CharityWatch REPORT
Issued September 2017

CharityWatch Articles & Donor Alerts

CharityWatch conducts research and publishes articles on charities. Current and archived articles we have written about this charity are posted here, as are select articles we have published with topics related to this charity or its cause. Visit our Articles page to view CharityWatch's entire library of posted articles.

CharityWatch Articles

 
Daniel Borochoff's Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the House Committee on Ways and Means Hearing on Response by Charitable Organizations to the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Americans have responded quickly and generously with over $2.5 billion of charitable aid for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The American Institute of Philanthropy is pleased to report that the American Red Cross has improved its fundraising performance in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes. Though it needs to be clearer about its financial position, it has taken to heart many important lessons from 9/11.

View Through the Looking Glass

In August of 2011 CharityWatch published The Alice in Wonderland World of Charity Valuation, in which we described a serious problem among many charities that raise and distribute non-cash aid called gifts-in-kind (GIK). Charities are responsible for determining the value of the GIK they receive, and many have unfortunately chosen to inflate these values to levels that far exceed what the same items would cost had they been purchased by the charity rather than donated to it.

The Alice in Wonderland World of Charity Valuation

In the wonderful world of charitable gifts-in-kind (GIK) where lives are saved and suffering is lessened, nonprofit executives can fully utilize their creative abilities when measuring the value of the donated goods they receive such as medicine, food, clothing, books, and other materials that flow through a charity's financial statements. Charities that place high values on GIK donations can falsely appear to be spending a higher percentage of their funds on programs than other groups that receive mostly cash contributions. Donors who rely on these charities' claimed program percentages when making giving decisions might think they are giving to highly efficient organizations when in fact most of their cash donations are being spent on overhead.

Hot Topics & Donor Alerts

 
Hurricane Florence Relief

Updated on September 18, 2018

Hurricane Florence, one of the strongest storms to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades, made landfall in North Carolina in the early hours of September 14th as a Category 1 storm. Though downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, within days Florence has caused catastrophic and historic flooding and continues to wreak havoc as it slowly moves north. In some areas, over 30 inches of rain have fallen. The National Weather Service warns the flooding will only get worse in some parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia as rivers continue to rise. As of September 18th, 32 storm-related deaths have been reported, and about 500,000 homes and businesses remain without power in North and South Carolina. Tens of thousands of homes have been damaged.

 

Indonesia Earthquake Relief

The Indonesian island of Lombok has been shaken by three massive earthquakes in more than a week. The first, a 6.4 magnitude quake, struck on July 29th, and the second more deadly 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the island on August 5th. The third quake struck the island on August 9th and was the biggest aftershock of the 355 felt so far, measuring 5.9 in magnitude according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Thousands of homes have been damaged or completely destroyed, and more than 150,000 people are homeless. The official death toll, which is expected to rise, is currently estimated at over 300 people.

Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Updated on July 9, 2018

As of May 2018, more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh for safety, and the violence inflicted by the military in Myanmar continues to escalate. The mass exodus of refugees in the region since August of 2017 has made this the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world.

The U.N. has called this crisis a "clear case of ethnic cleansing" as the Myanmar military has launched brutal attacks on Rohingya villages in Rakhine. As a mostly Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority Rakhine, the Rohingya are not welcome in the country they called home, Myanmar, and are unwanted by neighboring countries.

 

Hurricane Maria Relief

Updated on September 25, 2017

On the heels of Hurricane Irma's path of destruction through the eastern Caribbean, these same islands faced a new threat: Hurricane Maria. Maria made landfall as a Category 5 storm on the island of Dominica where 27 deaths have been confirmed. The hurricane then continued on to directly hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico as a Category 4. The full extent of the devastation in Puerto Rico is still being assessed, but most buildings are damaged or destroyed, and millions are without power or communications.

Mexico Earthquake Relief

Updated on September 20, 2017

Less than two weeks after a devastating 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, a second earthquake ripped through central Mexico on September 19th, collapsing buildings and killing over 300 people nationwide. The 7.1 magnitude quake was felt most strongly in and around the country’s capital of Mexico City.

The earlier 8.1 magnitude earthquake, the most powerful to hit Mexico in 85 years, has left at least 96 people dead. Thousands of homes in Chiapas and Oaxaca were damaged or completely destroyed. Relief efforts are underway for the 2.5 million people affected by the first quake.

