Wise Giving Wednesday: Donating for Earthquake Relief in Syria and Turkey

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calendar icon Feb 07, 2023

The latest news about the devastating earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey on Monday report over 6,000 deaths and 5,000 buildings collapsed. Search and rescue efforts seek to find trapped people, as foreign rescue teams are on their way to help. To assist donors seeking to support these efforts, BBB Wise Giving Alliance is providing the following giving tips along with a list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., those that meet all 20 of the BBB Charity Standards) that announced on their respective websites that they are collecting funds for earthquake relief.

APPEAL CLARITY IS KEY. Seek appeals that are upfront and clear about what disaster relief services you are supporting. A previous Give.org Donor Trust Report issued by BBB Wise Giving Alliance showed that only 24% of donors believe disaster relief appeals are “clear.”

CONTRIBUTE TO EXPERIENCED GROUPS. Support experienced organizations that stand ready to provide quick and effective assistance. Be cautious of newly formed organizations in the wake of a disaster. While well intended, they may not be able to follow through on their announced activities.

LOOK FOR CHARITIES WITH ON-THE-GROUND PRESENCE. If the charity already has skilled operations in affected areas, they will be in a better position to provide help quickly and reach those in need. Also, some charities may be raising money to pass along to other relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and give directly to charities that have a presence in the region.

UNDERSTANDING CROWDFUNDING. If considering crowdfunding, it is safest to give to someone you personally know and trust. Also, review the platform’s policies and procedures, keeping in mind that while some crowdfunding sites take measures to vet posts, others don’t.

GIVE MONEY RATHER THAN GOODS. Donating money is the quickest way to help and provides charities the flexibility to channel resources to impacted areas.

VERIFY CHARITY TRUSWORTHINESS.  You can verify a charity’s trustworthiness by viewing an evaluative report completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance.  See the list provided below of charities that that are soliciting for relief assistance for Pakistan and that also meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

The following organizations are BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) and currently announced on their respective websites that they are collecting funds to assist earthquake relief efforts. Additional BBB Accredited Charities will be added as we learn about their earthquake-related activities.


American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee


Catholic Relief Services

Charities Aid Foundation America

Direct Relief

Embrace Relief Foundation

Global Communities

Global Giving

Global Impact

Helping Hand for Relief and Development

Humanity & Inclusion

International Medical Corps

International Rescue Committee

Islamic Relief USA

MAP International

Mennonite Central Committee

Mercy Corps

Operation USA

Oxfam America

Plan International USA

Project HOPE

Save the Children

USA for UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency

World Relief

World Renew

World Vision

ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.

ABOUT BBB: The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for over 110 years. In 2021, people turned to BBB more than 200 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 12,000 charities, for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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