Giving Compass’ Take:
• Ben Paynter reports that Americans have concerns about how disaster-relief funding is spent, decreasing willingness to give.
• How can funders spread information about how disaster relief should be spent and is being spent?
• Learn about disaster relief and recovery.
Over the last two years, the United States has experienced 30 natural disasters that have each caused at least a billion dollars worth of damage. In many cases, the damage toll was far higher: The 2017 trifecta of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma combined for a total of $265 billion in losses.
About 30% of Americans made donations to help during those events. But new data shows that most people who give to disaster-relief organizations during times of crisis don’t actually understand how that money is going to be spent. Less than a quarter of Americans feel “very clear” about the what groups soliciting them in times of need will do with their donations, according to survey of 2,100 people from the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance first reported by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
That’s problematic for a couple reasons: At their current participation rate, Americans are contributing about $10 billion in collective relief annually. The bulk of those donations are in the low hundreds of dollars. Having more people participate would grow that pot—and getting more donors is probably more likely than getting current givers to up their donation amount. But to increase participation, groups obviously need to earn more trust. And that means battling several other misconceptions that donors associate with their current giving habits.
Read the full article about concerns about disaster-relief funding by Ben Paynter at FastCompany.
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