To Help the Most, Cash is Best – PSA Contest
Posted on April 19, 2010 at 8:51 am
All regular readers of my blog will be familiar with all the problems that can be caused by in-kind donations. If you’re new to this blog it’s worth taking a few minutes to read The Worst In-kind Donations and 6 Questions you Should ask Before Donating Goods Overseas. As a general rule of thumb it is far better to donate cash for international development and disaster relief projects.
I was happy to hear that Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) and USAID (Agency for International Development) are holding a public service announcement contest to try to spread the word about in-kind donations.
PSAID is a Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest for U.S.-based college and university students. PSAid seeks entries of broadcast and print PSAs which explain the importance of appropriate international disaster relief and build support for international disaster relief work done by well-established, U.S.-based international disaster relief organizations.
As background for the contest these three points are provided to entrants:
1) Financial contributions are easily convertible to meet the international disaster victims’ specific and immediate needs;
2) Cash donations are more efficient, allowing purchases to be made at a bulk discount, at a lower transportation cost…
3) Cash donations go directly to the disaster site, allowing for exact purchases of what is needed most urgently and stimulating local economies. Other donations, such as products/goods, take time and money to transport, rarely meet victims’ urgent needs, often interfere with professional relief efforts and frequently clash with cultural norms.
You can see all the finalists here. Winners will be announced on Wednesday.