On today's Brian Lehrer Show at 11:40am, Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon discusses the way in which individual donations to Japan to help with earthquake relief can be a tricky proposition. He points out that the Japanese Red Cross has explicitly said it does not want or need outside donations. Salmon writes that earmarking individual donations exclusively for the relief efforts following specific disasters can hobble relief organizations and potentially leave a lot of unused money on the table. Salmon does suggest giving un-restricted donations to relief organizations instead of designating your money in the name of Japanese victims of disaster.
We'll post highlights from Brian and Felix's conversation later, but for now, here are some links to relief organizations if you choose to consider a donation of any kind.