The best charities to give to in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

HarveyGetty ImagesPeople walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Over the weekend, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast, destroying homes and infrastructure in Texas, displacing tens of thousands of people, and killing at least eight.

As many as 13 million people are under flood watches and warnings.

After landfall, officials ordered several Houston-area counties to evacuate, due to fears of more flooding. Experts are forecasting up to 50 inches of rain in and around Houston, making many homes inhabitable. An estimated 30,000 people will likely need to find refuge in shelters, since flooding will linger, according to The Washington Post.

Victims in Texas and Louisiana will likely need millions of dollars in aid. On Monday, President Donald Trump said he believes Congress will act swiftly to provide funding to affected areas. Charities — both big and small — will also step in.

But not all charities are created equal. Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that has independently rated over 8,000 charities, compiled a list of some of the best organisations to donate to in the wake of Harvey. Its team considers several factors when giving a charity a score out of 100. These include program expenses (e.g. how much of the donations go straight to victims) and transparency (e.g. audited financials prepared by an independent accountant).

The charities that Charity Navigator recommends for Hurricane Harvey, along with their scores out of 100, are below.

Note: Right now, it is not clear whether all these organisations will spend 100% of donations received on Hurricane Harvey relief and associated expenses. But in past large-scale disasters, high percentages of donations have directly gone to victims.

St. Bernard Project -- 93.66

St. Bernard Project

Founded in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Project works out of a parish near New Orleans. After disasters, the organisation rebuilds homes, advocates for recovery strategies, and advises policy makers, homeowners, and business owners about resilience.

More information about St. Bernard Project

Samaritan's Purse -- 96.32

Samaritan's Purse

Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational, Christian organisation that provides spiritual and physical aid to people affected by disaster and poverty around the world. It focuses on helping victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine.

More information about Samaritan's Purse

GlobalGiving -- 96.46

GlobalGiving

Founded in 2003, GlobalGiving is a funding platform that helps people find causes they care about. Users select projects they want to support, make a contribution, and get regular progress updates.

More information about GlobalGiving

Convoy of Hope -- 96.46

Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit that works to fight hunger around the world. Founded in 1994, the Springfield, Missouri-based charity also responds to disasters.

More information about Convoy of Hope

All Hands Volunteers -- 96.66

All Hands Volunteers

All Hands Volunteers works to address the long-term needs of communities affected by disasters. Over the last 12 years, the organisation has enlisted over 39,000 volunteers who helped 500,000 people worldwide.

More information about All Hands Volunteers

Americares -- 97.23

Americares

Since its founding in 1979, Americares has provided more than $US13 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States. It is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and specialises in fighting ongoing health crises.

More information about Americares

Direct Relief -- 100

Direct Relief

Direct Relief is California's largest international humanitarian nonprofit organisation. It provides medical assistance to help people affected by poverty and disaster in the US and around the world.

More information about Direct Relief

Other local organisations: Houston Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi, Houston Humane Society, and San Antonio Humane Society.

Houston Food Bank
Volunteers from Houston Food Bank.

These local charities have all received scores between 85 and 100, and work in the most heavily affected areas of Houston.

Sara Nason, a Charity Navigator spokesperson, told Business Insider that choosing between donations to a local or national organisation is a matter of preference. The main thing to look for is that the charity is an established and highly-rated organisation.

'Local organisations will continue to work in the community long after the disaster has happened, as they have an established presence in the community. National and international organisations deal with disasters at a large scale, with an established infrastructure and coordinated teams that specifically hold a skill-set for responding to crises,' she said in an email.

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