Many people want to donate after a hurricane and it is certainly appreciated by nonprofits, churches, and organizations overwhelmed with those who need help. In a catastrophe like Florence, money can come from:
- Politicians (don’t count on it)
- Government agencies (fill out paperwork to populate their databases)
- Businesses (sometimes for business purposes)
- Foundations (what about next year’s funding)
- Individuals (sincere giving)
- Probably others I may have missed
Regardless where the money comes from, nonprofits should review the conditions for accepting any money. Most of the time, the conditions only require supporting those in need after the catastrophe. However, conditions can be more restrictive and bind the nonprofit to future initiatives that may not be in their best interest. If there are any concerns with the conditions, do not negotiate and reject the money.
This may be hard to do with someone trying to give money for a worthy cause, but it will be harder to later meet conditions that violate the nonprofit’s mission. If the money is accepted, the details should be recorded in a spreadsheet.
All money associated with the catastrophe should be kept separate from money for operations. It may be tempting to delay this recording of income and expenses with everything happening almost at once. But, take the time and don’t just dump everything into the general account.
More important than anything, a nonprofit should not get involved in recovery efforts beyond their mission or capabilities. This catastrophe should not be used as a means to expand into other areas of need, despite the pleas to do so. It will only lead the nonprofit off the side of a cliff with a guarantee of failure for all involved.
Many people want to give money after a catastrophe. Nonprofits should focus on what they are capable of doing, accept money that will temporarily increase their services, partner with other organizations, and then return to normal operations.