Making the Most of Your Donation

Making a donation is a way of reaching out a helping hand.  By providing even a small donation, you can be part of an effort to provide medical assistance, supply food and shelter, and help families rebuild their lives and communities.  Thanks for joining us in these relief efforts.

Yet, sometimes figuring out how to help can be overwhelming.  Here are some tips that you can keep in mind when making your donation.

For a list of organizations that meet the InterAction standards and are responding to Typhoon Haiyan, visit our Typhoon Haiyan Crisis List. For a list of organizations that meet the InterAction standards and are responding in the Syria region, visit our Syria Crisis List

Reputable Organizations

All InterAction members meet our PVO Standards, which set out standards of accountability and transparency both to donors and affected populations. You can also visit Charity Navigator and GuideStar for independent assessments of organizations you wish to donate to.

Monetary Donations: Flexible, Fast, and Effective

If you want to lend a hand, a monetary donation is a flexible, fast and effective way to reach out and help others.  Its flexibility allows it to be used for whatever is most necessary, whether that is medical supplies, shelter, food or something else entirely.  Its impact can be felt quickly, no waiting on shipping or coordinating logistics.  It makes aid effective by supplying exactly what is needed at the right time.  A small donation can make a huge impact toward the larger goal of providing relief and resilience.

Material Donations: What to Know Before You Send

Material donations from individuals consist of new or used items that are donated to a relief effort. If you do decide to donate materials rather than making a monetary donation, then there are steps you can take to ensure that your donation makes as big an impact as possible.  Here are some great ideas:


In the aftermath of humanitarian crises, it is critical that the response of the international community is immediate and well-coordinated in order to save as many lives as possible.

  • Volunteers are asked to have previous disaster or international experience or technical skills (for example, medicine, communications, logistics, water/sanitation, engineering), and are usually from neighboring communities not affected by the disaster.
  • Well-intentioned foreigners, lacking technical skills, disaster experience and familiarity with the local culture and language can seriously complicate relief efforts.
  • Those with technical skills or international experience who would like to volunteer should register with the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) after reading this page.

InterAction Guidance on International Adoption

The media attention in Haiti after the earthquake on January 12, 2010, has also brought increased awareness to the plight of children who have become unaccompanied or orphaned as a result of the natural disaster. InterAction stresses that, in the aftermath of humanitarian crises, international adoption should not be the first response to helping protect and care for vulnerable children. For more information, read International Adoption and Haiti: After the Earthquake.