List of Organizations that are currently channeling funds into helping Syrian refugees.
- Mercy USA is an 501(c)(3) nonprofit* that funds relief work largely in Muslim communities and is considered an Islamic charity, though the organization publicly commits to “no discrimination in aid given, impartial and non-political.” Mercy gets the Guidestar seal of approval for transparency and gets a 67.95/70 score from Charity Navigator. Right now, they’re running a Text4Syria campaign that makes it easy for anyone to quickly give $10 (by texting “SYRIA” to 80077), but you can also donate on their website, by phone, or by mail. Note: Mercy USA receives US government funding.
- Save the Children is an internationally known organization (65.30/70 on Charity Navigator) and 501(c)(3) nonprofit that currently maintains a Syrian children in crisis fund. Their program is unique in that they’re working to create “child-friendly spaces” to give children in refugee communities ” a safe space to play and get support while keeping their minds off the harsh reality they are facing.” This is important in that psychological help is as needed in a crisis as medical and other care. Guidestar also ranks Save the Children highly.
- The International Rescue Committee is a highly-rated relief agency and 501(c)(3) nonprofit (65.26/70 from Charity Navigator) with incredibly efficient use of funds (93% goes to programming, only 3% toward fundraising). You can’t specify that your donation goes toward Syrian refugees, but the organization has been doing a lot of great work in Syria and elsewhere. And if you don’t have a lot of cash, the IRC has a toolkit for running a fundraiser for a given cause. The IRC is not religiously affiliated and is independent from government.
- Islamic Relief –also obviously an Islamic charity, and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit–is working to provide assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, distributing food, clothing, and medicine. As with the IRC, you cannot specify that your funds go to Syria, but can donate through their emergencies fund. Their Charity Navigator ranking is 65.09/70 and their financials are up-to-date on GuideStar. IR also offers ways to host local fundraisers. Nifty NB for Muslims: They offer guidelines for giving Zakat using credit cards.
- The UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, has a special fund for Syrian refugees, with clear indications of what support of different amounts can provide (for example, “$200 can provide blankets for 20 families”). Donations through that page go through USA for UNHCR, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is ranked 51.17/70 by Charity Navigator. Part of the reason for their lower ranking is that they spend more than 20% of their funds on fundraising, which usually means a lot of paper (and it’s true: I do receive a lot of mailings from UNHCR generally). You can review their financials through Charity Navigator or GuideStar.
- UNICEF, the UN agency that works to protect children, is also collecting funds for Syrian refugees. Like the USA for UNHCR, UNICEF USA is also a tax-deductible organization. You can check out their rankings on Guidestar and Charity Navigator, where they have a 59.67/70 rating.
- The International Red Cross/Red Crescent is, as far as I know, not a registered 501(c)(3) (though the American Red Cross is) and does not appear to have a Charity Navigator ranking. Nevertheless, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been doing amazing work under dire circumstances. You can donate directly to the ICRC’s Syria fund using a number of different payment forms, including Ammado, a centralized donation platform that I really like.
- Syrianorphans.org is a new coalition that allows donors to choose between three foundations: The Karam Foundation (which is unranked by both Charity Navigator and GuideStar), the Islamic charity Zakat Foundation (55.29/70 on Charity Navigator), and the Syrian Sunrise Foundation (also unranked). Right now, given the relatively low ranking of the Zakat Foundation and the lack of ranking for the other two (not to mention the fact that, at the current moment, the website’s donation page is not functioning), Syrianorphans.org isn’t one of the best choices.
- Karam Foundation:
Based out of Chicago and one of the few Syrian-American organizations established pre-revolution that could be trusted. They’ve focused recently on providing aid to those in need at the “Olive Tree Camp” and Aleppo. Important projects include campaigns for Syrian orphans & children in need.
- Maram Foundation:
Established in the Fall of 2012 to respond to the needs of internally displaced Syrians stuck on the Syrian-side of the Turkish border. They established the largest refugee/ internally displaced camp (Olive Tree Camp) in “Liberated” Syria and have now focused efforts to provide support to thousands of Syrians in border towns in Turkey. I’ve written extensively about my experiences in the “Olive Tree Camp” here, here and here.
- Islamic Relief USA:
A well-established organization with an amazing track record of responding to emergency situations from Katrina to Somalia. They have focused many resources and attention to alleviate desperate conditions inside Syria, along with refugees in the surrounding countries in need.
* Donations to 501(c)(3) nonprofits are tax-deductible for US taxpayers.
Note: If you have any question regarding to the above Organization, please contact them directly.
Original articles from: http://jilliancyork.com/2012/07/12/one-way-to-help-syria-donate-to-syrian-refugees/