Katrina, Tsunami Lessons Can Inform Haiti Fundraising
Glenview, IL, Jan. 18, 2010 — How much will Americans end up donating to the Haitian earthquake relief efforts? If past disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami provide guidance for today’s efforts, the result is likely to be in the billions.
In 2006, for example, Giving USA Foundation reported that American individuals, corporations and foundations donated $7.37 billion in 2005 for disaster relief in the aftermaths of the hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast of the United States, the Asian tsunami and an earthquake in Pakistan. An additional $1.17 billion was raised for hurricane relief in 2006.
And just as of today, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University reported that $189.9 million has been donated to 43 organizations for relief efforts. This tracks with the five-day fundraising response to the Asian tsunami and the 2005 hurricanes.
Giving USA Foundation and Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Non-Profits urge citizens to give wisely yet cautiously. The two organizations, headquartered in Glenview, Ill., have been tracking charitable contributions since 1954, and also provide advice to nonprofit organizations around the world. The emotionally draining images being broadcast are riveting and striking, and bolster the natural desire of Americans to respond to need; they donated an estimated $307.65 billion to charity in 2008.
Facts are hard to come by right now from the island nation of Haiti, and they keep changing hour-by-hour as the world tries to come to grips with the devastation suffered there in the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake last Tuesday. Americans —generous by nature– are looking for the best ways to aid those who need it most.
Looking to lessons learned in the aftermath of recent disasters, Institute Chair Nancy L. Raybin, speaking on behalf of the Giving Institute member firms, and Foundation Chair Edith H. Falk, speaking for the board of the Foundation, offer advice to both nonprofits working in the trenches of relief efforts and to Americans who want to help.