There is no shortage of media reports listing which groups accept donations, often with little advice on what kind of help these organizations can offer.
After researching disasters and teaching students how to be effective as a philanthropist, I learned that it is difficult to make good decisions about donations - especially when there are many urgent needs and countless ways to spend charitable dollars. Here are some best practices to consider before contributing.
The ideal way to show your compassion is to donate money to a charity you respect, instead of sending boxes of diapers and cans of canned chilli.
It is easy to remember disasters personally: "What if it were me or my family?" And imagine what you would need if you suddenly became homeless: clothes, food or toys. But given donate car to charity houston program goods often eteriorate in emergencies . These donations can do more harm than good if they intervene in disaster relief.
Also, you probably won't know what people need on the (soaked) floor.
But where should you send that money? It is generally a good idea to support groups that operate in the middle of a disaster. You can give money and other help to the people who need it directly.
But do your homework first to learn about an organization's past performance. Established organizations are usually the best choice because they are best placed to have people, experience, infrastructure and roots in the affected communities. National organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army have many years of success in disaster relief.
Each disaster raises questions about the relief efforts of established organizations, such as the Red Cross funds that were donated to Superstorm Sandy for PR activities and other activities that were not directly related to relief efforts and the Salvation Army decided to with hold relief after the to spend the same disaster later in the recovery process. When you give, it is important to keep this story in mind.
If you prefer to give local support groups that are firmly rooted in the affected area. In Harvey's aftermath, this could meanUnited Way from Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation , both of which have set up relief funds and have a long history of serving the local community.
You can help organizations by using tools like charity navigator that assesses nonprofits based on several prformace matrices . It has compiled a list of highly rated Tezas groups involved in relief efforts.Guide is another useful resource. While it doesn't evaluate charities, it does provide basic financial information about them and allows nonprofits to upload information about their programs and results to help you make your decision. Guidestar also offers guidelines on giving during disasters and a list of groups active in relief efforts.