January 18, 2010
Donors Give $210 Million to Major U.S. Relief Groups
Organizations are using new tools for donating.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that six days after Haiti’s earthquake, donors have contributed more than $210 million to major U.S. relief groups. The donations are more than was donated six days after the 2004 Asian tsunamis but less than what was given after Hurricane Katrina.
While television telethons could last for hours, says The New York Times, Twitter quickly comes to the point: “Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to @RedCross relief.” By Monday, the American Red Cross received more than $21 million through its texting campaign.
The online gaming community is also finding ways to help. Bungie.net posted this call to action:
We hear echoes of the ocean spilling into the streets of New Orleans. We recall broken buildings slipping away from our skylines, falling into dust. And as shattered families in Haiti begin their own relief and rescue effort, we are reminded that the divide between our nations and our peoples is not so wide, that we are not so different, and that we are not so helpless.
We can do something. We can make a difference. But we can’t do it alone. We’re calling on the Bungie community. We’re asking for your help.
Bungie’s online store is donating 100 percent of their profits to Haiti relief. And for those short on cash, Bungie offers this solution: play Halo 3 or ODST online Wednesday or Thursday. For every 1000 that participate, Bungie will make a $100 donation for Haiti relief efforts.
The blog Good Intentions Are Not Enough offers giving advice straight from aid workers. Tips include:
Donate to organizations with an established presence, quickly.
Work with organizations that have local staff in leadership positions.
Work with organizations that partner with local social institutions, like houses of worship or community organizations.
And on the “do not” list:
If you don't already work for an agency that is responding to the disaster, don’t go to Haiti.
If you don't already work for an agency that is responding to the disaster, don’t start your own new organization.
Charity Navigator lists charities helping in Haiti. In addition to providing ratings for each charity based upon financial efficiency and organizational capacity, the website gives an overview of what each charity is doing in Haiti.