Helping Haiti: Places to Donate, Creative Fundraising Ideas, and Being a Smart Donor
By Britt Bravo on January 15, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
When I posted about How to Help Haitian Earthquake Survivors on Tuesday evening, there wasn't much information out yet about how to help, but now there are lots of posts and articles with lists of organizations you can donate to like:
- Helping Haiti . . . on What Gives
- Our Prayers and Thoughts are with the People of Haiti on the Boho Magazine blog
- Help For Haiti Earthquake Aftermath. Giving Green on Treehugger
- Help Haiti Recover on the Ellen DeGeneres Show blog
- Help Survivors of the Earthquake in Haiti on Charity Navigator
- Tragedy in Haiti - How Can I Help? on Connection Cafe
- Earthquake in Haiti: How You Can Help and Learn More on the MobileActive blog
- GlobalGiving's list of projects working in Haiti.
Making an individual donation to an organization is a great way to help, but why not organize a group fundraiser, and increase your impact? Below are some fun ways people are raising money for Haiti:
- Car washes
- Bake sales (See How to Put Together a Bake Sale FAST on the Post Punk Kitchen blog for tips)
- Yard sales
- Dinner/house parties (See The Fundraising Houseparty for ideas)
- Book sales
- Dance parties
- Yoga classes
- Bloggers Day of Action for Haiti
- Silent auction by artists and crafters (See Karen Walrond's post Artists Helping Haiti for more ideas).
Whether you decide to do something by yourself, or with others, Joanne Fritz of Joanne Fritz's Nonprofit Blog has a helpful post with Top Three Do's and Don'ts for Helping Haiti. Her advice is: 1. give money, not things; 2. donate safely; 3. don't randomly show up to volunteer.
Idealist.org's post, Helping Hati Things to Consider echoes Fritz's advice about not sending things saying:
"Note that organizations are asking for financial donations—not supplies—because they prefer to purchase exactly what they need from secure supply chains, using delivery means that can ensure the safety of the shipment. Where possible, purchasing materials available locally is also a boon to the local economy in the wake of a natural disaster."
They also recommend that people interested in volunteering should:
"Please be patient. Volunteer managers are likely overwhelmed by the outpouring of goodwill and may be unprepared to receive the numbers of people stepping forward to help out. It will take a long time for Haiti to dig out from this disaster, and the long-term volunteering needs will become more apparent as the month (and years) pass."
The Charity Navigator blog post, Tips, Tips and More Tips for Funding Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts includes advice for how to avoid donation scams like: 1. avoid newly-formed charities and give to an established charity that has worked in Haiti, 2. do not give to the Haitian government, 3. be leery of people who contact you online claiming to be a victim, and 4. avoid telemarketers (give to the charity directly).
The most important thing to remember is that even if you can only give a little bit of time, or money, it will make a difference.
Image credit: Haiti Earthquake uploaded by United Nations Development Programme
BlogHer Contributing Editor, Britt Bravo, also blogs at Have Fun * Do Good, WE tv's WE Volunteer blog, The Extraordinaries, and the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship blog. She is a Big Vision Consultant.
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