Categories for Good Intentions
In Minnesota, Rep. Keith Ellison Spreads the Word about Diaspora’s Role in Humanitarian ResponseWhen disaster unfolds, diaspora communities around the world want to help. But in times of high stress, worry, and uncertainty,... View Article
Disaster Survivors Don’t Need Bottled WaterWe all know people can survive for days without food, but not without water. This tenet of human biology often drives individuals and organizations to donate bottled water in the aftermath of disaster.
Send cash, not stuff, to help the world’s refugeesAs we recognize the millions of people fleeing crisis in search of a better life, let’s focus on channeling our generosity for good.
Good Intentions Hinder Response to Canada’s WildfiresIf you’ve been watching the news lately, you may have heard that wildfires continue to rage in Alberta, Canada. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported yesterday that 1,000 additional firefighters from across Canada, the United States, South Africa and other countries will soon join the 1,200-member crew working to contain the fires that have destroyed homes, land and livelihoods.
Here’s How to Plan Your Giving for the 2017 Hurricane SeasonJune 1 marks the start of Atlantic hurricane season – and as we know, it only takes one storm to significantly interrupt our summer or someone else’s.
Practice Smart Compassion for Hurricane Preparedness WeekIt’s Hurricane Preparedness Week, which is our annual reminder that it only takes one storm to significantly interrupt our summer or someone else’s.
Don’t Wait – Communicate!Are you prepared to help others in the most effective and efficient way possible? When disasters strike, many people’s first impulse is to collect food or clothing; it is not unusual for community and local groups to collect thousands of pounds of material – typically used clothing, canned food and bottled water – realizing only afterward that they do not know whether it’s actually needed, how they will transport it or who will distribute it.
When are aid ceremonies appropriate?If I understand correctly, three times a year donors travel to the reservation for a traditional Navajo ceremony. During this ceremony the donations are given, and the money from the sale of the rugs presented to the weavers. Although my acquaintance described the ceremony as very moving, I question it on several levels.
What to look for when evaluating an aid agencyTo ensure that your money is doing the good you intended you have to look past aid agency advertising, name recognition, and "happy stories", and instead look for evidence that the aid agency is following best practices and constantly improving their organization.
Aid agency advertising imagesYou see a commercial on TV or receive an advertisement in the mail with the picture of someone in need. You reach for your checkbook to donate. But before you stamp the envelope or click the "donate now" button, imagine that instead of it being someone else far away, it is an image of you, your child, or you family. Now ask yourself these four simple questions...
Four reasons to NOT donate baby formula overseasDependency, malnutrition, illness and death can be unintended consequences of donating baby formula overseas. NICEF, WHO and WFP call for support for appropriate infant and young child feeding in certain emergencies, but caution against unnecessary and potentially harmful donations of breast-milk substitutes.
Guideline #4 for volunteering overseas
Manage your expectations: Although volunteering overseas can be a life-changing experience, it’s also one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Many people have an unrealistic expectation that their experience will be as glamorous as it seems in the Kashi commercials.
As director of D-TRAC I was often asked to orient heads of aid agencies and donors on the tsunami recovery... View Article