BEST WAY TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA
CharityWatch, a leading charity
watchdog that issues letter grade (A+ to F) ratings of nonprofit
groups, announces its top-rated list of charities
involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance
to the people of Syria. The increasingly violent conflicts that began in March
2011 have claimed the lives of more than 70,000 people so far, leaving about 4 million
people in Syria needing emergency assistance. As of early 2013, the violence has displaced more than 2
million people within Syria. More than 1 million Syrians have registered as refugees seeking assistance in
neighboring countries - including Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey - as of March 2013 according to the UN,
and the total number of people fleeing Syria is much higher than that. The acceleration of refugees into
neighboring countries has overwhelmed social service providers.
CharityWatch identifies the following charities, which are providing
humanitarian relief to Syrians, that receive an A or B
grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services
and their fundraising efficiency. Contact the organizations below for information
on specific relief operations now underway.
Note: Links will open in a new window
Top-rated charities perform favorably in relation
to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program
2) Charities should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.
Contact your favorite charities to find out if they
provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g.,
emergency shelters, food and water, health care, psychological trauma counseling,
As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help with humanitarian relief efforts
should send contributions to only those charities
with an established track record of helping people in need.
People need to be on guard concerning the surge of solicitations related to
any highly publicized crisis. There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites
and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or insert malware on your computer.
Only give to legitimate charities with a track record of being able to help people in need.
Social media will include many fake victims. Do not donate to unknown individuals that purport
to need aid that post on Facebook, Craigslist, Indiegogo, etc... These are likely to be fraudsters, who may even
be from another country and out of reach of our US regulatory system. Even if they are legitimate victims they
may receive an unfairly large amount of aid.
SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
The best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable
charities to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing,
shelter materials and other supplies. By buying relief products
locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more
rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact
the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be
cost effective to distribute them. For example, after a tsunami in the Pacific,
boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely
useless items in tsunami-stricken nations with tropical climates,
were sent to these nations.