How to Give

The Council on Foundations reminds us of the following “8 Principles of Good Disaster Grantmaking”

  1. First, do no harm.
  2. Stop, look and listen before taking action.
  3. Don’t act in isolation.
  4. Think beyond the immediate crisis to the long-term.
  5. Bear in mind the expertise of local organizations.
  6. Find out how prospective grantees operate.
  7. Be accountable to those you are trying to help.
  8. Communicate your work widely, and use it as an educational tool.

Our first suggestion is that gifts of money are the appropriate response, and we encourage you to give directly to organizations providing direct aid. Supplies are difficult and expensive to transport, and only those on the ground know exactly what is needed. Money will allow relief agencies the greatest flexibility.

A new video from the AdCouncil animates this point wonderfully:

Where to Give

Your gifts will be well-used by the following:

  1. American Red Cross:
  2. Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties:
  3. Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton:
  4. The Community Foundation of New Jersey Recovery Fund:

We also want to reflect on the storm’s aftermath here in Mercer County where, as of this writing, many homes, schools and businesses remain without power and public transportation is affected. Organizations working to provide food and shelter tell us that numerous people are struggling to get to their jobs, maintain their homes and feed their families. Work schedules have been seriously disrupted and more will face housing and financial distress in the days and weeks ahead.

You can help restock local food pantries, and give financial support to local organizations such as the Rescue Mission of Trenton, Homefront, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County, and Mercer Street Friends Food Cooperative as they work together to maintain the region’s safety net.

We urge you to support these and other local nonprofits when, as the holidays approach, you begin to receive annual appeal letters. 

We also welcome your questions and suggestions — please share your comments below or contact us if you’d like to discuss your own giving to the relief effort. We will hold a workshop for donors on the morning of December 6 — see our event calendar for more details.


For more information …

Here are some links to commentary on how philanthropy can and will address the rebuilding effort: