Charitable Contribution

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

With all the organizations already working in Haiti and many new ones cropping up, it's hard to know where to channel donations to be most effective. Ian Wilhelm, senior writer for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, talks about the options for giving to relief and recovery in Haiti.


Ian Wilhelm

Comments [15]

Susan from Dallas

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund was established by President Obama in cooperation with Presidents Clinton and Bush. It was referred to repeatedly on this show by Mr. Lehrer as Bush Clinton Haiti Relief.

It is hard to land or dock supplies, and to transport them to distribution areas. Money is what is needed to get the right items to the right places. There may be a time in the future for mailing personal donations of clothing, etc., but it is not now.

Jan. 21 2010 12:11 AM
Michael F. Capovbianco from SI< NY

I am quite surprised to hear one of your callers say that she has received nothing from Catholic Relief Services (CRS). I have gotten many solicitations via email and snail mail. I know they have considerable presence in Haiti and are doinga lot!

Jan. 20 2010 11:38 AM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

so he's the only one who donated to yele? no, lots of other people donated millions to yele- he used some of his and mostly their donation money to pay himself to do something that should've been done for free.
donate your money to another organization.

Jan. 20 2010 11:20 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

OK how does one steal their own money! Back up off Wyclef! He was supporting Haitians when no one else was supporting them! Continue to support his efforts.

Jan. 20 2010 11:11 AM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

i don't know if he gave more than he took but that's not the point. if it's a charity then it's a charity- yes, some of the money went to the haitian people but some of it didn't and went into his own pocket. that "reduced rate performance" fee could be well spent on those people in haiti that really need it.

Jan. 20 2010 11:04 AM
Helen Bowers from Mahopac NY

Anyone can text $5 to Rotary International's Haiti Relief Fund. Rotary has boots on the ground, working directly with Haitian Rotarians.

As a volunteer organization, there is no overhead taken from donations:

Jan. 20 2010 11:02 AM
Rich Koch from UC, NJ

Why cash instead of items? Because a portable desalination unit, with solar panels to run it, will provide more water than a freighter of Fiji water, for a fraction of the cost.

Jan. 20 2010 11:01 AM
hjs from 11211

bernard joseph
did he give more than he took?

Jan. 20 2010 11:01 AM
Nick Patterson from NYC

Your guest said that "you'd need to ask the Red Cross" about their administrative overhead.

Actually, there are some online sites that can help you to evaluate the administrative overhead and budget of charitable organizations:

Jan. 20 2010 11:00 AM
Tanya from NYC

I recently became a NYC Red Cross volunteer and emailed them right after the earthquake struck. I got a mass email saying that they NY Chapter) are not sending volunteers to Haiti. The next email was about getting volunteers to ring the NASDQ bell. Really?
I haven't seen any red crosses on TV.

Time to change the default org for disaster relief?

Jan. 20 2010 10:58 AM
Cof from NYC

I know that we have to expect that some portion of every donation will have to go toward administrative/management costs, but the question is: at what point does it become unreasonable? 40%? 50%? 60%?

Jan. 20 2010 10:58 AM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

yele and wyclef jean is a fraud. this is a source of income for him and not just a matter of sloppy books and weird IRS filings. he used the money for a recording studio and paid himself to perform out of this fund. just because he performed for a reduced rate doesn't mean that this is fraudulent. he can perform for free, especially for his own charity!! unbelievable....

Jan. 20 2010 10:57 AM
df from

is red cross religious? if so which one and how does that impact their work?

Jan. 20 2010 10:56 AM
hazy from brooklyn

i just heard a report on NPR news that a woman has no money for a bus ride for her and her niece to get out! and what about buses doubling their fares to take people out?? Everyone is donating money. We don't want to hear about these individuals that are in this situation until there is this grand build up of the buildings. I don't want to hear that people are on deaths row. The organizations need a clue on how to organize and distribute. This is ridiculous. and don’t get me started on the media…

Jan. 20 2010 10:52 AM
bs_detector from

did you hear that lady plugging her book last night on npr claiming that giving money to the red cross was risky?

guest have a comment?

here is the story link:

Jan. 20 2010 10:49 AM

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