Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday's Japan Giving Update

A week after the quake and tsunami in Japan, Americans have given $87 million to help. The American Red Cross is still way out ahead having raised $64 million thus far. Save the Children is still the next runner up with $5.8 million. Overall, the level of giving to Japan's relief efforts still lags behind giving levels after Katrinia and Haiti.

Today, we’ve refined our list of charities responding. Not only are they only 3 and 4-star charities, but they’ve also responded to our request for additional information about their efforts in Japan. They’ve also clarified for us their position on designated funds.
  • Some of them are accepting designated funds for Japan and promising to only use them for that endeavor.
  • Others are accepting designated funds, but leaving the door open to the possibility of using that money elsewhere if it isn’t all needed in Japan.
  • And a few are not accepting designated gifts at all. Instead they are asking donors to trust them to make the best choice on when and where to use the money.

None of these positions are wrong so long as the donor has a clear understanding of the charity’s approach. And that’s what we’ve attempted to help donors determine with today’s update.

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