As most of you may have heard, Haiti was recently devastated by one of the largest earthquakes in its history. This isn’t particularly web app news but what generally follows disasters such as this, is help from around the world. As we all know, help requires money which generally leads to donations.
Thanks to today’s web app technology, donations have become so incredibly simple and easy that not donating is virtually inexcusable. There’s no need for mailing a check or visiting an office to make a donation. From a simple text message to a short online checkout, donating is literally at our fingertips — no matter where you are.
In recognition of the recent Haiti disaster, we’ve rounded up ten sites for quick and painless donating. These have been made possible by the power of web applications, no matter how simple (contact forms, payment gateways, etc).
Save the Children has been creating lasting, positive change in the lives of children in need since the 1930′s. Their emergency response is already in Haiti to provide life-saving assistance, clean water, food, shelter, safe and child-friendly spaces.
Their online donation form offers pre-selected and custom donation amounts. The form lacks visual appeal and their site needs a few fixes but it’s really about the donations, which can be made using some of the major payment gateways (Amazon, Google Checkout and Paypal). Just in case you are feeling really philanthropic you can only donate, $100,000 per transaction.
Center of Hope (Haiti)
Center of Hope is an orphanage for the abandoned children of Haiti. To donate you go through Network for Good, which gives you the option to donate monthly or one time, give a specific designation or to dedicate in someone’s name. They are accessible and easily shared by the major social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Mercy and Sharing has extensive projects running in Haiti and many of them near Port-au-Prince. Donations are very easy to give monthly or one time, or a sponsorship program is available. The donation forms are straight forward but lack additional payment options such as Paypal, Amazon and Google Checkout.
The American RedCross is the probably the most well known charitable organization. They arrived in Haiti on January 16th and immidiately started their work to help those wounded. They have a very wide range of donation options, even to those not related to Haiti.
Their donation process is probably one of the best done for similar organizations but still lacks some of the popular online payment types such as Paypal and Google Checkout. However, they do offer Amazon Payments (along with regular credit card options).
Even though UNICEF’s work isn’t confined to Haiti, they promise to send 100% of your money to save Haitian children’s lives. They offer many different ways to give relief to others: one time donation, monthly giving, inspired gifts, planned giving, and by program. Their donation form is clean and well laid out but lacks options for major online payment gateways like Paypal.
The money donated to this fund will go directly (and only) to Haiti for some of the more basic, but most essential needs: water, food, shelter, and first-aid supplies. You can donate to this fund online, texting (QUAKE to 20222 to donate $10), and or mail. Some of their web elements (including donation form) was put together just after the earthquake struck in Haiti, so you can’t expect too much from the donation form. It does the job it needs to do though.
Direct Relief International has clearly put in some extra effort on their web front and probably offers one of the better looking (and functioning) donation forms. For donation they have many different programs but they do have one specifically for Haiti. Unfortunately, this is yet another organization that doesn’t utilize payment options such as Paypal.
They are, however, utilizing a stronger collection of social media networks than other organizations. They’re also accepting donations via text (Give10 to 20222).
Yéle Haiti is a smaller organization, which is reflected in their blog style website. You can follow them on Twitter and Facebook. By donating to Yele Haiti, 100% of your money goes straight to the relief operation.
Doctors Without Borders has been working in Haiti for over 19 years and currently have three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince. The funds donated to this organization will go directly to increasing the emergency care given to those injured in Haiti.
They accept online donations with credit or debit cards, but unfortunately lack popular online payment options. They certainly utilize social media though, accessible via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and via their blog on Tumblr.
Habitat for Humanity has been doing great work on housing the poor since 1976. Many of the people in Haiti are now homeless from the recent earthquake, which leaves a great need in this area. Their online donation form is clean and basic, unfortunately excluding any popular online payment gateways like Paypal (credit card only).
The majority of these organizations lack in a few key areas for web app addicts. That would be; overall user interface and design, options for popular online payment gateways such as Paypal, Amazon and Google Checkout and better integration (and utilization) of social media. Many of the donation forms needed significant improvements, but, they do get the job done.
It’s also important to remember that these are non-profit organizations whose budgets always are and will be stretched to the limit. Maybe a rockstar designer or web developer would be kind enough to donate their time to one or more of these organizations to show them how web apps are done [well].
While improved online donation forms would make the user experience more enjoyable and additional payment gateway options would make donating easier, — overall, these (and other) organizations make donating so simple that you don’t really have an excuse not to. What would be really fantastic would be to see an organization utilize an expert web designer and developer that could make their donation forms as fantastic as Wufoo or FormSpring’s forms!