In the event of an emergency or a natural disaster, many charities jump into action to respond quickly and effectively to the situation. You will hear appeals from many different organizations to raise funds for a response. As a donor, you want to be sure your donation will be used wisely and effectively. The following guidelines were developed by the International Committee on Fundraising Organizations (of which the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities is the Canadian member):
- Donate quickly, but carefully. Stick to one or two charities you are familiar with and trust. Be wary of any fundraising group created specifically for this appeal. Any spontaneous campaign should clearly state the charities to which they will forward the donations.
- Support charities that are already established in the disaster area and either have local competence and experience in disaster aid/emergency response or an established relationship with a strong, qualified local agency.
- Make it absolutely clear that your donation is being given for the emergency/disaster response. If a charity raises more money than it needs, it can (and should) tell you in advance how the surplus donations will be used (e.g., for other emergencies or where most needed).
- Do not send “in-kind” donations (e.g., clothing, blankets, food) unless they are specifically requested.
If you are thinking about making a donation to a charity’s emergency or disaster appeal, you can check our directory to see if the charity has been accredited by CCCC indicating that it has demonstrated compliance with our Standards of Accountability. You can also find information on any charity from the Canada Revenue Agency. CCCC provides guidelines on interpreting this information.