The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25 has stirred an outpouring of global support. Donations, emergency personnel and medical and other humanitarian supplies are being rushed around the globe in a co-ordinated effort to provide aid to those in desperate need of it.
Canada, for its part, has already committed $5 million in emergency aid, but individual Canadians want to do their part too. For many, the best way to do so is to donated to charities like the Red Cross, World Vision, Unicef and other organizations that have the track record and expertise to mobilize and deliver international aid.
Canadians have been extremely generous in past crises and they’re already showing their willingness to help the people in Nepal in their time of need. But as Canadians rush to open their wallets they can take some comfort knowing that the organizations receiving donations that target specific disasters tend to be extremely efficient with these funds. Many of these organizations on the ground in Nepal are part of MoneySense‘s Charity 100 have already proven to be extremely efficient at donated dollars on charitable activities.
And for the next month Canadians can ensure their donations pack an even bigger punch due to federal government pledge to match donations dollar-for-dollar. Until May 25, the government will match donations up to $100,000, per individual, provided the money is given to a recognized Canadian or international humanitarian or development organization that is responding to the earthquake.
Some organizations have also partnered with corporations to enhance their donation-matching program. At Unicef, for instance, corporate sponsors have pledged to match donations up to $80,000 in support of the Nepal disaster relief fund.
Still before you donate, do your research. The government will only match donations to registered charities that have set up programs earmarking funds for the earthquake in Nepal such as the three mentioned above as well as Plan Canada and Samaritan’s Purse. (Doctor’s without Borders, another popular charity, is helping in Nepal, but at this time they are not accepting donations restricted to the earthquake relief efforts). If you are not sure which organization you want to support you can turn to MoneySense’s Charity 100 to help narrow down your list to some of the largest and top ranked charities in the country.
The federal government also offers the list of some important questions to consider before you make a donation:
• How is the charity contributing to the relief efforts in response to the Nepal earthquake?
• How will the charity use your donation to help the people affected by the earthquake?
• Is the charity conducting its own relief efforts on the ground in response to the earthquake?
• Has the charity worked in areas affected by the earthquake? What did it do, and for how long did it work there?
• If the charity has never worked in these areas, what experience does it have in carrying out humanitarian assistance in other developing countries?
• If the charity is not working in areas affected by the Nepal earthquake, where would your donation go?
For more on the federal government’s Nepal earthquake relief fund and how to make a donation, tap or click here.