Indonesia Earthquake Relief
CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient and accountable charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to earthquake victims in Indonesia.
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.
Indonesia is located in the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin, making it prone to earthquakes. Relief efforts are underway, and aid has started to reach victims in the worst-hit parts of the island. The full extent of the damage from these earthquakes and possible aftershocks, however, will take several days to become known.
The Related Charities listed below perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program services.
2) A charity should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.
Contact your favorite charities to find out if they provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g., emergency shelters, food, and water, health care, psychological trauma counseling, etc.
As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help with disaster relief efforts should only give to legitimate charities with an established track record of helping people in need.
People need to be on guard concerning the surge of solicitations related to any highly publicized crisis. There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or insert malware on your computer.
Social media will include many fake victims. Do not donate to unknown individuals that purport to need aid that post on Facebook, GoFundMe, Generosity by Indiegogo, YouCaring, etc. These may be fraudsters, and even if they are legitimate victims, they may receive an unfairly large amount of aid. (For more related to crowdfunding sites, see CharityWatch's article: Crowdfunding Popularity Continues to Soar Despite Risks to Donors.)
SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
The best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials and other supplies. By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost effective to distribute them. For example, after a tsunami in the Pacific, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely useless items in tsunami-stricken nations with tropical climates, were sent to these nations.
CharityWatch identifies the following Top-Rated charities, which are providing relief to Indonesian earthquake victims and receive an “A” or “B+” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Top-Rated charities also must meet CharityWatch's Governance and Transparency benchmarks. Contact the organizations below for information on specific relief operations now underway.
|American Red Cross||B+|
|Direct Relief & Direct Relief Foundation||A|
|Save the Children||A|