Wednesday, 31 August 2005
How You Can Help The Victims Of Hurricane Katrina
- Give To An Established Charity: Don't let an unscrupulous charity take advantage of your goodwill. Find a charity with a proven track record of success with dealing with this region and this type of disaster. Avoid fly-by-night charities created specifically to deal with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Even well-meaning new organizations will not have the infrastructure and knowledge of the region to efficiently maximize your gift. If you do feel compelled to give to a new charity, be sure to get proof that the group is in fact a registered public charity with 501 (c) (3) status.
- Designate Your Gift: Worried that your donation will go towards the charity's general operating fund or saved for an upcoming crisis? This is a very understandable concern. Many charities do encourage donors not to designate their gifts so that the charity can decide how best to utilize the money, but depending on your confidence in the charity's ability to make that determination, you may want to tell the charity exactly how to use your gift. By designating your gift specifically for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, you'll ensure that your donation will be used for the victims of this particular disaster.
- Avoid Telemarketers: Be wary of fundraisers who pressure you to make a contribution over the phone. Never divulge your credit card information to someone soliciting you via the phone. Instead, ask the fundraiser to send you written information about the charity they represent and do some research on your own. Once you feel comfortable with the charity, send the organization a check directly in the mail, or give through their website, thus ensuring 100% of your gift goes to the charity and not the for-profit fundraiser.
Read Charity Navigator's Guide to Handling Telephone Appeals
- Research And Follow Up: As always, take the time to find a charity you can trust. Charity Navigator offers this list of highly-rated charities working in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to help you in your efforts. Use our free financial evaluations to search for other well-run charities worthy of your support. And be sure to follow up with the charity in a few months to find out (a) how your donation was put to use and (b) if they need additional support to complete the recovery effort.
This list will be updated as we become aware of additional charities responding to this natural disaster.
- American Red Cross
- America's Second Harvest
- Convoy of Hope
- The Humane Society of the United States
- United Way of Miami-Dade
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