Responding in times of emergencies

Amy Carter
The Christchurch Foundation/CFNZ Trustee
14 February 2023

If you are wondering how to best help those impacted by cyclone Gabrielle, or the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, here are some considerations based upon our experience and global best practice.

  • Are you wanting to provide emergency or recovery support? Either has merit but often the biggest gap for funding is for the longer-term recovery as the TV camera's leave and what has occurred is less front of mind. Additionally, government funding often doesn't carry on post the emergency phase.
  • Is my gift going to the right entity and will it actually be used how I intend? Do your due diligence and be wary of scams. We recommend gifting via reputable and well-established entities such as local Community Foundations or refer to Philanthropy New Zealand or the Gift Trust who has posted some suggestions/ done the homework for you. Avoid donating to bank account numbers and always use secure online donation platforms. For offshore gifting we recommend the larger entities such as UNICEF or The Red Cross. It is normal and entirely acceptable for a small administration fee to be taken by the charity doing the work. Running a response requires staff and resources, if this is not funded, they cannot help.
  • Cash is king. Sending goods, furniture, food is not the best form of generosity as it causes logistical issues.
  • Remember that time is a treasure, as well. If you are in a position to do so, consider what you can do to help local volunteer efforts, such as the work of your City Mission or Foodbank, or other charities involved in humanitarian support, such as Orange Sky NZ and The Salvation Army.

Follow CFNZ on Facebook for links to emergency appeals and other ways to help Aotearoa NZ recover from this nationwide emergency, for now we are sending much aroha and strength across the motu to our friends and colleagues in the North Island. Kia kaha.

Date Posted: 14 Feb 2023

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