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Options for donating during disaster events

Adapted from a post originally published October, 2017 on the GuideStar Blog.

Harvey. Mexico. Irma. Mexico (again). Maria. Wildfires in California. Between hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires, it’s been a rough few months. As the communities affected by these events turn from disaster relief to disaster recovery, you can help.

Option 1: Give to an expert-sponsored fund

Such funds offer several advantages:

  1. Peace of mind. The sponsors carefully vet their nonprofit partners.
  2. Comprehensiveness. The sponsors look at the total picture for an affected community, addressing needs that may not be readily apparent to outsiders.
  3. Long-term commitment. The sponsors are dedicated to long-term recovery.
  4. Accountability. The sponsors oversee how their partners use the money they receive.
  5. Tax deductibility. The sponsors are registered with the IRS as charitable organizations. This is especially helpful if you’re giving to recovery efforts outside the United States. Your gift to a Mexican or Caribbean nonprofit probably wouldn’t be deductible, for example, but donations to funds sponsored by U.S. nonprofits are.

Option 2: Give through a nonprofit you already support

If there’s a nonprofit that’s near and dear to your heart, check to see if it’s responding to the recent disasters. Even if it isn’t directly involved in recovery efforts, it may be collecting donations on behalf of an affiliate or partner organization on the scene.

Option 3: Give to a nonprofit's general disaster relief fund

Even as nonprofits were responding to Hurricane Harvey, they were dispatching personnel and supplies to places in Irma’s path. Then the earthquakes hit, then Maria. Then fires in northern California. Now fires in southern California. The timing of these events has depleted many organizations’ general disaster relief funds. Think about helping a nonprofit replenish these resources, so it will be ready when the next tragedy occurs.

Read the full post on GuideStar's blog to find out more about expert sponsored funds helping with disaster relief.



MissionBox editorial content is offered as guidance only, and is not meant, nor should it be construed as, a replacement for certified, professional expertise.