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County Supervisors to Recognize Direct Relief for Receiving Innovation Award

The board plans to adopt a resolution Tuesday honoring the Santa Barbara relief agency

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is expected to adopt a resolution titled, “Resolution Honoring Direct Relief International for Receiving the Prestigious Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation.”

Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief, will accept the resolution in person on behalf of Direct Relief.

Santa Barbara-based Direct Relief is California’s largest international nonprofit organization, active in 70 countries and the only nonprofit licensed to distribute pharmaceuticals in all 50 states. It works with more than 1,000 health clinics across the United States to assist in emergencies and on an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need.

The organization has been among the world’s largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and “top-notch” ratings from Charity Navigator, and a 100 percent fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine.

Direct Relief was chosen for the Drucker Nonprofit Innovation Award for its ability to adapt the insight, approaches and tools of commercial technology for humanitarian purposes.

During this difficult economic period of shrinking budgets, growing humanitarian needs, and increasing frequency and severity of large-scale disasters, Direct Relief reinvented its technological approaches and processes, expanded its programs and activities, deployed an extensive enterprise system to manage global inventory in the highly regulated area of pharmaceutical medications, and created a cloud-based information platform to network thousands of nonprofit health facilities.

— Kelley Kaufman is the communications manager for Direct Relief International.

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