While Isaac has downgraded to a Tropical Storm, it continues to affect many Gulf Coast communities--with prolonged, heavy rainfall, severe flooding, and damaging winds. Please consider making a donation to one of the organizations providing relief and long-term recovery. Make sure to designate your gift to the appropriate fund specified for each organization below.
Your gift to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Disaster Recovery Fund supports a range of needs before, during, and after a disaster, ensuring every dollar meets its maximum potential. This results in faster recovery and an increasingly resilient future for disaster-affected communities.
AMERICAN RED CROSS; Mobilizing disaster workers, emergency vehicles, mobile kitchens and relief supplies to the Gulf Coast states. Designate your gift to 'Disaster Relief'.
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AMERICARES; Prepared to send emergency kits to families in the Hurricane's path. Designate your gift to the 'U.S. Disaster Relief Fund'.
Charities need your support in the months ahead; choose monthly giving to spread your donation our over the year. Learn More
BATON ROUGE AREA FOUNDATION; Designate your gift to the “BRAF Hurricane Relief and Recovery Fund” to ensure both immediate and future help for affected communities.
GREATER NEW ORLEANS FOUNDATION; As emergency relief becomes necessary, donations will be used to address both short-term and long-term concerns. Designate your gift to “Hurricane Isaac Relief Fund.”
GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION; A fund has been established to help concerned individuals provide essential resources to the community, should the need arise. Designate your gift to the “Mississippi Disaster Relief Fund.”
MATTHEW 25: MINISTRIES; Delivering aid to victims of Hurricane Isaac, and collecting and distributing key first-response items. Designate your gift to ‘Hurricane Isaac Relief’.
THE SALVATION ARMY; Prepared to provide those affected by Hurricane Isaac kits for household cleaning and personal hygiene, clean drinking water, mobile showers, first-aid supplies, and emotional and spiritual guidance. Designate your gift to '2012 Hurricane Relief Efforts'.
SAVE THE CHILDREN FEDERATION, INC.; Poised to respond directly and swiftly to children and families affected by Hurricane Isaac. Designate your gift to the Tropical Storm Isaac Children in Emergency Fund.
Don't let an unscrupulous charity take advantage of your goodwill. Find a charity with a proven track record of success with dealing with the type of disaster and in the region in which the disaster occurred. Avoid fly-by-night charities created specifically to deal with the new crisis. Even well-meaning new organizations will not have the infrastructure and knowledge of the region to efficiently maximize your gift. If you do feel compelled to give to a new charity, be sure to get proof that the group is in fact a registered public charity with 501 (c) (3) status.
Worried that your donation will go towards the charity's general operating fund or saved for a future crisis? This is a very understandable concern. Many charities do encourage donors not to designate their gifts so that the charity can decide how best to utilize the money, but depending on your confidence in the charity's ability to make that determination, you may want to tell the charity exactly how to use your gift. By designating your gift, you'll ensure that your donation will be used as you intended. Most charities with online giving portals offer a check box feature so that you can tell the organization how to spend your contribution. If you are mailing in a check, then write a note in the memo section of the check specifying that you want your gift spent entirely on the current crisis.
Be wary of fundraisers who pressure you to make a contribution over the phone. Never divulge your credit card information to someone soliciting you via the phone. Instead, ask the fundraiser to send you written information about the charity they represent and do some research on your own. Once you feel comfortable with the charity, send the organization a check directly in the mail, or give through their website, thus ensuring 100% of your gift goes to the charity and not the for-profit fundraiser.
Read Charity Navigator's Guide to Handling Telephone Appeals
As always, take the time to find a charity you can trust. Use our free financial evaluations to search for well-run charities worthy of your support. And be sure to follow up with the charity in a few months to find out (a) how your donation was put to use and (b) if the organization needs additional support to complete the recovery effort.
The inherent speed of online giving provides instant gratification to donors and offers charities immediate access to much needed funds. At Charity Navigator with the simple click of a mouse you can make a secure online gift to the charities we rate. Each transaction is processed by Network for Good, a trusted industry leader for online giving. Network for Good handled $24.5 million in contributions following the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan Earthquakes.
Reprinted with the permission of Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org, America's leading independent charity evaluator.