Wise Giving Wednesday: Giving for Hurricane Matthew Relief

Hero image for Wise Giving Wednesday:  Giving for Hurricane Matthew Relief
calendar icon Jul 17, 2020

Hurricane Matthew was rated a Category 4 (which is defined as having winds from 133 to 155 miles per hour) as it struck Haiti and now moves on to other islands in the Caribbean and then threatens the East Coast of the United States.  Unfortunately, Haiti is particularly vulnerable as it has not fully recovered from the devastating earthquake that took place in 2010 that took 200,000 lives. It’s infrastructure is already damaged and a hurricane will only make matters worse. As the Atlantic hurricane season officially ends November 30 th, we still have a while to go before being out of harm’s way of such devastating storms. 

As a result, donors should keep the following tips in mind as well to help avoid questionable appeals for hurricane relief efforts: 

Find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas . Unless the charity already has staff in the affected areas, it may be difficult to bring in new aid workers to provide assistance quickly. See if the charity’s website clearly describes what the charity can do to address immediate needs. 

Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups . Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to those that have a presence in the region. Or, at a minimum, check out the ultimate recipients of these donations to see whether they are equipped to provide aid effectively. 

Gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations . In-kind drives for food and clothing, while well intentioned, may not necessarily be the quickest way to help those in need – unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to distribute such aid properly. Ask the charity about its transportation and distribution plans. Be wary of those who are not experienced in disaster relief assistance. 

Understand crowdfunding . While this method of assisting individuals in need is popular, keep in mind that some crowdfunding sites dovery little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a disaster, and it is often difficult for donors to verifytrustworthiness of crowdfunding requests for support.   

 On a separate note, as part of our Building Trust Video Series we are pleased to provide a video that features Lindsey Groff, Executive Director,   Barth Syndrome Foundation, a BBB Accredited Charity, which seeks to expand, curate and disseminate scientific and medical information about Barth syndrome which is a genetic disorder that impacts various body systems including the heart and muscles. 

 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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