Here are some things an established organization is more likely to have:
- Credibility here - all of the top names in Disaster relief have to go through regular auditing, publishing, etc. to prove to their donors (and the government) that they are doing a good job.
- Credibility there - many of the established groups have already been working in the countries, like Haiti, and are familiar with their needs.
- Streamlined Resources - The groups that do this for a living are actually pretty good at what they do, because they have been doing it for years. They know how to get through the red tape, the delays, and the politics.
- Training - part of the overhead costs, that seem like such a negative in a larger group, actually go toward training their people. Before there is an emergency.
- Quicker Response Time - They already have the people to help, many times in the region, plus they can have resources en route within hours of a tragedy, while others are still waiting for volunteers and pledges to come in.
- Seeing the Bigger Picture - Because these larger groups have often been in the country before the crisis, are there helping during the crisis, they usually are invested in the lives of these people to see them through to the next step. Beyond living in temporary shelters, these groups are often there for years afterward, helping them build infrastructure, find jobs and get decent medical help and education.
If you want more information, a great site is Charity Navigator. They list the top charities providing relief, and great reasons for not giving to the Government, or smaller groups in the area.
We have decided to give our money to ADRA. Our reasons may be different from what you are looking for, so I will explain our decision.
- ADRA has been working in Haiti for a number of years already.
- We have friends that have been field directors (in other countries) for ADRA that have testified to their belief in the ministry that ADRA provides.
- My sister was an ADRA volunteer in Sri Lanka after the tsunami.
- We have given to them in the past. They have a great online donation center, ADRA's really useful Gift Catalog. The catalog lets you see where your gift is going, and you can choose small and large donations. This was my daughter's charity of choice for her Birthday Giving this year.
- We believe that they will be there for the long haul, to make sure that the Haitians have clean water, good food, a chance at employment and education, and of course a warm bed.
Thank you for your help in this Give Away. Tell me what your thoughts are on the different charities. Who did you choose, and why?