After the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal this weekend many across America and the world are wondering how they can help. The death toll has surpassed 3,800 but many, many more are in need of first aid, water, and food. Massive relief programs are springing up from various aid groups worldwide.
Unfortunately, even in the aftermath of something this horrific, scammers come out of the woodwork. Even before the Superstorm Sandy hit land in 2012 there were many, many websites dedicated to picking the pockets of the generous. It’s an awful reality. In order to ensure that your donation goes to help those organizations that are doing good and making a difference you’ll want to do a few things.
Follow these easy steps to vet the charity of your choice
First, check out our charity donation guide. There are great tips for vetting potential charities. Through sites like give.org you can even see how much of your donation is going towards the overhead of certain organizations versus actual ground-level work. This site is run by the BBB and they have a 20 point checklist that they use to verify charity organizations.
Second, be very wary of giving to a charity organization that is brand new. A brand new non-profit could be a scam. Even if they aren’t, it is unlikely they will have the expertise or the reach to have much of an impact.
There’s even a specific list of organizations that are raising money for Nepal relief efforts that’s been put together by Give.org. It’s a great place to start. Another great reference is Charity Navigator’s list of highly rated charities. The breakdowns on Charity Navigator are really impressive and can really put your mind at ease that your dollars will be flowing to organizations that put them to good use on the ground with actual relief work.
The images are harrowing and we all want to be able to help. Just make sure that you do your due diligence and watch out for the scammers that pop up.