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Hurricane Relief Donations

Written by Nickel - 9 Comments

As I’m sure you’re aware, Gulf Coast residents are currently suffering through one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the United States, and they need our help. My wife and I just made a donation to the Salvation Army, and our kids pooled their resources and came up with an additional $14.42 to help the cause. I’d like to encourage all of you to do likewise (with your charity of choice, of course). If you’re not sure which charity is most deserving of your donations, then please read on…

According to the American Institute of Philanthropy, the four top-rated charities offering relief directly to victims of Hurricane Katrina are:

Salvation Army (A)
1-800-725-2769

American Red Cross (A-)
1-800-HELP-NOW

Church World Service (A-)
1-800-297-1516

America’s Second Harvest (B+)
1-800-771-2303

Note that the letter grade following each charity reflects: (1) the portion of their budget that goes directly to program services, and (2) their fundraising efficiency (i.e., the amount of money that they spend raising money). Check here for a compilation of charities that others are recommending. And if you do decide to make a donation, be sure to notify FreeMoneyFinance, as he’s matching donations up to a total of $500 $1,000 $2,000.

Published on September 1st, 2005
Modified on December 23rd, 2005 - 9 Comments
Filed under: Charity

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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9 Responses to “Hurricane Relief Donations”

  1. 1
    FMF Says:

    Thanks for the link to the charity rating site — good to know. And thanks for being part of the effort to help! ;-)

  2. 2
    FMF Says:

    Nickel –

    Looks like you’re getting some coverage. Good for you!!! I love to see someone get rewarded when they do something good! :-)

    FMF

  3. 3
    SavingAdvice Says:

    You can now donate your extra vacation days and sick days to charity:

    If you consistently have extra vacation, sick or personal days from work that you don’t use, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided a way that you can help victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Instead of letting these days go to waste, you can donate them to help victims from the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

    The Department of the Treasury and IRS have set up a special program (Under Notice 2005-68) which was initiated to encourage employees to donate their unused sick or vacation days to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Under this special program, employees can donate their vacation, sick or personal leave days back to their company. Their employer then takes the value of the time donated and makes a cash donation to a charity helping out in the relief effort.

    To meet the program’s requirements, the cash donation must be made to a qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The employer must also make the cash donation payment before January 1, 2007. In return, the employees do not have to count the donated leave as part of their income and employers are allowed to deduct the amount of the cash payment from their taxes.

    If you know that you will not be using all the vacation and/or sick days that you are entitled to take, contact the personnel office of your company to see if you can arrange to donate your unused days to help those struggling to recover. It’s an easy way to make a difference with a minimal amount of effort on your part, especially if you usually do not use all of your allotted days each year.

  4. 4
    Scott Says:

    My Supervisor is pretty excited each year when nobody in his department uses any of there 80 hours of sick time. I have only used 4 hours for the last 3 years. I think it will be interseting to see his response if we all go in and tell him that we want to donate our time to the disaster relief !! What would be the downside for employers?? I would like to make a big push for this but need the answers first..thanks

  5. 5
    nickel Says:

    I guess the employer might not be thrilled at having to fork out the cash for the sick time. If someone quits (or is fired) without claiming their sick leave, they may be able to get out of paying for it. This blow is, of course, softened by the fact that they get to claim a tax deduction for having made a charitable contribution. Even if the employer has a policy wherein they pay their employees for unused leave at termination, having everyone cash it in at once might create a problem on their balance sheet (at least during that quarter). I’m not really sure, though.

  6. 6
    Scott Says:

    The company makes millions. I am just not sure my supervisor would appreciate it!!
    I would think that the company would use the donation as some sort of PR. My personel lady comes back next week. I will let you know how it goes. 80 hours at $17 an hour would probably make a nice donation.

  7. 7
    nickel Says:

    Yeah, that would be an especially nice donation when you multiply it across your co-workers, as well. I hope it works out.

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