If you'd like to donate money to help Katrina victims but you're not sure how your charity of choice will spend it, Give.org is a great "checks & balances" resource for tracking nonprofit organizations. The Red Cross puts 91% of its donations towards directly helping those who need aid, while America's Second Harvest uses an impressive 98%. My take on this is that any charity that spends over 90 percent on aid is a class act and totally worth donating to.
One effort operating on a more local, grassroots level is ACORN, a New Orleans- based nonprofit (and "the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities") that is accepting donations for its Hurricane Recovery Fund.
How will donations to the ACORN Hurricane Recovery Fund be used?
ACORN is not a relief organization -- we are a national community organization with headquarters in New Orleans and a deep membership in low and moderate income communities there.
We need funds to:
1. Establish a temporary Headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana;
2. Reopen our New Orleans offices as soon as possible;
3. As we reopen and rebuild, we will unite community members to face the challenges at hand:
* Servicing the housing and credit needs of our communities;
* Organizing to see that low income neighborhoods and families get the help the need.
Already, in this chaotic situation, ACORN members are uniting to support each other.
* Houston ACORN members are preparing to meet arriving evacuees at the Superdome to offer support, and house fellow ACORN members in their homes.
* With cell phones down, we are using our website (www.acorn.org) to let connect staff, members and others get in touch and offer help.
Your donation will help us get our local and national offices up and running, so we can serve our communities in this time of dire need.
Thank you for your support.