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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Power of Volunteers


As the East Coast braces for and recovers from what some experts have called a "storm of a lifetime," Charity Navigator is remembering the 2017 hurricane season. Just one year ago, three of the most powerful, destructive, and expensive hurricanes ever recorded--Harvey, Irma, and Maria--tore through the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, and the Southeastern United States. Within just a few weeks of one another, these storms pummeled hundreds of communities leaving a trail of in their paths.

In the immediate wake of each storm, disaster response organizations were on the ground and calling in additional staff to begin delivering aid and relief in the affected communities. Donations poured in from individuals in the United States and around the world. And then came the volunteers. Volunteers from all walks of life descended on the affected areas to partner with response groups to begin the recovery process. They handed out food and supplies, manned temporary shelters, and began tearing down and rebuilding homes.

Keep reading to learn a little bit more about the power of volunteers following a crisis or disaster.

Charity Navigator created anniversary reports to look into how donors' support was used in the weeks and months following these storms. We were absolutely blown away by the data provided by some of the charities featured in our Hot Topics. One of the things that stood out to us was the number of volunteers who gave their time and resources to work in the communities affected by these storms. Take a look at the numbers below!



In the wakes of these powerful storms, volunteers multiplied the manpower of each disaster response group exponentially. You can learn more about how volunteers and donor support were used to deliver aid and relief after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in the following reports:

Volunteers are a powerful resource for all organizations, not just disaster response groups. That's why we often encourage donors to consider volunteering their time and skills as a way to give back. But before you do, take a look at our Volunteer's Guide to help you find the right opportunity.

Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager at Charity Navigator.

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