Ukraine Charity Relief Tips
Wise Giving Advice on Ukraine Charity Relief
February 23, 2022
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, concerns grow about emergency needs of the Ukraine people. Generous donors want to help by supporting charities that are raising funds for assistance. BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips for donors to consider along with a list of BBB Accredited Charities that have announced Ukraine-related activities or plans on their websites.
We certainly encourage generosity to help the people in Ukraine but caution donors to avoid questionable appeals by keeping the following tips in mind:
- Can the charity get to the impacted area? Not all relief organizations will be positioned to provide relief quickly. See if the charity already has a presence in Ukraine.
- Should you send clothing and food? Local drives to collect clothing and food to send overseas may not be practical as the logistics and timing to deliver and disperse such items will be challenging. Relief organizations are better equipped to obtain what is needed, distribute it effectively and avoid duplication of effort.
- Does the relief charity meet BBB Charity Standards? You can verify a charity’s trustworthiness by viewing an evaluative report completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance. See the list provided below of charities that that are soliciting for relief assistance for Ukraine and that also meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
- Is the charity experienced in providing emergency relief? Experienced disaster relief charities are the best bet to help deliver aid as soon as possible. New entrants may have difficulty in following through even if they have the best of intentions.
- Are you considering crowdfunding appeals? If engaging in crowdfunding, it is safest to give to someone you personally know and trust, and review the platform’s policies regarding fees and distribution of collected funds. If the crowdfunding request is from a charity, check out the group by visiting Give.org. Keep in mind that some crowdfunding sites do very little vetting of individuals or organizations that decide to post for relief assistance. Sites that take security measures will usually provide descriptions of these procedures.
- Does the appeal make exaggerated financial claims such as “100% will be spent on relief.” Charities have fundraising and administrative expenses. Any charity claiming otherwise is potentially misleading the donating public. Even a credit card donation will have a processing fee.
The following nationally-soliciting charities are BBB Accredited (i.e., they meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability). Their respective websites indicate that they are either currently raising funds for assistance efforts in Ukraine or preparing for needs that could arise if conflict results in population displacement.
Alight | Ukraine Relief Activities
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee | Ukraine Relief Activities
Americares Foundation | Ukraine Relief Activities
CARE USA | Ukraine Relief Activities
Catholic Relief Services | Ukraine Relief Activities
CHC: Creating Healthier Communities | Ukraine Relief Activities
Direct Relief | Ukraine Relief Activities
Episcopal Relief & Development | Ukraine Relief Activities
Heart to Heart International | Ukraine Relief Activities
Global Communities | Ukraine Relief Activities
GlobalGiving | Ukraine Relief Activities
International Medical Corps | Ukraine Relief Activities
International Rescue Committee | Ukraine Relief Activities
MAP International | Ukraine Relief Activities
Matthew 25: Ministries | Ukraine Relief Activities
Medical Teams International | Ukraine Relief Activities
Mennonite Central Committee | Ukraine Relief Activities
Mercy Corps | Ukraine Relief Activities
Operation USA | Ukraine Relief Activities
Salvation Army | Ukraine Relief Activities
Save the Children | Ukraine Relief Activities
SOS Children’s Villages – USA l Ukraine Relief Activities
United Methodist Committee on Relief | Ukraine Relief Activities
United States Association for UNHCR | Ukraine Relief Activities
Update on Ukraine Charity Relief
March 2, 2022
As the circumstances are changing daily in Ukraine, BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following additional information to help you make informed giving decisions about helping people in need in this area.
- Charities that meet BBB standards. As of today, our list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., groups that meet all 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) engaged in Ukraine relief issues has expanded to twenty (20) organizations and we will include others as we learn about their efforts.
- Variety of relief activities. Keep in mind that relief charities can be involved in a variety of different efforts (food distribution, shelter, medical care, etc.). See if the charity’s website provides a description of their planned efforts, if not ask for clarification. Don’t assume what they do based on their name alone.
- Refugee destinations. The UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, reports that over half a million people have left Ukraine to neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia. As more refugees are on the way, donors might also consider charities engaged in assisting refugees located in those specific countries.
- Deducting donations. Relief charities that are based in the U.S. are eligible to receive contributions that are deductible as charitable as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. In general, donations to foreign-based charities entities, such as those created and established in Ukraine, are not deductible. In addition, it is difficult to check out foreign-based organizations.
- Potential scams. While our experience in reporting on appeals for emergency situations shows it can be difficult to identify when scams occur, we believe our giving tips help potential donors spot red flags to help them avoid questionable situations. The greatest risk is taken when a contributor seeks no verification before a donation is made.
- Social media cautions. Social media such as Facebook and others help spread the word about assisting people in need in Ukraine. It can sometimes be difficult to verify the authenticity of these posts. If you see a post that also includes a link to donate, BBB WGA recommends donors instead go directly to the charity’s website on their own to make a contribution. Also, don’t assume the recommended charities have been vetted.