Important considerations when giving to disaster relief efforts

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Local support

Supporting a local charity directly can have a significant impact on an affected region, as these organizations typically have unique expertise in a certain area. When giving locally, donors should review an organization's operational track record in disaster relief, relevant service capabilities and confirm that it can handle large donations.

Faith-based giving

Faith-based charitable organizations are often at the forefront of a local response. Particular houses of worship in the affected community or their denomination's related relief agency may be supporting the relief effort. For additional information about faith-based giving, contact your particular house of worship or its relief agency to learn more about its role in the rebuilding of communities before recommending a grant for this purpose.

Timing of support

When natural disasters occur, many donors are inclined to respond quickly to urgent requests for assistance by providing immediate help. While it is critical to the emergency relief effort to provide aid immediately, it is also important to consider the needs throughout the four phases of a disaster, some of which may extend several years after a tragic event occurs.

Learn more about the four phases of disaster in When to Give: The Four Phases of Disaster Relief

American National Red Cross

Perhaps the most challenging question facing donors looking to contribute to any cause is that of which organization to support. This is especially important in disaster relief, and is often a decision made with little research due to the immediacy of the need and the overwhelming number of charities that spring up in the days following the event.

In times of a domestic disaster, the American National Red Cross plays a particularly central role in coordinating and responding to the needs of those affected. In fact, while the Red Cross is independent from the government, it has been chartered by Congress since 1905 to have the power to respond to domestic and international disasters as well as the duty to the nation and disaster victims to do so.

How Fidelity Charitable can help

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