Catholic Relief Services

My husband and I want to donate to the relief efforts for the victims of Haiti’s earthquake. Does anyone have information on whether Catholic Relief Services is the best way to do so? I have had some difficulty finding rating information for the agency and want to make sure that this is the best agency to whom to donate.

I looked them up on the Better Business Bureau website. According to the BBB’s audit, the organization devotes 3% of its funds to administration costs, 4% to advertising and 93 % to its charitable funding.

Through the link one can find several charts and pie graphs describing where they get their money and how much funding they devote to each program. The audit that this information originates from was conducted in September of 2008.

That was good enough for me a few days ago. If you want to investigate other charities, the Better Business Bureau seems to be a collector of that sort of information. Up at the top of the page, in the blue box with the logo, there’s an option to choose “For Charities and Donors.” If you go through that you’ll be able to look up whatever charity you wish, provided that the BBB has been given permission to audit it.

Thank you for providing this information!

CRS and the American Red Cross are 2 of the best organizations out there.

One very quick and easy way to send help is to text the word “Haiti” to 90999

this will automatically donate $10.00 to the American Red Cross. It will be charged to your phone bill. You will get a request to confirm with Yes. It takes about 20 seconds (it took me about 3 minutes because I never send txt messages.)

The Catholic Relief Service and the American Red Cross are always the first to respond to any major disaster. CRS has already sent 10 million dollars in aid to Haiti and the Red Cross is already in Haiti respond to folks with medical attention.

Haiti is 80% Catholic ! and is the poorest country in the Americas, it needs our help now.

I have one suggestion for CRS during this relief effort: provide an opt-out alternative for donors where snail mail and promotional material can be stopped and replaced by regular reminder emails.

One of my pet peeves against most charities is the money spent on mailings to donors (I understand why they do it but still think it’s a waste): address labels, greeting cards, note paper, all good quality stuff that costs money!

Bet they could save at least a few thousands of dollars a year by allowing serious donors to say no to the unnecessary junk in their mailboxes. After Christians, are supposed to give without expecting anything in return…

Well said, seekerz. It is probably unreasonable to expect any changes so soon during this present crisis. Also, the fact that uses only 4 percent of its budget on advertising is commendable in itself. But as you say, their processes (and the whole world’, too) can be done better. We just have to accept what is for the time being since most of these things are out of our ability to control.

Oh, and here’s a link to Catholic Relief Services:
And to their secure Haiti donations page:


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