The GiveWell Blog

From the archive: 6 tips on disaster relief giving

We’ve received several questions about donating in response to Tropical Storm Harvey. We wanted to share this post, which was originally published in 2013, with our advice for disaster relief giving. We’re unsure if bullet points #4 and #5 still apply, as it has been a few years since we last investigated giving opportunities for disasters, and we have mostly considered international disasters.

Our general advice on disaster relief giving:

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Giving to support the relief effort for the Nepal earthquake

GiveWell aims to find giving opportunities that allow donors to do as much good as possible with their donations, and our research efforts focus on that goal. We have not researched giving opportunities related to the relief effort for the Nepal earthquake, specifically. Below, we share our 6 tips on disaster relief giving, a post…

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6 tips on disaster relief giving

Our general advice on disaster relief giving: 1. Give cash, not clothes (or other goods). Giving away unwanted items makes donors feel good, and relief agencies can be under substantial pressure to accept their gifts-in-kind. But shipping and sorting these gifts can be a substantial expense and hassle, and such gifts can literally get in…

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Revisiting the 2011 Japan disaster relief effort

Last year, Japan was hit by a severe earthquake and tsunami, and we recommended giving to Doctors Without Borders specifically because it was not soliciting funds for Japan. We reasoned that the relief effort did not appear to have room for more funding – i.e., we believed that additional funding would not lead to a…

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Evaluation of American Red Cross Haiti response

We’ve been working on an update of our disaster relief report, and came across an American Red Cross evaluation from December 2010 stating: If you would like to access this report, please get in contact with the ALNAP secretariat. We emailed the ALNAP secretariat, saying: I am writing from GiveWell, an independent, non-profit charity evaluator…

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Somalia famine: Update

Over the past month, we’ve worked to understand the situation in Somalia and make a recommendation to donors about where they should give. At this point we’re wrapping up our work with the following conclusions: We wouldn’t recommend giving to support Somalia specifically over supporting everyday aid. While the needs are extreme, we aren’t convinced…

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