Wise Giving Wednesday: Helping Victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia

Hero image for Wise Giving Wednesday: Helping Victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia
calendar icon Jul 17, 2020

Sadly, another disaster has made the headlines. News reports indicate that over 1,300 people have lost their lives due to the double disasters of the devastating 7.5 earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia. And yesterday, the eruption of a nearby volcano, Mount Soputan, adds a third dangerous element to the circumstances. Rescue crews search for survivors in the rubble while others seek medical treatment, shelter, food and/or supplies. The devastation is heart wrenching to see and prompts many of us to help those in need by contributing to disaster relief organizations offering assistance.

We certainly encourage generosity to help the victims in Indonesia but also caution donors to avoid questionable appeals by keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Does the disaster relief charity meet BBB Charity Standards?  You can help verify a charity’s trustworthiness by viewing an evaluative report completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance.  See the list provided below of disaster relief charities that that are soliciting for relief assistance to help Indonesia and that also meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
  • Is the charity experienced in providing disaster relief? Experienced disaster relief charities are the best bet to help deliver aid quickly and effectively. New entrants may have difficulty in following through even if they have good intentions.
  • Does the appeal make exaggerated financial claims such as “100% will be spent on relief?”  Charities have fundraising and administrative expenses. Any charity claiming otherwise is potentially misleading the donating public. Even a credit card donation will have a processing fee.
  • Can the charity get to the impacted area? Not all disaster relief organization will be positioned to provide relief quickly. See if the charity already has a presence in Indonesia.
  • Should you send clothing and food? Local drives to collect clothing and food to send overseas are not practical. Disaster relief organizations are better equipped to obtain what is needed, distribute it and avoid duplication of effort.

For more tips, review Give.org’s Disaster Relief Donation Tips page.

The following is a list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., organizations that meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) raising funds for disaster relief in Indonesia. This list will be updated as additional relief efforts come to BBB WGA’s attention.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency International



Catholic Relief Services

Church World Service

Direct Relief


Global Impact

Heart to Heart International

Helping Hand for Relief and Development

Islamic Relief USA

Lutheran World Relief

Medical Teams International

Oxfam America

Project HOPE

Save the Children


United Methodist Committee on Relief

World Hope International

World Vision

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video of Stephen Wells, Chief Executive Officer, Animal Legal Defense Fund (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Through its litigation program, the organization files lawsuits to stop the abuse of companion animals, and animals abused in industries including factory farming and the entertainment business. ALDF also works with law enforcement and prosecutors to seek maximum penalties for animal abusers.

Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry/ 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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