Get answers to your frequently asked questions about the devastating storm and GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
Q: Where and when did Hurricane Harvey hit?
A: Hurricane Harvey hit the coastal city of Rockport, Texas as a Category 4 storm on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. It stalled over southeast Texas as a downgraded tropical storm and is expected to linger over the Gulf Coast, causing torrential rain and life-threatening flooding.
Q: How is Hurricane Harvey impacting the region?
A: There have been several hurricane-related deaths in Texas, and the storm has caused widespread flooding and billions of dollars of damage to homes, property, and infrastructure in southeast Texas. It’s expected to inflict life-threatening flooding and damage in other Gulf Coast states, such as Louisiana. First responders have described it as one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States and have compared the level of devastation to Hurricane Katrina.
A: All donations to this fund will support relief and recovery efforts in affected regions. The fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs, including the provision of shelter, medical care, food, and clean water. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by vetted, local organizations.
Q: What’s GlobalGiving’s history in Texas and other impacted areas?
A: GlobalGiving has longstanding relationships with several partners who are responding in the region. These regional partners already have relationships and structures in place in the affected communities.
Q: How do you choose which nonprofits to support through the fund?
A: We support organizations that GlobalGiving has established relationships with in the disaster-affected region. In special cases, like Hurricane Harvey, we also reach out to reputable, local organizations that are not yet in the GlobalGiving network to ensure our donors’ funds are addressing as many urgent and long-term needs as possible. In these special cases, all organizations still go through GlobalGiving’s extensive vetting processes, as well as additional review of their disaster response work, and we trust selected organizations to make the best decisions on the ground.
Q: Why do donors turn to GlobalGiving after natural disasters?
A: For donors, GlobalGiving provides a way to help quickly and effectively without having to do a lot of research. Donors can support both immediate relief and long-term recovery with donations to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Every NGO that receives funds must commit to sending reports to donors at least quarterly, and we typically conduct site visits to check on the work being done. Donors can subscribe to receive updates from the NGO and from our site visits, so they can track their money and see what has been accomplished. An NGO itself, GlobalGiving also works to help companies give to the relief projects that are important to donors. Many companies use GlobalGiving to track and match employee donations to disaster relief efforts, amplifying employee impact and driving further support directly where it’s needed.
Q: GlobalGiving has a locally driven approach to disaster recovery. Why?
A: Generally, we believe local organizations are best positioned to assess and to respond to needs in the long term, so we listen carefully to what local organizations deem to be most critical. Our view is that locally run organizations can nimbly and effectively provide for immediate and ongoing community needs. Getting funds to them benefits communities directly and quickly. You can learn more about our approach here.
Q: How will you keep me updated about how my donation is used?
A: Immediately after a disaster, we submit reports every few weeks describing the efforts that are being supported through the fund, detailing which organizations are receiving funds. As time goes on, we’ll share specific stories, photos, and videos from the efforts.
Q: How long will it take for my money to get to survivors?
A: We’ll make disbursements from the fund as soon as possible, which means your donation could be on the ground in a bank account in 7 days or less. (This is rare for most organizations that aggregate funds as we do!) As the work turns into a long-term recovery effort, we’ll disburse funds on a monthly basis.
Q: How do I know I can trust my donation to GlobalGiving?
A: GlobalGiving is a top-rated (4-star) charity on Charity Navigator. We are also accredited by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. If at any time you’re not happy with how your funds have been used, we also offer the GlobalGiving Guarantee.
Q: Can I donate goods, such as bottled water or medical supplies, through GlobalGiving to support relief efforts?
A: Thank you very much for your desire to give what you have in order to help survivors in the Gulf Coast region. GlobalGiving does not have the capacity to collect in-kind donations on behalf of our nonprofit partners. Along with the Center for International Disaster Information, we recommend that individuals give cash, rather than in-kind donations, after disasters. Through cash contributions, relief organizations can do more good for more people, with greater speed and sensitivity than with unrequested material donations. Cash donations provide medical and other life-saving services now, and rebuild infrastructure later. This interesting infographic helps explain why sending material goods, despite the good intentions, can be costly and sometimes harmful. If you are with a company looking to donate in-kind supplies in bulk, visit Good360.org.
Q: How can I spread the word about the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund?
A: Please share our posts and tweets with your friends and family:
Featured Banner Photo: Texas National Guard soldiers help residents in Houston. Photo by Texas Military Department.