Mexico Donations: Ask a Kossak and ask a Dharmatist

(Yay murrayewv! Please give what you can. @2pm – promoted by buhdydharma )

There have been several diaries on the devastating floods in Mexico in Jalisco and Tabasco.  The flood is frontpaged here and I thought I could crosspost a diary I sent over to Daily Kos where is is sadly falling flat.  Probably bad timing on my part, but here goes! link, linkmariachi mama and mango on Ask a Kossak, community members in Mexico, have written asking for us to help but warned us to be cautious where to send money.  mango personally collected funds to redistribute in a regional flood in her area recently and many of her diaries were recommended.  This was great, but we can’t be sure that this will be as effective in a flood of this magnitude, with a million people displaced.  At that level, you need volunteers AND organizations that know what they are doing.  Over a million people are displaced, 40% children.  Many will have lost everything they own as well as their crops for this year.

Several at Daily Kos and Docudharma asked where to give for flood victims that will get aid to the victims without fraud.  I know there is a lot of fraud in both the USA and in Mexico on fundraising of this sort.  I have summaried three organizations with specific relief programs for the Mexico Floods that meet guidelines for properly run charities.  I believe any one of these three is likely to deliver services honestly.  If you have reservations about these organizations or recommendations that they are good, please let the community know.  I am just a Google channel here.  Please chime in with other recommendations as well.

I am basing my recommended charities on Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.  Both these organizations rank charities based on how much money they spend on fund-raising and administration (executive salaries etc).  The idea is that if your charity is spending too much money on fundraising, perhaps they aren’t delivering enough services to those in need.  I searched the Charity Navigator site using “disaster” as a term. 

United States Funds for UNICEF
Specific fund for children and families in Mexico.  Over 400,000 children are affected by the flooding and displacement.  This charity ranked 4 starts and 61.63 in Charity Navigator.  This means 91.8% of contributions go to run their programs.

USA for UNICEF’s Tabasco Flood link for targeting giving.


They received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator for the last 6 years.  Their score was an impressive 62.42 with 99.2% of their money going to program services.  They are also ranked by the Better Business Bureau’s wise giving alliance.  They were ranked third in the Chronicle of Philanthropy and are ranked as one of the 17 nonprofits with 100-percent fundraising efficiency by Forbes.  They get a lot of corporate partners.  Your company may match your donation if there is a corporate match program.   Paul Newman endorsed them.

From their Tabasco Flood Targeted giving site:

AmeriCares has been providing aid to people devastated by natural disasters for 25 years and has developed the expertise required to deliver emergency supplies and critical medicines to areas destroyed by these violent storms.  AmeriCares has been working with the Mexican Association of the Order of Malta for more than a decade, providing humanitarian aid to those in need within the country.

Operation USA

Operation USA collects from a lot of corporate partners, especially pharmaceutical companies and hospitals and redistribute supplies.  They also do this to USA nonprofit clinics, which I appreciate.  They have a variety of religious groups as partners, both Jewish and Christian and take a nonsectarian approach.  They have a specific Tabasco  Flood relief project.

Operation USA has experienced that, instantaneously, a family, community and entire nation can be devastated and be faced with unprecedented challenges. To mitigate the immediate effects of such tragedies, Operation USA rapidly and expertly provides on-the-ground aid by sending vital life-saving supplies and cash grants to assist communities in rebuilding. Partnering with grassroots organizations, Operation USA specializes in reaching vulnerable populations who are in the greatest need, yet who are often ignored by governments and larger aid organizations.

I am responding to requests from “Ask a Kossak and other diaries to respond with suggestions.  I picked these three charities specifically because they are honest and large and well organized- therefore likely to get in with the help sooner and they take on-line donations.  There are many religious charities like Catholic Charities Relief which probably also do a pretty good job getting help to people, but I am sticking with the Nongovernmental Organizations for this list.

Please recommend and add to this list to pitch in to help people suffering a lot!  Think of this as your climate change action effort for today.  Even $10 online will add up.


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    • murrayewv on November 6, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    thought I would come over here and share my efforts to ID some good places to send a contribution.  I sent a modest contribution to UNICEF today and feel a little better.

  1. and thanks for posting this.

  2. im off to donate….after i forward some links…

  3. on the wiki ASAP.  Thanks for pulling it all together murray.  Welcome to the blog.

  4. a mudlside in Chiapis on the Rio Grijalva and has wiped out a village. The government has reported 16 missing, but the villagers are saying the number is much higher, that at least 70 people of the community of 150 are missing. The side of the mountain slid into the river, creating a tsunami-type event


    Thank you for posting this diary. These people are in desperate need.

  5. and will be inclined to donate if they know that their money is going for the purpose intended and not eaten up in administrative costs.  I’ve made a donation and I’m going to e-mail people with the links for donations to encourage them to help! 

    There but for the grace of . . . . !”

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