Coronavirus has already led to a global economic downturn, putting more pressure than ever on charitable organizations. These groups are now on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus, with food banks and other charities struggling to meet demand for resources.
If you’re fortunate enough to have some extra cash on hand at such a difficult time, you could make a real difference by giving some of that money to a reputable charity. These are just a few organizations to consider if you’re thinking about making a donation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Donate Blood to the Red Cross
Amount spent on programs: 90 percent
Money is the simplest way to help out as communities struggle with COVID-19, but blood and plasma can also be extremely valuable.
Donation centers are currently dealing with decreased supply, so your blood or plasma could make a real difference in the fight against coronavirus. You can learn more about donation opportunities on the FDA website.
Your donation will likely be valuable either way, but those who have fully recovered from COVID-19 are specifically encouraged to donate plasma. In this case, you’ll need to be symptom-free for 28 days or more.
Alternatively, you can donate plasma after taking a test for coronavirus and going 14 days without symptoms. Hospitals in many areas are already struggling to treat everyone affected by coronavirus, so this is obviously time-sensitive.
2. Local Organizations in Your Community
Amount spent on programs: varies
Large-scale nonprofits do an incredible amount of good for people in the United States and around the globe. That said, direct action can be even more effective for certain issues, and it can also help you develop a greater bond with others in your community.
For example, food banks are trying to match increasing demand as more and more people lose their income. They’ll obviously appreciate your money, but food banks and many other local organizations also need people to volunteer their time.
Similarly, local small businesses may be having trouble staying open or paying their employees. Even if they’re currently closed, consider purchasing a gift card to provide immediate cash flow and help them continue paying staff members for as long as possible.
Furthermore many communities are offering direct support in order to provide necessities to people in need. Reach out to people near you through Facebook and other social media channels—local communities are more important than ever in times like these.
3. Feeding America
Amount spent on programs: 79 percent
Feeding America is one of the largest charities in the United States, serving millions of people across the country. The nonprofit recently announced a COVID-19 Response Fund designed to cover costs for 200 member food banks around the United States.
Through the Feeding America website, you can donate to the organization as a whole or look for a food bank in your area. From there, there should be options to donate money or get involved with the food bank’s programs.
4. World Health Organization
Amount spent on programs: more than 80 percent
Like Feeding America, the World Health Organization is asking for donations to its COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Public health measures are critical for prevention, testing, and treatment, and the WHO is on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus.
Some of the charity’s recent work includes purchasing and distributing personal protective equipment, providing information about the virus to the public, and helping to meet the need for diagnostic kits. The organization projects a budget of $675 million or more to fund its response to COVID-19.
5. World Central Kitchen
Amount spent on programs: 89 percent
World Central Kitchen provides more than 160,000 meals per day to American communities, including home deliveries during quarantine. Along with food, World Central Kitchen also offers jobs to restaurant staff and delivery drivers at an uncertain time.
The organization has pledged to purchase one million meals from restaurants around the country, starting in the areas most heavily impacted by COVID-19. You could also consider joining the World Central Volunteer Corps if you have time on your hands during quarantine but no extra money.
100% of your donation will go toward meals and wages for the restaurant workers and delivery drivers. Meals cost an average of just $10, so even a small donation will make a real difference.
6. Doctors Without Borders
Amount spent on programs: 89 percent
Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is a well-known organization that provides medical care in vulnerable regions. Like the World Health Organization, the nonprofit is offering education, training, and mental health treatment along with measures to prevent and cure COVID-19.
MSF has been involved in responses to various outbreaks, wars, and other crises. Along with providing supplementary aid, the organization also aims to continue its existing operations in order to serve public health needs around the world.
Amount spent on programs: 75 percent
Oxfam is an international organization dedicated to alleviating poverty around the globe. In general, Oxfam is involved in projects like growing food, providing access to clean water, and helping workers get better wages and working conditions.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Oxfam has responded by supporting public health measures in numerous countries in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The organization also advocates for political action to support underprivileged communities. In the US, Oxfam is pushing for paid sick leave, free testing, food assistance, and the suspension of all immigration enforcement.
8. The CDC Foundation
Amount spent on programs: 91 percent
The CDC Foundation is separate from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The nonprofit connects the CDC with other organizations including companies and charities to support public health both within the United States and around the world.
To help address the COVID-19 outbreak, the CDC Foundation has posted emergency jobs on its website along with information about coronavirus. The organization has also created an Emergency Response Fund to help cover expenses related to the ongoing crisis.
The CDC Foundation is doing valuable work in a variety of fields to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. For example, they are funding PPE and other vital equipment while providing public outreach and helping laboratories throughout the US increase their testing capacities.
9. Direct Relief
Amount spent on programs: 82 percent
Direct Relief is a major humanitarian organization with a presence in every state and over 80 countries. Since being created in 1948, the nonprofit has provided vital aid for vulnerable populations regardless of their political views, religious beliefs, or ability to pay for treatment.
Over the past weeks and months, Direct Relief has helped to provide equipment, medicine, and other supplies both within the United States and in other countries. The organization is already distributing large stockpiles of medical equipment that were stored to cover any unexpected shortages.
The Direct Relief COVID-19 Fund for Community Health is covering costs for nonprofit community providers such as community health centers and free pharmacies and clinics. You can read more about the details of Direct Relief’s response to COVID-19 on their coronavirus page.
The coronavirus crisis has put more and more people in dire financial and medical situations, and even small donations go a long way toward helping those in need. These are just a few of the most reputable organizations to consider donating to if you have some extra money.