With Chile still writhing from last week’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake, there are tons of disaster relief agencies working to raise money and send support and supplies. As with Haiti’s recent disaster, a familiar trend is surfacing: text giving. Much like the strategy that the American Red Cross used to respond to Haiti’s earthquake, more organizations than ever are turning to text giving as a strategy to quickly raise money to support Chile’s recovery.
If you want to support the relief effort in Chile by text giving, here is a sampling of organizations that have set up text giving opportunities:
- Text CHILE to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
- Text CHILE to 23583 to donate $10 to Habitat for Humanity
- Text CHILE to 20222 to donate $10 to World Vision
- Text CHILE to 50555 to donate $10 to Friends of the World Food Program
- Text CHILE to 52000 to donate $10 to The Salvation Army
- Text REBUILD to 50555 to donate $10 to Operation USA
- Text 4CHILE to 50555 to donate $10 to Convoy of Hope
- Text CHILE to 864833 to give $10 to the United Way
At JVA Consulting, it’s encouraging for us to see more organizations incorporating text giving because this strategy engages individual donors and effectively employs the power of low-level donations. Plus, it makes giving really easy for donors so organizations can quickly raise money for disaster relief.
There are other lessons learned from the Haiti relief effort that should be remembered as donors choose how to offer their support to Chile. As with any large-scale natural disaster or tragedy, many scams were born out of the Haiti earthquake and the same is true for Chile.
The FBI released a scam alert following the Haiti earthquake, warning donors to apply a critical eye to organizations requesting donations and to do their due diligence before donating. The FBI also warns:
- Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming emails, including clicking links contained within those messages.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via email or social networking sites.
- Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.
- Be cautious of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
- Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
- Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions–providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
If you are unsure about donating to a particular organization, there are online resources available to verify a nonprofit’s legitimacy. GuideStar is a great place to start because it offers information gathered from tax forms that nonprofits must submit to the I.R.S. each year. Charity Navigator is another useful option. This Web site rates the financial health of nonprofit organizations and awards its 4-Star rating to those meeting the highest standards of financial health.
When there is less time to deliberate because of the urgency that comes along with disasters like the Chile and Haiti earthquakes, Web sites like these can be useful tools for donors who want to contribute to disaster relief.