How to Be Smart When You Help Nepal

Nepal Earthquake graphicThe earthquake in Nepal devastated one of world’s poorest nations. The annual per capita income was US$730 in 2013, according to the World Bank.

The people in the country need help surviving the aftermath of the earthquake. The best thing we can do, 7600 miles away from the epicenter, is to donate money for relief efforts.

There are many international aid groups rushing help to Nepal.  It’s easy to land on a web page or click on an email, give your credit card number, and specify how much your want to give to the relief effort.

We think you should give generously! 

However, avoid these two pitfalls:

  1. Fraudsters who set up websites or send email saying that they charities but they are either outright lying or they are legal charities but most of the money collected goes to salaries or payments of the people who run the organization.  Before you give, check out the recipient organization on Charity Navigator.  That impartial site lets you type in the name of the organization you’re thinking of giving money to and find out how it rates in delivering service, transparency of its governance, financial controls, and other indicators of trustworthiness.Three- and four-star charities are good places to give your money, we think.  Avoid “charities” that are not listed or those with lower star ratings.
  2. Gifts to Non-US charities are NOT tax-deductible.  The Federal tax rules require that if you list a charitable deduction, the recipient organization must be a US group recognized by the IRS.  Many international aid groups have a US affiliate that meets the IRS requirement.You can check whether a group you’re considering donating to is tax deductible on the IRS website.

Give Now!

If you have a favorite charity that’s doing work in Nepal, please give them a gift today.  If you are unsure where to give, here’s a suggestion.

Doctors Without Borders LogoPayPal is waiving it’s processing fees when you donate to one of the relief charities they are spotlighting.  You give your money to the PayPal Giving Fund — a 501 (c)3 organization recognized by the IRS — and that fund forwards your money to the international relief organization you’ve selected.  We picked Doctors Without Borders, a group that gets a top-tier four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

If you you want to give as we did, visit PayPal now and click on the Doctors Without Borders icon  as it scrolls by.

(Note to Facebookers… Facebook is making it easy to donate to the International Medical Corps.  That charity is three-star rated by Charity Navigator which makes them a good choice, too.)

The people of Nepal need help, Please give what you can.

Give Wisely!  Give Today!

2 Replies to “How to Be Smart When You Help Nepal”

  1. I received a comment on Facebook: FYI, doctors without boarders will not accept donations restricted to Nepal. We also donated to them and just learned this.

    My reaction:Thanks for the info. In the past when I’v donated to the Red Cross I’ve had to click through a screen which told me that they may use money to another urgent need. For the Red Cross it sounded like a CYA legal statement… in the unlikely situation that they didn’t need additional funds for the current crisis they reserved the right to use the donation for another purpose. I suspect that the policy statement is widespread among charities.

    I am okay with the organizations reserving the right to use the money for another crisis. First, we should be so lucky to have too much money donated for the current Nepal needs that there were leftovers. And, second, I am okay with a four-star charity making a decision about where their donations go.

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