Disaster Relief (2008 Update)

For charities and contributors involved in disaster relief efforts, the IRS website includes an article that provides several helpful resources.

The FAQs address the following areas:

  1. Providing relief through an existing charitable organization.
  2. Creating a charitable organization to provide disaster relief.
  3. Providing relief to employees of particular employers.
  4. Charitable contributions for disaster relief.

Before well-intentioned individuals start their own charities to provide relief, they should consider whether supporting existing organizations would be more effective and efficient, and whether a new organization will have viability.  See Stephanie Strom’s article in The New York Times (March 13, 2006), "Many Charities Founded After Hurricane are Floundering."  Another alternative to starting a new charity:  fiscal sponsorship.

Also see original Disaster Relief post (8/10/05).