Who should you give to during a pandemic?


The best way for many professionals to help fight #coronavirus is to donate money to help people on the front line but, who exactly should you donate to?

There are the big national and state relief funds; there are big nationwide NGOs helping relief efforts in multiple parts of the country. And then there are local volunteers in your locality/city who are working to provide ad hoc care and services to the community.

I believe you should give to a local NGO working in your community better yet, someone who took up volunteer work temporarily in response to the pandemic, rather than giving to large national/state funds. Here’s why?

  1. Big funds/ Governments are inherently less agile than small rag-tag teams. When the situation highly dynamic and you are facing some unique challenges, smaller teams are inherently more efficient thanks to their agility. A local leader in your area will be able to connect with and rally local tailors to make masks much faster than some big NGO with a head office in Geneva.
  2. Government WILL find a way to fund it’s response to the pandemic. Don’t forget that the government can always use funds from various departments(defence, Science and technology, etc.) to fund its initiatives properly. Government can also print more money, issue bonds and increase taxes(forced contribution?) to fund its efforts. The government doesn’t need your voluntary donation.
  3. State/ National government funds and more prominent organizations are not inherently accountable to you. You don’t really have a lot of visibility into how large government funds and bigger organizations are using your funds. You “really” have to trust their word for it. By contrast, When you donate to local volunteers/ NGOs, you can verify their effectiveness quite easily and redirect your funds if they are not working up to your level of satisfaction.
  4. You know what is best for your community; probably no one knows what is best for the entire country. You can easily judge if you need to take care of the livelihood of migrant workers in your area, or if your local hospital needs more/better PPE kits and masks. Your judgement will probably better than some administrator sitting somewhere in Delhi.

What do you guys think?

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