According to William…

According to William Gibson's blog (entry for 12/31), the Canadian government is matching donations for tsunami relief up until January 11th to Canadian branches of the Red Cross and other organizations: see his blog for details. It looks like this offer is open to non-Canadians; I'm guessing that you can no longer claim it for tax-deductions in the U.S. however.

Another option is Smalldog Electronics, which will match donations to Doctors Without Borders. I'm not sure how a company can afford to make such an open offer, but assuming they're serious, it's lovely of them. Doctors Without Borders does note on their website now that they've as much funds as they can effectively utilize for tsunami relief; money sent to them will go into their general emergency fund -- which is of course what they initially drew on for sending immediate help to South Asia. They spend a remarkably high percentage of their funds on direct support (see image right, which reminds me that I need to draft something similar for the SLF annual report); this is part of why I like them.

And Sulekha, an online magazine, appears to also offer a matching fund, tax-deductible in the United States, in partnership with AID (Association for India's Development). I'm hesitant to recommend them without learning more and making sure they're okay -- Sulekha published me, long ago, but I don't know anything about their possible politics, reliability, etc., and ditto for AID. If anyone reading this can vouch for them, that'd be appreciated. I'm also not sure I understand how high the fund will go -- if I understand their site right, you can choose to either just donate (and be matched), or have your donation go into the matching pool -- which means half as much money initially, but potentially more encouragement to others to donate? Huh. A bit confusing. I'm not sure how that's any better than just donating directly; it seems like they're not really matching it themselves, beyond perhaps the initial amount?

5 thoughts on “According to William…”

  1. Actually, donations to the Canadian Red Cross are deductable on US taxes.

    Also, people who donate should check to see if their company has a donation matching program.

  2. Mary Anne, I used to give to Doctors Without Borders, and I may again; they are noted for going places others won’t. However, they aren’t particularly efficient: they only get three stars from Charity Navigator. Your graph indicates that they spend thirteen cents of every dollar you give them on fundraising and administrative expenses.Americares, another big charity I pick only as an example, spends only one cent of that dollar on fundraising and administration.

    I have a breakdown with links here, and I’m going to add Sarvodaya.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Just a quick update that AID seems pretty well vouched for, so if you want to donate to India specifically, you can do so there.

  4. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Yah — I’m not giving to Indian relief organizations myself, because India really is pretty well-organized in such things and other countries are going to be much more hard hit. But if you do want to give to India, they seem like a good one.

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