Donating to charitable organizations after a disaster can be a great way to help those in need with essential monetary and other resources to aid in recovery. While charitable giving after a disaster is admirable, not all charities are alike or share the same objectives. In the aftermath of disasters, many false charities emerge to take advantage of people’s desire to give. It is, therefore, important to do some research and evaluate the type of charitable organization you’re considering donating to and assess their particular history in disaster relief. While the notion of charitable giving is noble, smart charitable giving will ensure that your generosity is appropriated right and those you intend to help receive the benefits of your giving. Here are some tips for making smarter charitable donations.
Researching and selecting a charity organization with a history of success and a proven presence in the area will increase the likelihood of a successful and meaningful donation. Even if a charity organization appears well meaning, they may not have the knowledge, infrastructure, or resources to make the most of your donation.
Finding a charity with an established presence in a local area can be more effective than giving to a national charity that eventually passes the donation on to other local organizations. Talk with people in your area and do some research on the history and mission of the charity before you commit. Avoid websites and emails soliciting money since these could be scams to attract well-intentioned people to throw money away.
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It is a good idea to specify the type of charitable assistance you want your money used for when deciding on an organization. Depending on the specific charity, your money could go to a lot of different forms of aid. Having something specific in mind will help you target a bit more precisely where you donation goes and what it accomplishes.
Getting money to go to infrastructure repairs or shelters for displaced people, for example, can be more targeted. This can often be a more effective way to help those in need than letting the donation go to the charity’s general operating fund. Also, consider giving to disaster charities even when a major disaster has not occurred. Many of these organizations do their most valuable work in the first 48 hours after a disaster and need funds to sustain these immediate post-facto operations.
In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, money itself can often be used to more effectively help those in need. Often mail delivery is lacking or non-existent and infrastructure and organization has been compromised to the extent that delivering material things like clothes and food is difficult to impossible. Well established, organized charities can use monetary donations to more efficiently provide aid resources for victims of a disaster.
These organizations have their own internal mechanisms to provide relief and can use your cash donation to provide supplies and shelter relief to affected people. Donating clothing and food to smaller local charities can be helpful, but larger organizations and donations coming from outside the area will do more with monetary donations.