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Monday, January 18, 2010

Donating to the Haiti earthquake relief effort

476633605_4e074c08d4_b Cross-posted from the TwitFeeder blog. You might also want to check out the Options for giving post, which enumerates more organizations you should consider donating to (not related to the Haiti earthquake).

As most of you probably already know, the Republic of Haiti has been hit by a catastrophic earthquake. Please donate to the organizations which are trying to help. The online donation has been proven a great success - so good to see the bright side of globalization (speaking of online - it is an interesting example of how offline events can be observed online - an other example being the Google flu-trends). Below you will find a compilation of reputable information sources, which is important, since there are always a lot of scams around important events like this.

Important! Most of the information is rather specific to the USA and most of them presuppose credit-cards. If you live outside of North-America and have PayPal account, I would recommend donating to the Haiti Earthquake Children in Emergency Fund. You can get a list of ways you can donate via PayPal/eBay on their blog.

  • Doing the Right Thing from the SANS diary - it gives a couple of very good advices. It also specifically lists the following organizations:
  • If you have a Google Checkout account, you can donate to CARE or UNICEF using it. The Google crisis response webpage also lists a lot of trustworthy organizations which accept your donation and SMS numbers (valid in the USA only!) which can be used for donation. They also offer free calls to Haiti trough Google Voice
  • Here are a couple of great tips from the CERIAS blog (written by professor Spafford) to help you avoid being scammed:
    • Do not enter any information at a Web page that pops up unexpectedly when you visit some other site.
    • Never click on a Web site address (URL) in e-mail sent to you; it may look official, but most will be pointers to fraud or attack sites.
    • Don’t assume that every Web address returned by a search engine, such as Google or Bing, is a legitimate organization.
    • Do not respond to e-mail requesting donations or making a special offer (such as asking you to hold their assets while Haiti rebuilds).
    • Do not reveal any personal or financial information during a phone call you did not dial yourself.
    • If a friend forwards a URL, phone number or e-mail, don’t trust it until you check its validity. Your friend may have been scammed first.
  • A similar article on the Microsoft website: How to avoid online donation scams
  • If you are from Canada, here are a couple of resources (via Security Balance):

  • Many community websites also include a suggestion to donate (for example or oneforty) and you can be reasonably sure about their recommendation if you've been using the site for some time (then again, it never hurts to double-check).

Picture taken from rbrwr's photostream with permission.


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