Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Check out Haitian relief charities

By Gerri Willis, personal finance editor


NEW YORK (CNN) -- First, you want to avoid newly-formed charities. Work with an established charity that has experience in Haiti. Let's face it, establishing a new charity is hard enough, but in a crisis, the odds of succeeding are slim to none.

Look for a proven track record of success in providing disaster relief. If you really feel compelled to donate to a new charity, make sure it is registered public charity with 501(c)(3) status.

home_rich_cover.03.jpg
For more information on managing your largest investment, check out Gerri Willis' 'Home Rich,' now in bookstores.
CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.28%
$10K MMA 0.26%
6 month CD 0.38%
1 yr CD 0.62%
5 yr CD 1.30%

Find personalized rates:
 

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

Charities encourage donors not to designate their gifts so that the charity can decide how best to utilize the money. However you can tell the charity exactly what to do with your contribution.

Most charities that accept online donations offer a check box feature so that you can tell the organization how to spend your contribution. If you are mailing in a donation, write a note in the memo section of the check specifying that you want your gift spent entirely on the current crisis.

You don't want to send a check to the Haitian government. Haiti was known to be a unstable country even before this disaster, and as we've reported, the government really isn't functioning well right now. Keep in mind also that contributions to foreign governments are not tax deductible.

It's all about the greenbacks. Don't send supplies.

We see images of people in need of food and water. But it's not practical or efficient to send materials. Even if mail could get to Haiti, no one is set up to receive these goods, much less organize and distribute them to the victims. Furthermore, charities are often able to partner with companies to acquire large amounts of in-kind donations such as bottled water and new clothing.

Instead of boxing up and sending your old clothing, have a garage sale and turn your used goods into cash and donate that to a worthy charity.

-- CNN's Jen Haley contributed to this article.

Talkback: Are you planning on donating? To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.92%3.81%
15 yr fixed3.12%3.03%
5/1 ARM3.17%3.15%
30 yr refi3.91%3.80%
15 yr refi3.11%3.03%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 20,975.09 -21.03 -0.10%
Nasdaq 6,025.23 -0.27 -0.00%
S&P 500 2,387.45 -1.16 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.31 -0.02 -0.69%
Data as of 8:50am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 23.89 -0.09 -0.38%
Ford Motor Co 11.60 0.12 1.05%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 5.47 -0.04 -0.73%
General Electric Co 29.26 -0.19 -0.65%
Advanced Micro Devic... 13.41 -0.08 -0.59%
Data as of Apr 26

Sections

Chris Sacca, an investor known for his early bets on Uber and Twitter announced Wednesday that he will stop investing in startups. More

Homeowners who sold their home in the first three months of this year saw an average price gain of $44,000 from purchase, according to a new report. More