Donating cash through trusted organisations enables them to act quickly and effectively; monies can be transferred quickly to places and people who need it, and aid organisations can use it to buy the most important resources, often purchasing from more local sources.
Established charities with experience of responding to disasters are usually best placed to reach victims on the ground from your cash donations.
Lincolnshire Community Foundation has launched a total giving appeal dedicated to supporting those arriving in Lincolnshire. The Community Foundation have confirmed that every penny received will go towards helping people fleeing conflict in Ukraine. This will support new arrivals to access transport, broadband and digital resources, access to leisure facilities, vouchers for toys, etc.
The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) launched the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to raise funds for food, water, medicine, protection and trauma care for people in Ukraine and those arriving in neighbouring countries.
Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, deputy leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We have all seen the terrible pictures of women and children leaving their homes, taking with them only what they can carry. It is clear from the people’s generosity so far that this has really touched people’s hearts. We’re grateful to the Community Foundation for establishing a local fund for donations to help those who come into Lincolnshire. This will support new arrivals to enjoy some ‘normal’ activities that we all take for granted like choosing new clothes or enjoying social activities, as well as providing essentials. The Community Foundation may not be well known to you but is long established. I hope you’ll be able to support this local fund.”
If you do donate money, please donate to organisations or community groups that demonstrate an understanding of community needs, safe and legal working practices, and systems of accountability. These include:
- Total giving appeal
- Disaster Emergency Committee website
- British Red Cross: Humanitarian aid in Ukraine website
- MSF Doctors Without Borders website
- University of Lincoln: Ukraine Students and Academics Support Appeal
Donations of goods in kind
Many community groups and businesses have provided goods, and some of these are now at capacity. Unsolicited donations of goods, although well-meant, can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent life-saving assistance from getting through.
Check with any local groups if they can still receive items, and if so, the items they particularly need.
Donating smartphones and IT equipment
Solidaritech is a community interest company reliant on donations from both individuals and companies of all sizes. They are asking for donations of tech including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, that they can wipe and pass on to asylum seekers and refugees to support health, safety and connection.
Ensure you’re donating safely
If you do want to donate, here are some simple steps to take to ensure donations are safe and being used effectively:
- check the charity’s name and registration number at www.gov.uk/checkcharity
- most charities with an income of £5,000 or more must be registered, which means they are regulated by the Charity Commission
- make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information by checking with the fundraising regulator
- if in doubt, ask the charity or organisation for more information, legitimate causes will be happy to respond and answer your questions.
When giving online, make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information:
- type in the charity website address yourself, rather than clicking on a link, and look for the registered charity number on the website
- don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails
- never respond to unsolicited messages or calls that ask for your personal or financial details
- beware of any online advertisements that just feature a mobile number
- ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company as this is a popular scam
- only donate to online fundraising pages created by a person or organisation you know and trust. If in any doubt, contact the charity directly
After making these checks, if you think that a fundraising appeal is fake, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.