Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Conversation explores disaster aid and why it’s important to consider when to donate to disaster survivors, along with what and to whom to give.
• The upshot here is that having a long-term strategy is usually the most effective way to help provide relief, and that giving to community-based organizations is always a good idea.
What’s the best way to help disaster victims?
We agree with other disaster experts that cash is more helpful than mounds of clothing, diapers and other goods. Giving money limits waste and makes it easier to address local needs, among other reasons.
In addition, supporting recovery efforts tied to disasters that occurred a year ago or waiting to give can be the best way to go. Our independent research across several states and disasters, including Hurricane Harvey and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, indicates that needs are often as big or even greater long after a disaster than in its immediate aftermath …
Donors can give to nonprofits immediately after disasters that are bound to be involved in recovery efforts in the long run, such as community foundations and the local chapters of large national nonprofits.
Giving not just in the wake of disasters but also on the anniversaries of prior ones can make a big difference. At that point, the media will be reporting on how much progress has been made, as happened on the first anniversary of Hurricane Maria.
And by then you can vet the efforts of different charities by consulting their annual reports to see what they have accomplished so far. Many local long-term recovery organizations will share or post their financial information online, such as the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team, which rebuilt homes for underinsured survivors of Texas wildfires and floods.
Read the full article about waiting to help after a disaster by Michelle Annette Meyer and Gregory R. Witkowski at The Conversation.
Interested in learning more about Disaster Relief? Other readers at Giving Compass found the following articles helpful for impact giving related to Disaster Relief.
Are you ready to give?
If you are interested in Disaster Relief, please see these relevant Issue Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects where you can get involved.