Facebook Ditched The Red Cross For Hurricane Harvey Relief
Friday, September 1, 2017
Facebook is steering donations for Hurricane Harvey relief to a tiny, little-known charity called the Center for Disaster Philanthropy — and bypassing the Red Cross, its longtime partner in the midst of disasters.
During Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the Ebola outbreak of 2015, a button on Facebook News Feeds prompted users to send money to the Red Cross. And as floodwaters have inundated Houston, Donald Trump and Barack Obama have both publicly donated to the Red Cross, as have dozens of major corporations.
Now, Facebook is routing its millions of users, and $1 million of its own money, to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which in 2015 had just $3 million in revenue. A message on Facebook feeds with a donate button said, “Show your support. Facebook has matched $1 million in donations to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.”
Bob Ottenhoff, the CDP’s president and former CEO of GuideStar, a clearinghouse for information on nonprofits, said the group works to change how donors think about giving during disasters, focusing on long-term recovery. “People are motivated right now, because they’re watching television and reading newspapers,” said Ottenhoff. “But we find there’s a dramatic reduction in contributions almost immediately once the media attention is over. In a case like this, with what we see happening in Houston, it’s going to be a very long recovery.”
Photo courtesy of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.