Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew: How You Can Help the People of Haiti

After the January 2010 earthquake dozens of relief organizations raised billions of dollars with much of the money disappearing into a black hole of avarice, self-dealing, crony's and fraud. Among the worst were brand-name NGO's and foundations.

But, before I rant any further, some of the groups did nothing nefarious, they just practiced the long established relief organization modus operandi, using the headline disaster to make their fundraising bones and fill their coffers.

Some of them were straight-up scams and others were various flavors on the spectrum of the nasty side of human behavior. Pro Publica did an investigation of the Red Cross that is required reading if ground level philanthropy makes up a part of your time on earth.

Even otherwise well regarded charities like the Salvation Army did not seem to acquit themselves very well, granted it's tough to judge as the SA is not required to file a full IRS form 990 and is thus unratable by Charity Navigator (along with the Metropolitan Opera, Boy Scouts, Pew Charitable Trusts and quite a few other big-name non-profits).

Speaking of Charity Navigator they posted a list of charities they do rate at their Hurricane Matthew page. Some of the names on the the list:

Name                          Rating
All Hands Volunteers     ****
Direct Relief                 ****
Hope for Haiti               ****
Water Mission                ****             


You'll note the lack of the Oxfam's and other mega NGO's on the list.

According to the U.N. at least 350,0000 people have been affected in Haiti with the death toll up to 339.
Hope this helps.

See also the Chronicle of Philanthropy for some of their thinking on the earthquake response.