3 things to keep in mind when donating to disaster relief efforts - Generocity Philly

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Jan. 4, 2017 12:27 pm

3 things to keep in mind when donating to disaster relief efforts

Center for High Impact Philanthropy founder Kat Rosqueta appeared on The Business of Giving podcast to give lend some advice on giving to the average donor.

Hurricane Katrina.

(Photo by Flickr user News Muse, used under a Creative Commons license)

High-impact giving isn’t just for foundations and charities and billionaire philanthropists. It’s for the average donor, too.

That’s how Kat Rosqueta, founder and executive director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania, introduced her institution on a recent episode of The Business of Giving podcast.

“If we only cared about the billion dollar gifts, we ought to be called the Center for High Input Philanthropy,” Rosqueta joked.

Rosqueta lays out a bevy of tips for the average donor on the episode, including three things for donors to keep in mind about giving after a disaster:

  1. In-kind donations are the “second disaster” — “The images that often come in the news, the scale of the damage — it’s hard to see that and not want to say I’ve got to help right now,” said Rosqueta. But whatever you do, don’t make in-kind donations. Folks are too overwhelmed to know what to do with blankets and canned goods. “It’s well-intentioned, but that’s rule number one. Keep yourself from doing that.”
  2. Donate to first responders — Instead, the most helpful donations are financial gifts that allow first responders on the ground to meet local needs. Rosqueta said there are two kinds of organizations to donate to: “expert first responders” like Doctors Without Borders and “local first responders” who know the language, the terrain and have the trust of the people. (More on that in the Center’s most recent giving guide).
  3. Rebuild — If donors are patient, Rosqueta said, they “can have impact in the rebuilding effort, long after the headlines fade.”

Check out the whole episode for more.

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