Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Compelling Humanitarian Aid Missions


1
Your Personal Mission
Red Cross relief workers help a Tunisian immigrant in Lampedusa, Italy on March 25, 2011. Thousands of migrants were arriving in Italy at that time after leaving North Africa to escape political conflict.
Red Cross relief workers help a Tunisian immigrant in Lampedusa, Italy on March 25, 2011. Thousands of migrants were arriving in Italy at that time after leaving North Africa to escape political conflict.
Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

With thousands of worthwhile causes that need help, there's a good chance that the one that strikes a specific chord for you isn't mentioned here. That's OK. The important thing is to find the right match. That's not always easy, given that the existing causes are often as complex as the world we live in. For a road map to humanitarian aid, visit Relief Web. This Web-based resource, operated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tracks emergencies around the globe. Another solid clearinghouse is InterAction.

To make certain the organization you decide to work with has the same lofty goals, and to assure that your donations are doing the most good, use an evaluation organization such as Charity Navigator or GiveWell. As mentioned earlier, these agencies assess charities to determine how capably they distribute donor contributions. And while these organizations often recommend donating to established foundations, there are examples of long-time organizations that aren't operating efficiently. In short, it pays to do your homework. Especially if you're putting your money where your heart is.

For more about humanitarian efforts and related topics, turn your attention to the links on the next page.


More to Explore