The way philanthropic organizations have been mobilizing social media in recent years to raise funds isn’t really “shiny new stuff” any more. Still, the recent waves of donations after the earthquake have been coming at lightning speed.
In light of that, I’ve been intrigued by The Smoking Gun’s scrutiny of Wyclef Jean’s charity, YÃ©le Haiti (also reported on in today’s Washington Post). Having run communications for the ASPCA during some critical events in the animal welfare arena, I know how generous people can be with their money when tragedy strikes, even when they don’t have a lot to give. I also know how important it is that that money reaches the right hands.
I honestly don’t know what the deal is with Mr. Jean’s charity and am not going to play a guessing game. If you’ve been following the story, you can view his video response on YouTube, which Mashable picked up pretty quickly (h/t Lindsay Allen for finding it for me). I do think he is to be commended for springing into action so quickly after the earthquake hit and being a very public face for the poorest nation in the Americas.
What I will say is that regardless of who you’re going to give your money to, you should do your research and give where you trust that your donation will be wisely used.
Charity Navigator is a good place to start, and usually my first stop when I’m researching a non-profit organization (you can read their take on YÃ©le Haiti and why they don’t currently rate it here).