GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – There is no shortage of avenues to turn to when you want to donate money to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.
The Minnesota Twins recently started a drive on Youcaring.com as did Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt which has already surpassed $11 million. On top of that, there are countless of charitable organizations looking for funds. So where does it go?
"It all depends on the designated policy,” said Sarah Nason with Charity Navigator, a company that ranks charities on their accountability and transparency.
“So across the board, it varies, but you do know it’s going to hurricane relief if they have that donor designation available."
When charities organized as nonprofits have a designated donation drive, the funds become restricted meaning they can only be used towards some form of relief for the event.
In the case Hurricane Harvey?
”Do your research, do your research, do your research. That’s really what you need to do to avoid any scams or bogus claims or charities," Nason said.
Charity Navigator also supplies information about how effective an organization is at stretching a dollar. For example, the Houston Food Bank has a 100% rating on the site and is able to donate 99-cents on the dollar according to data provided to the site. However, there is no central organization that handles all the funds and properly distributes the money. It’s up to each organization where the money goes.
In some cases local governments can appoint liaisons to best direct which neighborhoods, homes or areas may have the greatest need.
The Better Business Bureau also accredits charities on its Give.org site
All TEGNA stations are raising money for the American Red Cross, Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. For more information on that, click here.