Here are some of the possible reasons:
- Recession – Overall, giving in America was down 3.6% from 2008 to 2009. People, corporations, foundations and governments simply have less to give.
- Recent Disasters –Donors already responded generously this year to the Haiti earthquake (more than $1 billion given in the first 4 months) and to a lesser extent the earthquake in Chile and the Gulf oil spill ($4 million donated in the first 6 weeks). They may not be motivated or able to give again --- this is the so-called donor fatigue syndrome.
- Haiti – The media has reported that much of the promised aid money has not yet reached Haiti and that relief efforts have been very slow. This leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those that contributed and cause them to think twice about supporting relief efforts in another part of the world.
- Summer – Sadly, the timing of this tragedy may be having an impact on donations. Many people are on vacation and outdoors enjoying the summer. They may not be paying as close attention to the news as they do at other times of the year.
- Media Coverage – In contrast to the coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, the media coverage of the Pakistan floods has been minimal. As they say, out of sight, out of mind.
- Victims - The scale of the Pakistan disaster has eclipsed the disastrous tsunami in South Asia in 2004 (which generated donations of more than $1.5 billion). Yet, tens of thousands died in the tsunami, not to mention the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives in Haiti this past January.
- Corruption/ Terrorism Link – Potential donors may be weary of the government and others in Pakistan. They worry if their contribution will really be used to provide aid, as they intented, or diverted to causes they do not wish to fund. In fact, there are already reports that various Pakistan charities, which are fronts for terrorist groups, are getting involved.
- Government – Even with concerns over corruption and ineptitude, some may view the government in Pakistan as being more able to care for its citizens than, for example, the government in Haiti. For example, the government’s capacity to help had a dampening effect on giving to Chile after February’s earthquake.
Still, various countries and world organizations (such as the US, Europe, the World Bank and the UN) have pledged more than $100 million with about $10-$20 million of that already at work. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is even asking Americans to donate $10 via text messaging. And there are many charities, including Concern Worldwide US, Direct Relief International, Oxfam America, United States Fund for UNICEF, Islamic Relief USA, Plan USA, Save the Children, CARE, Relief International, and ActionAid International USA that are fundraising and providing various types of immediate aid (food, water, medicine, sanitation and housing).
So, we want to know, have you given? Why or why not?