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How to make Donations to Charity responsibly!

Updated on May 21, 2013

How to evaluate a charity:

On Thursday, January 13, 2010 on NPR (National Public Radio), I heard a report about making donations to charity for Haitian relief. The guest on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" was from The American Institute of Philanthropy. The point that was being made--be sure that the money you donate goes where you want it to go--to the people that need the help. Now we have the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.

I know of two organizations that will help you evaluate charitable organizations so you can give responsibly and help Haiti. The first is the one I mention above, The American Institute of Philanthropy. The second is Charity Navigator: Your Guide to Intelligent Giving.

The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) has announced its top-rated list of charities involved in Haitian earthquake relief efforts. AIP, a leading charity watchdog that issues letter grade (A to F) ratings of nonprofit groups. AIP identified charities which provide aid to the victims that receive an "A" or "B" grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fund raising efficiency. You should contact the organization named for information of specific relief operations now underway.

AIP recommends that you give money and not goods at the present time.

Charity Navigator has published "Tips For Funding Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts" and a list of charities worthy of your support. Scroll down to see those.

On Saturday, January 15th, President Obama along with former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush announced the formation of a fund to help Haiti. The link to this very reputable organization is found below.

(The Public Domain Image is of a character that represents "charitable giving".)

To listen to an NPR story featuring Charity Navigator, click "Tis the Season to Avoid Charity Scams", click here.

This is a "legacy" article published in 2011. I do not update it, buy you are welcome to continue reading to learn about how to make responsible donations.

American Institute for Philanthropy

What this Non-profit stands for:


The mission of the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), a nonprofit charity watchdog and information service, is to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar contributed to charity by providing donors with the information they need to make more informed giving decisions.

(From AIP's website)

Help for Haiti
Help for Haiti

A List of Recommended Charitable Organizations from AIP

This is the list that the American Institute of Philanthropy provided on its website for giving to Haiti. (that is Haiti's Flag to the right)

You can go to AIP's website for a link to each. Notice "Save the Children" is on this list. It is a charity that many RocketMoms donate to here on Squidoo.

*Action Against Hunger (A)

*American Jewish World Service (A)

*American Red Cross (A-)

*American Refugee Committee (A)

*AmeriCares (A)


*Catholic Relief Services (A)

*Church World Service (A)

*Doctors Without Borders - USA (A)

*International Medical Corps (A+)

*International Rescue Committee (A+)

*Lutheran World Relief (A)

*Medical Teams International (B+)

* Mennonite Central Committee (A)

*Mercy Corps (A-)

*Operation USA (A)

* Oxfam-America (A-)

*Project Concern International (A)

* Save the Children (A)

*Salvation Army (A)

*UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) (A+)

*World Concern (Program of Crista Ministries) (A)

*World Vision (B+)

Helping Haiti Charity Navigator
Helping Haiti Charity Navigator

About Charity Navigator:

Charity Navigator is an independent charity evaluator. They help charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by providing in-depth, objective ratings and analysis of the financial health of America's largest charities. Use Charity Navigator's simple searchable database to find a charity you can trust and support. (from the organization's website)

You can Help Survivors of the Earthquake in Haiti by clicking here. You will find their tips for funding organizations that pledge to help Haiti.

There is also a clickable list of those organizations.

A Few Tips from Charity Navigator for intelligent giving to Haiti:

To read more information about each tip, go to Help Survivors of Earthquake in Haiti.

  • Avoid Newly-Formed Charities and Give To An Established Charity That Has Worked In Haiti
  • Do Not Give To The Haitian Government
  • Designate Your Investment
  • Be Careful Of Email Solicitations
  • Seek Out The Charity‚Äôs Authorized Website
  • Be Inspired By Social Media, But Still Do Your Homework

Need to learn more about Haiti?

Another Tip from Charity Navigator: Do Not Expect Immediate Results, But Do Keep Tabs On What Your Donation Accomplishes.

Who do you make donations to that you trust?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm out and about for the Angels April Fools' Day Quest and leaving

      ~ Squidoo Angel Blessings ~

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very good lens! ~ Thanks for visiting the Top 100 RMs Lenses List to Help Haiti. I'm going to get this featured right away. Good on you for all the work to help the people of Haiti.


    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 7 years ago

      I'm pretty picky about who I donate to. I am donating one of my lenses to Hope for Haiti (and might make a cash donation too if they accept PayPal) but I avoid even some mainstream organizations because of things they've done in the past.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 7 years ago from Northern California

      Now I don't have to make one of these. Thanks.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      Good lens about donating for Haiti. Thank you for caring, and for adding this lens to RocketMoms Help for Haiti. ~claudia

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thanks for the great advice and also for creating a place to help Haiti.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Excellent lens!

    • mythphile profile image

      Ellen Brundige 7 years ago from California

      Good news -- the Charity Navigator gives Hope For Haiti the best rating of any of the charities specifically working in Haiti (as opposed to larger organizations like World Vision which work in many places).

      Hope for Haiti is only one of many charities rushing to help the relief effort, but it's one of the few registered Squidoo charities that happens to be active and working in Haiti.

      I like having these two websites to check. During the 2004 tsunami, I spent a night trying to get good, solid information. The key things I looked for

      -- is the organization reputable, well-organized, effective?

      -- does it already have workers and supplies in the affected region, or is it getting them in quickly?

      On the other hand a long-term approach is important. Lots of people donate to emergency relief now during the first days of the disaster, but longterm, a year or two down the road, when most of the emergency workers are gone, there needs to be charities on the ground helping people rebuild their lives once they're past the crisis.

      Also my Mom has an interesting idea. She often donates to some OTHER cause during a big emergency. Say, something in Africa or South America, because those charities are being forgotten a bit during this big push to help Haiti.