Hurricane Irma Relief

Updated on September 11, 2017

Hurricane Irma will go down in history as the most potent Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded. It left at least 26 people dead and thousands homeless across the Caribbean. The U.S. Virgin Islands suffered catastrophic damage. As a Category 4 storm, Irma also made landfall in the Florida Keys. It dumped rain across the entirety of Florida causing massive destruction and leaving millions without power.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Updated on September 8, 2017

Hurricane Harvey is the state of Texas's worst storm in more than 50 years. The death toll related to the storm is relatively low at 70 people. However, Harvey and its record-setting rains caused severe damage in many parts of Texas and Louisiana. The recovery and rebuilding efforts in Harvey's aftermath are expected to take years.

Hurricane Matthew Relief

CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient and accountable charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to Hurricane Matthew victims.

Hurricane Matthew is the most powerful hurricane in the Atlantic in more than a decade. It has left hundreds dead in Haiti where thousands still live in camps six years after the devastating earthquake that killed over 300,000 and left over 1.5 million homeless and four years after it was hit by Hurricane Sandy. The full extent of Matthew's possible destruction in the United States is not yet known.

Ecuador Earthquake Relief

CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to earthquake victims in Ecuador.

Following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador on April 16, 2016 and the related aftershocks, relief efforts to provide food, shelter and other emergency relief supplies are likely to be needed for many months following the earthquake. The Ecuadorian Red Cross estimates that the number of affected people could reach up to at least 70,000 survivors, with 3,000-5,000 needing emergency shelter.

The death toll has reached over 650 people in Ecuador. Tens of thousands more have been injured and displaced in the earthquake aftermath. It is the worst disaster Ecuador has seen in decades.

Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts

Following the devastating earthquakes that hit Nepal in late April and early May 2015, relief efforts to provide food and shelter are likely to be needed for the three months following the earthquakes. Up to two million survivors will need basic relief, such as tents, tarpaulin sheets, toilets, dry food, and safe drinking water.

The earthquake has killed thousands of people in Nepal and dozens in neighboring India, Tibetan China, and Bangladesh. Thousands more have been injured and are displaced in the aftermath of the earthquake. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia, so relief efforts and reconstruction will be largely dependent on aid from international governments and nonprofits.

Famine Relief Efforts in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia

Famine was declared in two areas of South Sudan in February 2017. This is the first famine to be declared in the world in over 6 years. Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia are also at risk for famine. A famine is declared by the United Nations when extreme criteria are met. These criteria include: at least 20% of households face extreme food shortages; acute malnutrition rates exceed 33%; and a death rate that is more than two persons per every 100,000 each day. Tens of millions of people are in need of food, but unfortunately are at the mercy of overwhelmed aid systems, continuing wars and widespread conflict.

In Yemen, over 7 million people need emergency food aid. Northeastern Nigeria faces severe acute malnutrition as at least 5 million people face the risk of famine. Somalia is currently in its second year of drought causing crops to fail. In South Sudan, the country's government and the United Nations have warned that over 100,000 people are facing starvation with an additional one million more at risk for famine. Currently, more than 40% of South Sudan's population (4.9 million people) has been described as severly food insecure, according to IPC, an international multi-agency initiative. Funding for aid is urgently needed in all of these countries.

Pakistani Flood Relief

CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities involved in Pakistan flood relief efforts.

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Relief

CharityWatch, a leading charity watchdog that issues letter grade (A+ to F) ratings of nonprofit groups, announces its top-rated list of charities currently involved - or mobilized to provide assistance if it is required - in the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan and possibly elsewhere in the Pacific.

Supporting Victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

CharityWatch announces its top-rated charities which continue offering services to the victims of the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Southeast U.S.

Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities involved in continuing Haitian relief efforts following the 2010 earthquake and the ongoing cholera epidemic.

Chilean Earthquake Relief Efforts

CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities currently involved, or preparing to become involved, in Chilean earthquake relief efforts.

East African Relief Efforts

CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities involved in efforts to provide relief to victims of the famine in the Horn of Africa.

West African Hunger Relief

CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities involved in efforts to provide relief to victims of the hunger crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa.

Superstorm Sandy Relief Efforts

CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities involved in efforts to provide relief to victims of Superstorm Sandy, domestically and/or in the Caribbean.

Syrian Humanitarian Relief

Syria’s raging civil war headed into its eighth year in March 2018. Currently, as many as 13.1 million Syrian people are in need of emergency aid. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 5.6 million Syrians are registered as refugees seeking assistance in neighboring countries, and the total number of people fleeing Syria may be much higher than that. The violence has also displaced 6.1 million people within Syria where the distribution of aid is difficult. The Syrian conflict has created the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.


(Image: © UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0153/Tiku)

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