of UPA projects that may be developed and implemented or supported by UPA and implemented by partner organizations. Projects within each initiative occur during a specific annual or quarterly funding cycle.

Today, UPA’s Gaza City office supports 16 staff members, the Ramallah office houses four staff, the Jordan office supports two staff member, and the Washington DC office is home to ten employees. UPA’s governing board consists of six members and the international advisory council includes twenty individuals located in the United States and in our areas of operation. The international advisory council enhances the organization’s visibility, assesses specific situations, and provides insight and guidance to the board and executive director, among other functions.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    UPA works with Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Feedback we have received from the people we serve allowed us to switch our food initiatives from food baskets to food vouchers so that people will have the choice to buy whatever they wish from food items rather than to get the same dry food/pantry items. The feedback have also allowed us to expand the Healing through Feeling program where new areas of focus were included in the program. HTF does not just focus on trauma informed support , but also it focuses on dealing with gender violence, sexual violence...

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    People feel heard and feel that their needs are being better met when UPA responds to their suggestions and needs through our Feedback and Response Mechanism.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome,

Financials

United Palestinian Appeal
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

United Palestinian Appeal

Board of directors
as of 10/17/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Issam Salah

King and Spalding

George Salem

Isam Salah

Frederick Hadeed

Ann Francis -Barhoum

Olmos-Barhoum LLP.

Salma El-Yassir

Eyad Abed

University of Maryland

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Middle Eastern
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/26/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.