How to Actually Help in Nepal

Click-bait listicles can be an amusing distraction or the bane of intelligent online communication. In this case the Distractify article highlights the problem with the way many people think about giving to charity. With the death toll exceeding 6000 after the recent earthquake in Nepal many people are turning to internet searches to advise them in the best way to give.

While the article claims to educate you about "10 Things You Should Know Before Donating to Nepal" in truth most of the items listed by the author are ineffective and cause confusion. While we can all agree that scams help no one, administrative costs are almost never a good way to determine a charities effectiveness and can be counterproductive.

While #8 is good advice- your money does go further when partnered with larger organizations matching donations. Also consider donating to an effective transparent organization like the ones recommended by The Life You Can Save. Many of these charities already have 'boots on the ground' and have set up specific earthquake relief funds. Here are recommended charities that have Nepal specific fundraisers:

  • SEVA Foundation- has 3 decades of working in Nepal with an extensive healthcare network
  • Oxfam - working on water, sanitation, and shelter
  • Possible - another healthcare organization with a base in Nepal. They are partnering with the America Nepal Medial Foundation in their efforts

All of these are great organizations you can feel confident about giving to. Your money will have significant, track-able, tractable impact.

If you really need to have a listicle about the best way to donate money, Chris Blattman sums up this GiveWell article nicely as follows (Picture added to create a more buzz-like feel):

 1) Money is usually not the limiting factor at the moment, though it will be at some point

2) Give to organized professionals who have a track record of turning donations into action

3) Give unconditionally, letting them spend it anywhere in the world

4) Give to more transparent and accountable organizations

5) Give cash

6) Think about giving to less publicized causes

7) Don’t give to those market directly to you, on the phone or the street