Wait, 'DON'T donate money to Japan'?
What’s the one thing we’ve learned about donating money over the years?
Indeed, the world has seen too many charity scams – or, maybe more commonly, charity misappropriations – to just blindly give anymore. We all want to know: where is this money going?
So it may come as a surprise to some that there’s even a debate over helping out with Japan. As the island nation lies in ruins, at least one person is suggesting the unthinkable, which is for us not to donate right now.
To be clear, it’s money he’s talking about, and he is Reuters’ Felix Salmon. The news blogger’s recent post, “Don’t donate money to Japan,” is stirring it up in cyberspace for his stance on forking over cash to the country’s earthquake relief efforts.
According to Salmon, earmarking dough to NGOs can be counterproductive in times of crisis, when well-intentioned organizations can’t find effective ways to distribute funds along the front lines.
“In the specific case of Japan,” he continues, “there’s all the more reason not to donate money. Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster, among other things, by printing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new money. Money is not the bottleneck here: if money is needed, Japan can raise it.”
Read Salmon’s full post here before you make up your mind on the issue – he talks about Haiti, too, and about how monies may not have gone to the best relief efforts after the country’s earthquake last year – but his post, surely, has raised eyebrows.
Kevin Conroy, a rep from Global Giving (one of the more visible charities accepting donations for Japan), responded to Salmon’s piece and detailed just where collected cash is going: International Medical Corps, Save the Children, Mercy Corps and Peace Winds Japan, all front-line charities, were mentioned by name.
Though, to flip-flop once more, maybe Salmon has a point.
“Reminds me of September 12th, 2001, when people started donating food (perishable and otherwise to NYC,” writes one commenter on the Reuters site. “I remember a photo of some relief worker with stacks of cookies around them … Good intentions are not always smart intentions.”
When global disasters hit, is it best for Canadians to donate money or should other relief efforts be made?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: jOHN | Mar 16, 2022 2:46:45 PM
Give in time of Crisis.
I totally agree with his comments. Money is a rare resource which never full benefits the intended victims. Although some of these charities are well recognized there will be others conceived to take advantage of some one else's grief. A lot of charities like to use shock value to solicit funds, which I consider high pressure sales.
However, I am Canadian and give on principle. Weather my donations have full impact or marginalized by some "do gooder" organization is irrelevant. I did my part to reduce suffering and can only trust the people that solicit funds do their part.
I AM CANADAIN
Posted by: Paul Rowlandson | Mar 16, 2022 2:55:29 PM
Even the Red Cross is not to be trusted. No one asking for money for Japan, should be trusted. When Haiti had it's earthquake, Bush and Clinton stole the money sent to them. Send no cash; the scams go right to the top.
Posted by: Kie Cheung Chue | Mar 16, 2022 3:02:02 PM
I am a Chinese. I am a Christian. Japanese people are total strangers to me. But they are human beings. This time their nation is facing calamities of catastrophic
proportions. They need help from the rest of the world. I am donating money to the Red Cross as my humble contribution. Ask yourself: what can you give to help?
When Katrina struck the U.S, many countries helped out, but the U.S. is the wealthiest nation in the world, why should others help?
We help because we are fellow human beings. We share the same kindred spirit. We all are inhabitants of this 'global village'. In one form or the other we share the same destiny. Please don't use any excuse to close your eyes to those that suffer.
Posted by: Roy Ellithorpe | Mar 16, 2022 3:02:52 PM
I don't believe anybody is saying "don't help", they are just saying don't send money. Money will not fix the problem, they have lots of it anyway. They may need expertise and possibly physical help, and if that requires money, they have it. The only thing that donating cash might do is make you feel better.
Posted by: Mark | Mar 16, 2022 3:09:23 PM
They are more advanced than we are, they don't need money or our help, we would just get in the way. They havn't asked us for help but we have a couple of ships over there just in case.
Posted by: J Thessalon | Mar 16, 2022 3:45:35 PM
It's easy for us to rationalize, sitting in our warm, safe homes, surrounded by our families and loved one, in the best country in the world. Anyone who saw the televised images of the Japanese disaster, could not but be affected by the anguish those poor people must be going through, living the nightmare.
Just put yourself in those poor people's position where some have lost everything, including children in a blink of an eye and others are currently sitting in the shadow of a Nuclear meltdown.
