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Monday, March 29, 2010

What Has Happened With Your Haiti Contribution?

As we have mentioned before, the response to the January Haiti Earthquake has been overwhelming. So many people felt compelled to give in light of the disaster and human suffering that we witnessed via our televisions, computers, radios, and cell phones. But now, a few months later, giving has dwindled, the all-encompassing news reports have eased, and many of us have moved on with our daily lives, our contributions all but forgotten.

But we should know what those organizations we supported are doing with that money. How are they assisting Haiti’s people, in what areas of the country, and are they providing medical assistance, food, water, focusing on long term rebuilding, or a combination? Charitable organizations, as stewards of your good intentions, should be able to easily tell you where your contributions are being spent, and what the strategic plan is for money that has not yet been allocated.

It is encouraging to see that some organizations appear at the forefront of communicating to their donors what is happening with their money. For example, take a look at Direct Relief International’s section explaining their outcomes, or Bright Hope International, which provides detailed information here, as well as Americares’ constant updates here.

As donors, we need to make sure that we follow up after we have given a donation, and that we hold the charitable organizations accountable for what they do with our money. It is important to pay attention now, see how responsive and transparent organizations are. Is it easy for you to find out how the organization is responding, or do you need to do a lot of digging? Are you constantly being bombarded for more money? Does the organization respond to your requests in a timely manner? Find out the answers to these questions now, and let them guide you during the inevitabe next disaster.

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