Wise Giving Wednesday: Emerging Trends in Disaster Fundraising

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calendar icon Jul 17, 2020

On Monday, October 5th, I was part of a panel discussion about emerging trends in disaster fundraising at the Washington DC annual meeting of the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) which is held in conjunction with the National Association of Attorneys General.  This topic is on our minds this week in the wake of the horrific flooding that occurred in South Carolina.  I began my presentation discussing how mobile text to give campaigns (for example, the Mobile Giving Foundation) which began as a means to support disaster relief efforts, have since become integrated as part of general giving campaigns.  However, the online environment for disaster giving has further evolved into various alternative platforms that enable charities to quickly organize fundraising campaigns on new online payment platforms.  Some of these platforms such as the crowdfunding activities conducted by the GlobalGiving Foundation (a BBB Accredited Charity) carefully vet all of the projects funded through their website, while others do not. In addition, some of the new giving platforms are run by start-up, for-profit companies that may be harder to check out due to the lack of a track record. In turn, lesser known payment platforms, especially in the disaster giving environment, create new challenges for both government regulators and monitoring groups in terms of keeping track of the latest giving activities and calling out problem practices. 

My fellow panelist at the NASCO conference was Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy which seeks to increase the effectiveness of contributions given to disasters. Among other things, Bob pointed out how media coverage drives disaster giving, which is mostly reactive to these events. He also talked about the importance of disaster relief charities providing a financial and activity report after a disaster and monitoring restricted funds that are established for specific disasters.

As part of our Building Trust Video Series we are pleased to provide a video that features Mari Kuraishi, one of the founders and the current President of GlobalGiving. Under her leadership, the organization has raised over $188 million since 2002 from over 475,000 donors and funded 12,500 projects around the world.     

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include: 

Finally, remember to let us know by going to https://give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one. 

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance

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