A small donation to a reputable organization (e.g. Red Cross) is simply a gesture of kindness to a fellow human being that is frightened and staring at an uncertain future.
If you have to rationalize helping in even a small way, you do not have the Canadain princpiles that we are known for around the globe.
Posted by: George | Mar 16, 2022 3:56:21 PM
Japan is in trouble. We owe it to ourselves and them to donate money to help them out. Some of the charities you give to aren't or won't be on the ground in Japan and will not use your money to help (Japan). Some charities will forward your money to charities on the ground in Japan if you ear mark it for Japan. Understand the charity you are giving to. Make sure they plan to use your money in Japan. Contact them later for an accounting of what they did in Japan and how much of your dollar went to help. The press likes to focus on the corrupt side of our donations. Have faith that the charities know how to handle themselves in the field.
Posted by: Tom | Mar 16, 2022 4:25:41 PM
If anything the wealth and stability of the country should make it a better target for donating money than Haiti. Haiti is full of corrupt government officials, most of the donated money there was probably never seen again. Japan has been in a near 20 year recession, this isn't the Japan of the 1980's, the country desperately needs our help.
Posted by: Jen | Mar 16, 2022 4:41:28 PM
bottom line....just make sure you are donating to a legit fund...be smart!
Posted by: dan goode | Mar 16, 2022 4:53:13 PM
I too agree 100% with Charles. Felix and Jason( article author) can both take a flying leap!! If you don't want to donate don't!! But don't complain while others do!! I donate to a lot of charities throughout the year and always hear these same old stories but they won't EVER stop me from donating. What's that saying about doing unto others?
Just a donater from Edmonton.
Posted by: Operation Sakura | Mar 16, 2022 5:52:18 PM
First to clarify what Japanese Red Cross is doing with money donated specifically for disaster relief:
“All the fund received under this account will be transferred to the Distribution Committee, which is formed around the local government of the disaster-affected prefecture and to be distributed directly among the affected population of earthquake and tsunami”
"this account" = special Tohoko disaster relief bank account being established by the Japanese Red Cross Society
So, donating to the special relief fund = providing financial assistance directly to the victims. This sounds like what happened in the Niigata earthquake when a lottery winner donated 200 million yen to victims: it was distributed by the Niigata govt. to Niigata citizens.
This information in the articles on Reuters & NYTimes seems to becoming from an International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent press release (http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/EDIS-8EYLBG/$File/full_report.pdf), which just focused on the fact that the Japanese Red Cross itself did not need monetary assistance for its disaster relief operations.
Money donated to the disaster relief fund will go directly to helping the citizens of the prefectures that were affected. (If there are other interpretations of the JRC's statement, I'd like to hear them.)
Posted by: Sally | Mar 16, 2022 6:19:45 PM
I'm Sally, Japanese and living in Japan now.
I read his comment.
Under KANSAI area(CHUGOKU, SHIKOKU, and KYUSYU),infraration has been worked well.
I'm living in KYOTO and this area has no problem.
We live an ordinary life in those areas.
So,non-disaster area's people can get any information easily,on TV, radio, web, newspaper etc.
But we can't get the "true".
I think he is lack of media-morality.
But also "The Japanese media" have no morality at all too.
Why they take a picture on helicopter ? It is hard to rescue becase of those noises.
Why they say "How do you feel now?"? It means "You are very very poor, aren't you?".
Why they say "TSUNAMI is very very awful,isn't it?" They give japanese people too much fear and anxiety.
Why they are laughing at in Japanese Goverment announcement? Many, so many people are in FUKUSHIMA.
Japanese media say famous professors "It's very very awful!"
But media never say those professor are opposite or approval position about nuclear plant.
We don't want his or Japanese goverment or Tokyo Electric Power's apologies.
We don't want the information cotrolled by Japanese media.
We really, really need the "true information".
Posted by: cusucoguanaco | Mar 16, 2022 7:16:14 PM
Disaster has stricken our brothers in Japan, give your help to Japan, They are in dear need of help, financially as well as physically, we know there are crooks on earth, but if we detract ourselves from being generous, in occassions such as this. Then where is our human nature?, we have hearts and we have feelings.
Don't think twice,
Posted by: Chris | Mar 16, 2022 9:49:10 PM
Is donating cash really the best way to help?
