Thursday, March 17, 2011

To give or not to give.... to Japan

There has been a lot of debate on giving to Japan after the earthquake/tsunami and now the nuclear meltdown. Many are moved by the images they see to donate money or goods to help out their fellow man. However, others are saying that the money could be better spent on other tragedies that are ongoing in the Ivory Coast or the Republic of Congo. They also point out that Japan is the third richest country in the world and has the resources to handle it themselves.

So how do we proceed? We have seen two of our favorite bloggers give some advice on this subject. First, Laura Freschi from Aid Watch says the following...

Our best advice for people who feel moved to give by the tragedy in Japan: Give generously, in cash, to an organization that you trust, and don’t restrict your donation. This way, your charity can use the funds for Japan if it turns out they are needed. If not, then it is free to use your donation for another purpose, like the dozens of under-reported, large-scale disasters that CNN isn’t featuring today.

Saundra Schimmelpfennig from Good Intentions Are Not Enough says something similar.

The public is clamoring to donate and do more for Japan, to do something to help. But currently there is a limited need for assistance. Yet other disasters or crises go under funded. This is one of the reasons it’s so critical not to earmark your donations. Don’t give to a specific project or country, instead donate to the general fund. This way, if it turns out it’s not really needed in Japan, they can use it to help with some of the forgotten disasters. Donating to the general fund allows nonprofits to use the money where it’s most needed and do the greatest good with your donation.

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