Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and in operation for 27 years, Matthew 25 Ministries is a Christian-based disaster relief organization. It aims to provide food, clothing, and more to the poorest people in countries around the world.

The Matthew 25 Ministries Mission Statement

Matthew 25 Ministries, which is also known as M25M, focuses on disaster relief and humanitarian aid at an international level. The ministry helps the poor regardless of their ethnicity, political persuasion, or creed. They retrieve reusable products from different sectors to help people meet basic needs, develop skills, and more.

History of the organization

In 1990, Reverend Wendell Mettey traveled to Nicaragua alongside a group of medical professionals. He was able to observe devastation and a level of poverty that is unfathomable. Hence, he made a vow to help the people as well as others around the world who are in need. He returned to the United States and created a system that helped him recover and redistribute unused products from corporations.

The organization started with volunteers who carried supplies in suitcases. Afterwards, they began using cargo planes from the US Air Force. Today, the volunteers use containers and semi-trailers that travel by sea. Matthew 25 Ministries now provides products of about 15 million pounds each year and has helped more than 60 countries around the world.

​Facts and Figures

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According to watchdog site Charity Navigator, Matthew 25 Ministries has been doing well in using its donations to fund its programs. In fact, CN suggests that more than 99 percent of M25M donations received go toward their programs. CN calculates that the remaining less than 1 percent of their funds goes to administrative and fundraising expenses. 

Matthew 25 Ministries financial details

Every tax-exempt organization, nonexempt charitable trust, and section 527 political organization must file a Form 990 or 990EZ with the IRS.

Matthew 25 Ministries’ most recent IRS Form 990 or 990EZ available is for 2017. We extracted the following financial details from the organization’s most recent publicly available tax return for their fiscal year ending December 2017. This financial statement can give you a clearer picture of how well they use their resources.

Percentage of donations spent on services

  • Total donations and grants: $214,444,045
  • Spent on services and grants: $209,641,360
  • Percentage of donations toward grants and services: 97.76 Percent

Percentage of revenue spent on fundraising

  • Total revenue: $217,569,840
  • Fundraising expenses: $651,274
  • Paid to professional fundraisers: $0.00
  • Percentage of total revenue spent on fundraising: 0.29 percent

Administrative and overhead costs

  • Overhead expenses: $554,793
  • Property assets: $4,651,638
  • Investment assets: $5,985,972
  • Paid to officers/directors: $451,096
  • Highest paid officer/director: CEO $217,059
  • Percentage of total revenue spent on officers/directors Salaries:  0.20 percent

Program Successes

The most recent annual report from Matthew 25 Ministries is for 2017. The ministry used about 34 percent of the products it acquired to help people in the US. Ultimately, it provided aid to almost 15 million people in 33 countries.

Between August and December of 2017, M25M deployed their Domestic Disaster Response Team. They went into seven locations for a total of 49 days. Also, the Medical Disaster Response Team went to 10 locations in Puerto Rico and spent 16 days. They shipped 132 containers of products with a total of more than 2.5 million pounds. It cost $10 million in the same time frame. The success was due in large part to the 71,000 people who volunteered with the ministry last year.

Available Programs

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M25M offers a wide range of programs to benefit people in the US and around the world.

  • Food Processing Center: The food processing center creates an enhanced rice and soy meal blend. The group distributes them to people who need nutritional enhancement in underdeveloped countries. The processing center also houses the Grow Right Micronutrient Supplement program. This program creates powdered drink with 15 micronutrients. The micronutrients are beneficial to the nutritional health of children.
  • Fill Center: The Fill Center is doing the repackaging of detergents and soaps. They turn those into liquid products that are ready for the recipient to use.
  • Building a New Life: This group helps with the construction of new homes. They also help in the development of communities in Nicaragua and Haiti. Building a New Life has close ties to the Rainbow Paint Reblending Program. They collect and re-blend latex paint from a variety of corporations and manufacturers. Then they use that paint to brighten developing countries.
  • Global Village Experience: They welcome more than 80,000 visitors each year. The Global Village Experience is a three-dimensional model of a third-world village. It duplicates living conditions and lifestyles of the poorest people in the world. It also includes a focus on Appalachia and American Indian reservations. The program features life-size displays of natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, showing the impact and devastation.

