The whole world is aware of the various calamities striking different parts of the planet in rapid succession that charities are starting to get overwhelmed by the number of people that still needs help and their dwindling resources. From hurricanes to earthquakes, data recovery issues due to weather, not to mention the political strife engulfing many nations, many innocent people are desperate for attention and help but only a few respond to their needs. Aside from various government agencies, charities are among the first to offer support to affected localities and families.
But if you have seen the news lately, you’ll see that in America alone, at least a couple of hurricanes hit certain states leaving them crippled for weeks. Let’s not also forget the many island nations that suffered in the wake of Hurricane Irma. And then a massive earthquake hits Mexico that destroyed properties and took away lives of unknowing Mexicans of this horrific tragedy. With all these disasters subsequently happening one after the other, charities are starting to feel the burden of their desire to help those in need and the realities they are facing.
A flood of natural disasters around the world in the last month has some aid organizations taking a different approach to fundraising to prevent donor fatigue.
For weeks, Canadians have been inundated with video of the damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the United States and Caribbean — and two devastating earthquakes in Mexico. Before that, it was the wildfires in British Columbia.
Aid agencies usually issue individual appeals for single events, such as the 2004 Asian tsunami or the 2011 earthquake in Haiti.
With so many disasters in the news right now, there can be a numbing effect for donors, said Kate Bahen, managing director of Charity Intelligence Canada.
Donors to charities can only give so much and with consecutive disasters requiring extensive help and support, many charitable organizations can only do so much as they are already stretching themselves too thin and are now worried how to respond to more calamities that may still hit the planet before the year ends. Even wealthy nations like the US still suffer in the midst and wake of natural calamities and neighboring states of affected areas also feel the extent of the damage.
Officials say it’s better to donate to charities you know, like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, and the Humane Society.
And beware of scammers creating charities that look or sound like other reputable charities. But don’t be intimidated into not donating.
“The big thing is, don’t hold back from doing it if that’s truly what you’re calling is, but at the same time, be smart about it,” says Barrett.
You can also donate to your local church if they’re collecting items or funds.
And as if the damage incurred by these disasters aren’t enough yet, scammers take advantage of the situation and pose themselves as charitable institutions asking for donations that will never get to the intended recipients. It is not new anymore but still many ends up as victims and this practice has likewise tarnished the reputation and good intentions of legitimate charitable organizations and institutions that have really dedicated themselves to the service of all unfortunate victims of disasters both natural and man-made.
All these things have made it difficult for charities now to mobilize and respond to disasters because funds are fast depleting and even the volunteers themselves are worn out from addressing one catastrophe to the other. While they voice out such issues, it still does not discourage them to act as soon as they can once disaster strikes and are still fervently asking everyone to pitch in and donate in whatever way they can to help everyone affected recover and move on from the tragedy they’ve just gone through.