Disaster Relief Donations: Help Nonprofits Help in a Crisis

Fundraising Ideas

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When disasters strike, it’s comforting to know there are people on their way to help. A lot of people and resources are needed to adequately respond to a crisis situation. Government agencies are often dispatched to address disasters, but so are many disaster relief nonprofits who lend a hand alongside governmental relief efforts. These nonprofits rely on disaster relief donations to purchase crucial supplies, train volunteers, and mobilize their disaster response teams when crisis strikes. To make it easier for disaster response nonprofits to help in a crisis, here’s how you can do the most good for these nonprofits. 

1. Donate funds

Unsurprisingly, to successfully respond to crisis situations wherever and whenever they strike, these nonprofits need the funds to stay fully stocked and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. One of the best ways that you can help your favorite disaster relief organization continue to provide its services is by donating to them. 

Donations can be used for a variety of purposes such as buying needed emergency supplies or fuel for emergency response travel. Because many disaster relief organizations are non-government entities, they rely on donations to get the job done. That’s why it’s so crucial to give what you can when you can to disaster relief nonprofits. 

2. Fundraise for disaster relief nonprofits

If you can’t donate your own funds, consider fundraising on behalf of disaster relief nonprofits. This is peer-to-peer fundraising. You reach out to friends and family and ask them to donate to the disaster relief charity you’re supporting. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to get a lot of donations in the hands of disaster relief professionals in a short amount of time. 

The best part about peer-to-peer donations is the many different forms this method of fundraising can take. If you’re a natural at hosting events, you can plan a fundraising event for your community to raise funds. Otherwise, you can post on social media with a Facebook fundraiser or reach out to friends and family to request donations via email. We’ve even put together some handy templates to make fundraising asks over social media or email easier! 

Once you’ve collected funds for the disaster relief nonprofit, make the donation so they can continue their important work. 

3. Donate goods (when asked)

Another great way to support disaster relief nonprofits is by donating goods that they request. It’s important not to overwhelm disaster relief nonprofits with physical items you think they need. Instead, be like Batman and heed the call of these nonprofits. When they send the signal, a request for certain goods that they need to respond to a disaster, that’s your time to shine. Collect and deliver those goods to the disaster relief nonprofit and save the day! 

You can make donations of these items as an individual, or use your peer-to-peer skills and host a supply drive to make an even bigger impact.  

The How You Can Help section of Second Harveest Food Bank's Disaster Relief Donation Form.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC included a section on their Disaster Relief Program page telling donors exactly what they needed to assist with recovery after a hurricane.

4. Volunteer your time and talent

Whether you’re a first responder or a citizen who is good at stacking canned goods on a shelf, you can help. Many disaster relief nonprofits need more manpower to continue providing services during disasters. If you have the ability to help a local disaster relief nonprofit, volunteer your time with them. Chances are you’ll make a huge difference when it comes to responding quickly to an emergency. 

Even if your role is to help the nonprofit prepare for an emergency, you’d be doing invaluable work as a volunteer. Your time spent helping now shaves time off their response times later. This is a huge asset to disaster relief nonprofits that they’ll be sure to appreciate.  

5. Donate to local nonprofits in the affected area

When disaster strikes, you can also donate to nonprofit organizations impacted by the disaster. This provides a great opportunity to alleviate some of the burden placed on the disaster relief nonprofit that responds to the crisis. 

Nonprofits in the area are likely going to be negatively impacted during a crisis. Either that, or they’ll be the first in line to help their communities when disaster strikes. When you donate to these nonprofits, even if they’re not disaster relief nonprofits, you make a big difference in the communities that are impacted by natural disasters.  

Final thought

If you’ve been curious about how you can help disaster relief nonprofits, we hope these five ideas inspire you. Whether you’re giving your funds, your resources, or your time, every little bit helps make responding to a crisis that much easier. Just be sure not to offer unsolicited donations of goods and services that may overwhelm a disaster relief organization.  

Are you a disaster relief nonprofit in need of a way to raise more funds to provide your services? Check out this blog post on how to run a text fundraising campaign like the Red Cross. 

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