Just as they did when earthquakes ravaged Haiti, many fast-acting organizations have mobilized to help rescue animals caught in the massive Gulf oil spill. But as was also the case with Haiti, not all groups have the best interests of the animals, or the donors, in mind. If you want to help, how do you know which ones are responsible, versus inefficient, ineffective or outright scams?
The U.S. Better Business Bureau (BBB) has compiled a list of 13 agencies working in the Gulf that meet the corporate responsibility agency’s Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability. Those organizations are listed below.
- American Bird Conservancy
- Ducks Unlimited
- Friends of the Earth
- Greenpeace Fund
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
- National Audubon Society
- National Wildlife Federation
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Nature Conservancy
If you’re looking to donate or offer help to an organization, here are some tips to consider:
Send money, not things. Charity organizations can use your financial help to restock their supplies, but sending clothes, food or other items is, at best, misguided.
Research organizations not on the above list on Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of non-profits and aid organizations that has compiled a list of gulf-related groups that have attained three- or four-star ratings from their studies, and are generally considered trustworthy and efficient.
View most recent tax filing and non-profit status for any group you’re not entirely familiar with at The Foundation Center or Guidestar.org.
Observe expenditures, governance, and reputation of each charity listed above on the BBB web site, at Gulf Oil Spill Recovery: Tips for Donors and Volunteers.
Beware of offers to donate or pledge money online or through a specialized text message online, through Facebook or in mass emails.