Skip to comments.Think Before You Plunk: Which Charity Will Use Your Haiti Donation Wisely?
Posted on 01/15/2010 6:11:22 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
Compassion and concern for the victims of Tuesday's earthquake outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has prompted caring people to make donations to assist in their aid. I had planned to write a quick post discouraging donations to big, bloated, bureaucratic charities with overpaid CEOs and marketing budgets more appropriate for multinational oil companies than nonprofits.
But I soon realized that by the time I separated rumors from facts and scandals from smear campaigns, Haiti would be fully rebuilt and I would be serving out my dotage in the Sarah Daft Home.
So I'll just suggest as a caution that readers check out Caroline Preston's 2007 post on philanthropy.com, "What the Red Cross Scandal Says About All Charities," in which she quotes author Hildy Gottlieb:
Like so many other charities, [the Red Cross] is more preoccupied with "organizational survival" -- namely avoiding the next round of budget cuts, getting board members engaged, and other day-to-day concerns -- than it is with its mission.
Fittingly, American Red Cross, whose CEO was paid $565,000 in 2008, gets only three out of four stars from Charity Navigator.
Charity Navigator is a nonprofit that rates other nonprofits, with the self-described goal of serving as an "intelligent guide to giving." The group is unaffiliated with any other charity in the world, and claims objectivity and independence.
Charities are rated on organizational efficiency and organizational capacity, answering questions such as: How effectively does a charity use the dollars it gets from donors? Does it overpay its CEO or staff? Does it spend more on fundraising than on its mission? Does it have the infrastructure to get things done? Is there anything unusual on the balance sheet?
In other words: Is the charity competent? And is it honest?
The images appearing on our TV and computer screens for the last three days are so horrific that it's tempting to just hit the donate button. But overgrown, lumbering, scandal-ridden charities aren't the only problem. The FBI warns sympathetic donors to watch out for Haiti aid scams.
Why take a chance? People wanting to help have other choices. Charity Navigator has a whole page devoted to highly rated organizations providing relief to earthquake survivors in Haiti.
Doctors Without Borders is a 4-star charity. They're already in Haiti, and, since the quake, have served over a thousand patients in tents they've set up.
Another 4-star charity, Partners in Health, is less famous than Doctors Without Borders, but is highly respected (and also highly efficient, using just 5 percent of its funds for overhead). Partners in Health has been in Haiti for years, and they are working hard now to save as many lives as they can in this medical catastrophe.
Please consider these 4-star charities too. Each one uses less than 2 percent of revenues for overhead:
Operation USA is sending medical aid.
Heart to Heart International is preparing a major response.
Direct Relief International is sending food and medicine to Haitian hospitals.
If you watched these MSNBC and CNN video reports, you know how desperate is the need for medical care.
Those concerned about the plight of animals in Haiti might want to consider these three charities, which are preparing responses: Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Society International and The International Fund for Animal Welfare.
There are many other excellent nonprofits out there. Just check them out before you give.
I will be donating through my church treasury to church affiliated agencies that I trust.
Freepers... dont be fooled! Watch out for Oxfam.
Use the link as a starting point for research.
Thanks for adding that! :)
$100 MILLION of OUR tax dollars (that we don’t HAVE!!) are already headed that way, not to mention the cost in military support we’ll be giving...for YEARS to come.
When things even out, and there’s someone I TRUST in charge of that newly reformed Representative Republic, I’ll donate physical ‘things’ to get them back on their feet; school supplies, baby needs, shoes, clothing, etc.
Until then? Fuggeddabouddit. I know. I’m so mean...
Doctors Without Borders
They’re high on the list. Four stars out of five.
They had a special fund for monies to be used only for efforts in and related to the Katrina mess.
Once they decided they had spent enough in that area, they kept millions of dollars (which people sent to be used exclusively for Katrina) for their general use.
I know people affiliated with regional Red Cross offices that are diligent about being honest, but I'm a bit disappointed with the RC after they pulled that stunt.
People should only give to charities that they are sure use almost all of their money for the causes of helping people.
No CEO of any charity should get over one half a million dollars a year IMO.
I’ve given to “Food for the Poor” - I don’t know if they’re doing anything special for the earthquake, but they’ve been working in Haiti for a really long time, they have the lowest overhead expenses I’ve ever seen for a charity, and they give every indication of being a truly compassionate operation.
I can’t say for certain, but I would not be at all surprised if it was the case that Food for the Poor will give you the biggest bang for your buck in this crisis.
