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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, October 12, 2018

How to Become a Long-Term Partner in Disaster Recovery


Following any disaster, we experience that knee-jerk reaction to give. We see photos and footage of communities devastated by an unpredictable flood, earthquake, or fire and want to help. We imagine ourselves and our families in the situation and our hearts break.

But what happens after the water recedes, the debris has been cleared, and the news crews leave?

True recovery takes more than just a week or two. The rebuilding process after a disaster can take many months and even years.



Take a moment to consider the organizations you’ve supported in the wake of a disaster. Have you ever followed up with them to see how your donations were used to deliver aid? Or, what they did in the months and years following the event?

At Charity Navigator, we encourage you to see yourself as a “partner” to the charities you support—this includes the organizations you support in the wake of a disaster. Your donations are critical to funding their important work.

As a partner, you should think about charities’ ongoing recovery efforts. Give them a call or send them a message. Ask about the work they’ve done, what needs still remain. Inquire about how you can best support them in their work.

Some charities may provide reports on their disaster recovery work. Feel free to ask for any resources they may have. If you donated to any organizations in the wakes of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria, you maybe be interested in Charity Navigator’s one-year reports. These reports talk about the work some of the highly-rated charities featured in our Hot Topics did in the wake of these storms.

Charity Navigator’s Hot Topics provide you with the resources you need to select a highly-rated charity that matches your values or interests in the wake of a disaster. We vet these organizations to confirm their responses so you can feel confident knowing your gift will be used to deliver aid effectively in the short and long terms.

Click here to view our latest disaster-related Hot Topics.

Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager at Charity Navigator.

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