Nepal earthquake sparks Ohio philanthropy

April 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

headshot of claudiaWith the death toll at 5,000 and climbing, the April 24 earthquake has impacted more than 6.5 million people in one of the world’s poorest countries. The stories and images of the devastation continue to spread, as do the crumbling, injuries and death caused by strong aftershocks. It didn’t take long for the world – and Ohio philanthropy – to respond to the disaster. I queried our members this week and found immediate plans to help that include these examples:

The Columbus Foundation’s website funnels donations to humanitarian relief organizations;

KeyBank will match employee donations to the American Red Cross Nepal Disaster Relief fund, providing a dollar to dollar match;

Photo: Niranjan Shrestha/AP

Photo: Niranjan Shrestha/AP

The Dayton Foundation emailed donors about how they can help, listing a number of possible charities to support; and

Eaton provided $100,000 to the American Red Cross International Disaster Response Fund for relief in Nepal and is matching employee gifts around the globe for donations to a Red Cross Society or Salvation Army disaster relief fund.

map of where Nepal earthquake occured

There are many resources for Ohioans who want to help Nepal and assure their donations are effective. The Center for Disaster Relief Philanthropy provides this advice:

  1. Watch. The disaster occurred on April 24. Before considering a funding option, wait two weeks. Maybe even four. Use that time for the magnitude of the disaster to truly unfold. It won’t be long before a fuller picture emerges of lives lost, infrastructure damaged, individuals affected and unmet immediate response needs.
  2. Learn. Take that time to understand how the needs associated with this disaster are unfolding by reading media accounts of the disaster, responding agency reports, UN and USAID updates about the devastation, and the CDP website.
  3. Act. After two weeks, the media’s attention will sadly have turned away from one of the poorest nations in Asia.
    Simultaneously, the local and international nongovernmental organization (NGO) community efforts will be in full swing to support the needs of affected Nepalese. Now is the time for a funder to wisely choose to support medium- and long-term recovery efforts. Either by working with CDP or closely with an NGO, look to support activities that will rebuild Kathmandu and put its residents back in their homes, jobs, schools and communities.

        People search for family members trapped inside collapsed houses. Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

    People search for family members trapped inside collapsed houses. Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

Making sure your dollars go to legitimate organizations is a particular concern to Ohio’s Attorney General, who issued a reminder about avoiding charity scams.

Let us know how you are helping with the relief and recovery,

claudia signature

Claudia Y.W. Herrold


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