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The Nonprofit Blog
My friend and colleague, Rob Wu, founder of Causevox, woke up on March 11th to the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He happened to be at the legendary SXSW festival in Austin, TX, surrounded by thousands of people from around the world, also waking up to the same news.
With one eye glued to the TV screen screen, Rob called his partner Jeff Chang and within minutes posted a peer to peer fundraising page - SXSW Cares offering an opportunity for others at the conference to "do something!" Word spread quickly at the conference through twitter, facebook and word of mouth. Within a few hours SXSW Cares exceeded their goal to raise $10,000 for the Red Cross that day before the Red Cross even posted their own site. Today SXSW Cares is within a few dollars of reaching $80,000! Read more.
As mentioned many times in this blog space, by combining a good idea with clean, clear and easy to use technology, then spreading the word through our established social networks, we can not only make a difference but also give caring people the opportuity to "do something!"
Today I'm at NTEN's National Technology Conference in Washington, DC with Rob and Jeff and hundreds of other caring professionals working to find ways to connect people who care with causes that matter.
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How to help in Japan
It's a fact that disaster donations peak about 3 days after an incident. We are appalled, frightened, enraged by the images and stories and we feel we just have to do something! We go online or text-a-gift and we get some relief. A week later, we are numbed by the tragedies and giving slacks off. All of the experts suggest we wait and see what is really needed a few weeks or months after the event.
Clearly there is a lot more impact in Haiti by donating money to the medical groups who have proven they are caring for survivors now, than the quick fix dollars that were text-ed in the first few days. You will get much more bang for your charitable buck if you send a donation to the organizations building housing today in New Orleans, than you got if you made a donation in those first terrifying days.
It's a quandary, because giving falls off precipitously a few days after the disaster.
Do your homework: There was an excellent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy this week: A Donor's Guide to Giving After a Disaster. There is also some similarly good advice from Charity Navigator.
Take your time, do your research and plan out how your gift can help.
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How to help in Japan
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