Check out their web-site for some idea of their mission.
I don’t even donate blood to them anymore, they p*ssed me off so much post-Katrina!
And I’m some sort of ‘walking miracle’ because I can regenerate all the blood I still need within days! ;) Oh, wait...we can ALL do that, LOL!
Since 0bama is hellbent on ruining me financially, my blood is worth more at the Blood Bank for platelets than the ‘feel good for a few days’ I used to get at The American Red Cross.
(And I was in the Army so they were always taking my blood via The Red Cross for Blood Drives; we had little choice but to ‘Get in line, Soldier!’ It’s not like I haven’t done my part in the past.)
Glad to hear that. :)
My Jesus chased people like that from the temple with a scourge.
Samaritan’s Purse & Catholic Charities.
I will volunteer my time and a bit of money Locally. The only other money going out is to Free Republic. Our military and Government response is paid for by us. Let some of these other countries pick up the slack.
I can’t believe they don’t even have the Salvation Army listed. IMO, the SA gives you the most bang for your buck.
They (Charity Navigator) doesn’t rate ‘religious’ charities.
I, myself, donate to The Salvation Army all year long and stuff a lot of dollars into their kettles during the Christmas Season. I’ve been a bell ringer for many years, too. :)
Our local guy, Major Paul Moore is AWESOME! He’s done so much with so little for so long that now he can do just about anything with nothing! :)
I limit my donations to charities that I have had personal experience with and try to avoid umbrella organizations like United Way. It just seems much more reasonable to give money to people you know rather than expect people you don’t know to spend your money properly.
I thought that may have been the case, but as I scrolled down the list there are a bunch of “religious” charities.(not trying to start an argument)
Anyway, I went to my local, and they are not handling the earthquake relief so I figured others might be in the same boat which is why I wanted to get the link out there.
I usually make a sizeable (for me) donation at Christmas. In order to not put temptation in front of anyone, I use USPS money orders. I sign them Santa Claus to preserve my anonimty.
Doctors Without Boarders $500 Done
$100 million is about $1 for each taxpayer. Puny
Next, financilly contributing to Free Republic should trump any donation to some charity when lessons from the past tell us we have no idea whose pockets it will line.
I also recommend Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse (the latter is Franklin Graham’s relief organization). I trust these organizations to get their donations to where it matters most.
Donated to Samaritan’s Purse tonight. Rated a four-star charity.
$100 milllion is just the start. Let’s keep a running total, shall we?
The tsunami in Indonesia netted $350 million from us taxpayers, not to mention all the other funds from other countries and individuals and corporations.
My concern is the graft and corruption that always surrounds these efforts to ‘help.’
I’ll start another thread tomorrow on the tallies to date. Or you can, too! If so, ping me so we don’t duplicate efforts.
“I have and will make more as the situation becomes clearer.”
I’m at that point, too.
“That’s the last thing any country needs!!! :-/ “
No kidding! What a useless lot.
don’t feel guilty...you have to make choices for your family and that is your highest duty.
For some time I’ve been giving to Rescue Task Force which is a charity near San Diego. They have boots on the ground in Haiti right now. They’re not real big but they don’t siphon off a lot of the money for administration and for themselves. In Charity Navigator their biggest fault is they don’t sell your name to others and don’t constantly beg for money. In addition to disaster support they provide backpacks to servicemen and women after they have been evacuated back to the States. These folks often without anything and the backpacks filled with products help with the transition at the hospitals. They are at www.rescuetaskforce.org.
Thanks for adding that! :)
Donations to Haiti deductible for 2009
Congress working on tax deduction for Haiti donorsTaxpayers may be able to write off cash donations made to relief efforts in Haiti on their 2009 income tax returns.
The U.S. House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would make donations made after Jan. 11 and before March 1 deductible for 2009.
The goal is to encourage donations beyond the $275 million already given, according to estimates by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The U.S. House has unanimously passed a bill that would make donations made after Jan. 11 and before March 1 deductible for 2009.
The Senate is expected to pass the bill as well.
Doctors without Borders No WAYYYYYY
No doubt they do some great medical work, but they are one of many outfits with a strong anti-American agenda.
For me and mine, we only give to strong Christian Groups with a proven track record and who make their financials available for inspection.
If you are a Christian, make sure your money is being used to minister to spiritual as well as physical needs.
Do it in the Name of Christ, not in the name of your own righteousness.