In an op-ed published last week in Philanthropy Daily, Philanthropy Roundtable Adam Meyerson Distinguished Fellow in Philanthropic Excellence Joanne Florino explained how donors can support those in need during a crisis. As the U.S. prepares to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to our country in the coming weeks and months, Florino recommended best practices for helping those affected, including conducting due diligence before giving, considering both immediate and long-term needs and looking to your areas of interest to guide your generosity.
Below are excerpts from the op-ed entitled “Charitable Giving: How to Support Those in Need During a Crisis”:
“While you have the freedom to choose when, where, and how to give, consider seeking out ways to give with maximum impact. Gifts of cash provide the flexibility that is most effective in helping those with immediate needs and is crucial during the early days or weeks of a crisis. But donors should also consider options that will continue to meet needs that arise later, gifts that will provide long-term assistance as individuals and communities recover from their losses.
You can start with organizations you already support or those you have previously supported. You will still want to do your research, but you’ll already be familiar with their programs and can see how they are helping in the current crisis. This may mean looking at what your own religious organizations and institutions are doing, especially those who are already partnered with groups on the ground. We’ve already seen how The Jewish Federations of North America, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, and others are working with Ukrainian partners to provide relief and aid right now.
If you’re assessing new opportunities for giving, do some due diligence to ensure that not only is the organization or group you’re supporting aligned with your mission for giving, but that they communicate clearly and publicly how funding is being used. In addition to knowing your options, you should also understand the risks involved with certain investments. Given the ease of using intermediaries like GoFundMe and other online platforms, you may decide to start small in your giving to see how the funds are used before committing all your giving to one recipient.
The United States is the most charitable nation in the world. The current outpouring of relief for Ukraine and its people is the latest manifestation of our common desire to give to others when they are in need. As you look to support aid for refugees, medical assistance, the care of children separated from their families, or other causes that call out to you, be both wise and flexible. Give where your heart and mind tell you it will do the most good. Consider both immediate needs and those that will arise in what will surely be a long period of recovery and rebuilding. Be alert for fraudulent solicitations, but don’t allow cynicism to overwhelm your natural impulse to help. Give if you can.”
Please continue reading “Charitable Giving: How to Support Those in Need During a Crisis” at Philanthropy Daily.