In the wake of tragedy, many people search for ways to provide any type of help. However, with the rise of online donation websites it’s important to be informed and vigilant about what organizations or campaigns you donate to.
Within hours after the tragedy at Pulse, a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, dozens of crowdfunding campaigns sprouted online. While many, including the record-breaking GoFundMe campaign led by Equality Florida, are reputable–many are not.
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance has some tips for donating to organization after disasters.
- Be cautious when giving online to new websites or campaigns
- Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity
- Be wary of claims that 100% of donations will assist relief victims
- Find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas
- Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups
GiveWell offers a few more tips for donating after tragedies or natural disasters such as don’t give to an organization just because they reach out to you (either on the phone or through website ads), allow your funds to be used where most needed – even if that means they’re not used during this disaster, and think about less publicized nonprofits or tragedies and consider donating regularly to organizations and causes you support.
Donating after tragedy is important and these precautions shouldn’t scare you away. Being a smart donor is always vital but as disaster relief often requires quick action it can lead to impulsiveness.
Sources & Resources
- Crowdfunding For Orlando Passes $3 Million via The Nonprofit Times
- More Than 100 GoFundMe Campaigns Say They’re Helping Orlando Shooting Victims. Which Should You Trust? via Slate
- Disaster Relief Donations via BBB Wise Giving Alliance
- 6 Tips on Disaster Relief Giving via GiveWell
- Being a Smart Donor via PCNRC