A couple walk with their dog through high water along a street in Orange as Texas slowly moves toward recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, on September 6, 2017 in Orange, Texas.

Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, battered the Virgin Islands Wednesday and is making its way toward the Bahamas and Florida. Meanwhile, relief efforts continue in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which caused at least 70 deaths and up to $180 billion in damages. As the need for donations increases, we discuss how to choose a charity to support victims of natural disasters and how to identify organizations to avoid.

Katelynn Rusnock,
advisory system manager, Charity Navigator
Stephanie Kalivas, analyst, CharityWatch

More Information:

What to Know Before You Donate to Hurricane Victims 7 September,2017Michael Krasny

  • Mason Gibb

    Before donating to a nonprofit like KQED, remember that NPR paid “Tappett Brothers Inc.” around ten million dollars over the last four years for reruns of Car Talk. Be sure to read NPR’s IRS Form 990s to see highest paid employees and outside services:
    As long as NPR receives 25% of its revenue from corporate sponsorships, there is no reason for individuals to donate. Find a better charity. You can get a tote bag from Goodwill.

    • Bill_Woods

      So NPR doesn’t need the other 75% of its revenue?

      • Mason Gibb

        It doesn’t need to be using its revenue to pay Tappett Brothers Inc. ten million dollars over the last four years. Until they feel an effect on their budget, it seems likely this sort of insane compensation in “public” radio will continue.

        • Bill_Woods

          I assume the ratings are still good enough to keep it in the schedule, though I expect I will survive when it eventually gets canceled.
          $10M for four years is $50k/hour. How much does original programming cost?

          • Mason Gibb

            The show has been in reruns that entire time. Is that your view of “original programming”–repackaged episodes?

          • Bill_Woods

            No. I meant whatever would replace it.

          • Mason Gibb

            I’m assuming local stations could use carriage fees on something else–be it in-house program development or broadcasting something off of PRX. It is better than a dead guy and his brother reaping millions for increasingly outdated car advice and emails forwarded around the internet two decades ago. NPR corporate could pay more copy editors (as NPR’s Ombudsman has suggested is needed).

          • Strandwolf

            Or re-open the comments sections on their “news” segments which generally glorify BLM and Antifas at every turn.

          • Mason Gibb

            Comment section is by and large absolute garbage. But the Office of the Ombudsman would benefit greatly from public comments.

  • Curious

    Don’t donate to the Clinton Foundation. They take most donations for themselves. They made millions in Haiti.

    • pm05


      • Curious

        The Clinton Foundation has from the beginning appeared to be just what the Sunlight Foundation — a “progressive” foundation promoting nonprofit transparency — described it as some years ago: “a slush fund.” Its mission has not been to vanquish disease and poverty as Hillary and Bill have claimed, but to allow the Clintons to keep their political army housed, clothed and fed as they prepared for Hillary’s presidential campaign.

        Charity Navigator, a nonprofit watchdog that rates charities, put the Clinton Foundation on its “watch list” as a warning to potential contributors because so much Clinton Foundation money was going to salaries, overhead and luxury travel rather than to fulfilling its stated mission.

      • Curious

        ‘The world deserves to know where the money went and why help was never sent’

        Saying “the world trusted the Clintons to help the Haitian people during their most desperate time of need and they were deceived,” the former president of Haiti’s Senate is accusing Bill and Hillary Clinton and their foundation of exploitation, corruption and graft.

        • Mason Gibb

          Clinton Foundation is a great way for the extended family to get free flights and “fundraising” parties.
          Anyone looking into Clinton and Haiti should think again before donating to a bunch of bourgeois “liberals.”

  • Greg shay

    I donated to covenent house Houston, the Houston food bank, and catholic charities. All have low overhead. Also All Hands Volunteers has low overhead and volunteers already there rebuilding. Islamic relief USA also good

  • jurgispilis

    The best approach is to give nothing. Most of it is a scam.

  • pm05

    Please explain how the Red Cross is tied to or overseen by the government.

  • Ramey

    A website exists for connecting people donating goods to those people who need them: it is called Freecycle, and is available in most cities.


Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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