The People Behind the Organization

Reverend Wendell Mettey is the founder and president of Matthew 25 Ministries. He was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended the University of Cincinnati. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Rev. Mettey then performed social work in Hamilton County before he felt called to become a pastor. He began attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. After earning a Master’s Degree in Divinity, Rev. Mettey went on to serve as a pastor for several churches. 

His work with the ministry has earned him several awards that includes the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2003, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community, the International Bridge Award in 2014, and the Distinguished Humanitarian Award in 2015Rev. Mettey appeared in Cincy Magazine’s list of influential leaders in the Tri-State area on several occasionsWhen he is not working with the ministry, Rev. Mettey spends time with his wife, three children, and six grandchildren.

In addition to Rev. Mettey, M25M has a senior management team and a board of directors. The prominent members include Michael Brandy Jr., Linda Gill, CPA, and Douglas W. Thomson, ESQ., chairman, treasurer and secretary of the board of directors, respectively. Senior management consists of CEO Tim Mettey, Vice President Karen Otto, Director of Operations Patty Dilg, Human Resources Manager Sally Phelps, and Disaster Relief Coordinator Ben Williams, among others.

Ways To Donate

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Matthew 25 Ministries always welcomes financial donations. You can donate directly to the organization’s website. Also, you can choose to donate one time, monthly, quarterly, or annually. Payment methods include credit or debit card and PayPal. The donors can choose an amount and indicate whether it is a general donation or for special purpose campaigns. They can also choose to be recognized for their contribution or to remain anonymous. For those who do not wish to donate online, the organization allows donations by phone, by mail, or in person. M25M also accepts donations in the form of estate planning or stock. The website includes a matching gifts database, which shows donors whether their employers match charitable contributions to the foundation.

Matthew 25 Ministries also accepts product donations. It can be in the form of new or gently used items. Items can come from individuals or corporations. The acceptable products include less damaged, overstock, or misprinted items. The foundation is always in need of non-perishable food, school supplies, and clothing. Other acceptable items include medical and hospital supplies, personal care and hygiene items, cleaning supplies and household items, baby products, and Latex paintM25M is a federally recognized 501(c)(3), which means donations are tax-deductible with proper documentation.

How To Volunteer

Matthew 25 Ministries always needs volunteers. They need help in sorting, counting, and packaging items before they’re shipped around the world. The family-friendly environment offers morning, afternoon, and evening volunteers. The schedule accommodates as many hours as possible. In addition, the volunteers receive training based on the need and availability. Each task is adaptable to meet most ability levels. Individual volunteers can arrive during standard operating hours, but groups of four or more should schedule a time to volunteer in advance. Children under the age of 16 are welcome to volunteer but must be accompanied by an adult. 

Other Ways To Help

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Matthew 25 Ministries understands that not everybody can afford to donate. And they know that many don’t have the physical ability to volunteer. For this reason, the organization provides several other ways for people to help out.

Many people organize food drives at their schools, places of employment, or churches. The aim is to bring in clothing, personal care items, medical supplies, and a range of other products on top of food. Some choose to raise funds or ask employers to match employee contributions. More options include hosting a benefit dinner, auction, or concert. You can also ask people to sponsor you in a walk-a-thon or race to help raise money for specific projects.

If you shop online, you may be able to help Matthew 25 Ministries in the process. They are with AmazonSmile, AAdvantage, eBay Giving Works, GoodSearch, and Kroger Community Rewards. Each company offers the foundation a percentage of purchases when the shopper indicates that he or she wants to support the ministry.

Overall Review

Matthew 25 Ministries provides hope for millions of people around the world. As of April 1, 2018, the foundation had an overall rating of 100 percent on Charity Navigator. M25M sends almost 100 percent of its financial donations to the programs it sustains. They also earned 100 percent when proving accountability and transparency of its financial. Other positive feedback is that they have independent voting system for board members. 

It has an independent accountant and policies that reduce any conflict of interest. They also have whistle-blower policy as well as a records retention and destruction policy. The CEO’s salary is available to the public, and board members do not receive compensation. Also, their website includes a full list of the people involved with the organization. It has an IRS Form 990 and a donor privacy policy. So, if you are looking for a way to make a difference, Matthew 25 Ministries is a solid organization to volunteer or donate your money to.

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