Ponder this , the C.E.O. of Red Cross stated that she is happy and proud that 90 cents out of every dollar goes directly toward the relief efforts in Japan. last I heard, that was 23 + million and rising. why does the Red cross feel it needs to retain 2.3 million to divert the balance toward Japan.
Maybe it's because this C.E.O was reported to have raked in the astronomical salary that exceeded 650,000.00 dollars. That right, SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for wage for last year and I bet there was a generous expense account with that.
Supporting worthy causes YES, lining the pockets of so called charities that have over priced staff (especially the management) A BIG FAT NO !!! Shame on them.
Posted by: Talisman | Mar 17, 2022 12:34:17 AM
Japan is probably the only country in the world where donated money won't be wasted by corrupted or inefficient officials. As long as they get there, so consider Red Cross or other well known charities.
Someone said it's a wealthy country and their bank can print money despite the fact that the government is heavy in debt. Maybe, but the people in the damaged area may not be so wealthy - look at their modest houses or what used to be a house. They have suffered a lot and it's not over yet, the news from nuclear plants are suggesting a major disaster.
If you don't trust a charity, consider Japanese products. I am not sure if this helps a lot, most Japanese cars are now made in USA or Canada and the electronics are probably made China. It will however make you feel good... and you will enjoy the product.
Posted by: Terri Stewart | Mar 17, 2022 9:06:40 AM
THe arrogance of this man is disgusting. To assume that everyone in JApan is rich! To assume that by printing "NEW" money they can solve their disaster problems! Really, print NEW money?????? HOw does that bring back your possessions, your memories, your home, your friends, your loved ones!!!!! How does that make it okay that over 10,000 people lost their lives! Entire communities wiped out to sea..literally! This story is a disgrace and people should say something! I understand be cautious where you donate. OF course known chariites are best but to suggest that we won't be helping the survivors! WHat should we do? Sit here on our hands and do nothing..donating is all we CAN do :\
Posted by: CuckholdDon | Mar 17, 2022 12:14:22 PM
While there "may" be a little(& I stress "Little") logic to as to donate cash to a wealthier country like Japan---Poorer countries like Haitie--Even with some corruption)it is of real value to donate!
Looks like there is no more coruption in Haiti than in America(under republican control)(Re-New Orleans)--Coruption should be exposed& confronted everywhere--But it's allways the poorest folks who are hurt the most-so even if only 1 dollar in 5 gets to help the poor it's doing Good!
We are talking about individuals & familys here-Not a whole country!
Boots on the ground are the most important but even that costs money!
Folks are homeless-unemployed& in shock & some folks say "Don't Donate"--
Just How SELFISH are folks becomming?
Posted by: Candice | Mar 18, 2022 1:51:07 PM
imagine yourself in others situations be it 9/11, katrina, new zealand, japan .... it will give you a realistic perspective from which to make your decision to give or not to give. and choose wisely the charities or groups that you wish to support. world vision was one of the first ones to distribute water and blankets as they have people working in japan on an ongoing basis. samaritan's purse is another one. both of these can be researched online and both give hope as well as needed supplies to the people they serve. and then keep the japanese people in your prayers and speak optimistically and positively about all of this, because we all need each other and we all need to know that someone else cares.
Posted by: Sunnie | Mar 18, 2022 3:10:38 PM
I think the scope of the disaster is so great, that the charities that are already involved, and those that will become involved, will play a vital role in the relief effort. It is clear that significant costs will be associated with the short and long term effects of the disaster, so every donation makes a difference.
I work for SwipeGood.com, a company that rounds up all of your debit or credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and allows you to donate the difference to the charity of your choice. We’ve partnered with World Vision, who currently has an emergency response team on the ground. By enrolling your credit card and rounding up your purchases for the World Vision Disaster Response Fund you provide continuous support to children and families affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Posted by: Rob | Mar 19, 2022 2:09:01 AM
To get a relief team into Japan you have to get permission and have the skills, supplies they are looking for as Japan certainly does not want to worry about you and your team in being part of their overall problem.
Though they are rich as a country this crisis has caused a lack of many things like skilled workers, fuel, medical, water , food and now the horrible situation of dealing with a nuclear problems that can effect thousands of people.
As said prior, its the need to supply immediate help until they can back on their feet and the thousands of people needing a warm place to sleep, food, water, medical attention .
Japan at least has asked for help earlier then previous times. Sure some leaders and politicians will try to cast the blame but the average citizen needs our help. We could be next