Philanthropists rally to support Ukraine

By Debra Shapira | Apr 18, 2022 |

As the Russian war in Ukraine escalates, philanthropists around the world are uniting to help.  

At Brighton Jones, we’ve heard from clients across the country who share our concern for those affected by the atrocities of the war in Ukraine. If you’re interested in tapping into your charitable plan to support Ukrainian families, we’ve gathered answers to some of the most frequently asked questions: 

Ukrainian flag

How can I best support the humanitarian efforts in and around Ukraine? 

Disaster experts agree that philanthropy must first respond with emergency supplies. Millions of people in Ukraine and its bordering countries are in desperate need of shelter, food, water, and medical care. 

Consider reserving some funds for the long-term recovery efforts that will require support in the coming months. It’s clear this will be a protracted crisis, and when public attention begins to wane, critical recovery work will begin. In the months ahead, peace-building efforts, feminist movements, infrastructure rebuilding, and legal advocacy will come into sharp focus, and philanthropic investments will continue to be critical. 

Make donations to vetted organizations, especially those with local teams in or around Ukraine that understand the context and the impact that this crisis is having on citizens. And look for opportunities to direct your funding specifically to the programs supporting relief efforts.  

What organizations do you recommend? Where can I find others? 

Three of the organizations our team identified, which will be offering both short- and long-term support in and around Ukraine, are  

  • Razom, (meaning ‘together’ in Ukrainian), is a New York-based, women-led nonprofit that relies on a network of volunteers across Europe to source and deliver tactical medical supplies and equipment to Ukrainian hospitals. Like many other diaspora-based organizations, this nonprofit was formed after the 2014 annexation of Crimea and has hyper-local connections to Ukrainian communities. 
  • World Central Kitchen began serving meals on the border between Ukraine and Poland mere hours after the initial invasion, and are now working with local restaurants and chefs serving hundreds of thousands of meals at eight border crossings. This nonprofit was founded after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and has since provided more than 60 million fresh meals to people impacted by humanitarian, climate, and community crises. 
  • Mercy Corps, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and included in a list featured in a New York Times OpEd, has team members Ukraine, Romania, and Poland channeling funding to local organizations and preparing to provide emergency cash assistance and connect people with access to basic humanitarian services, information on safe routes, and their legal rights. Mercy Corps provided similar services in Ukraine from 2015 to 2017 following the 2014 conflict. 

If you’d like to give to all three organizations — Razom, World Central Kitchen, and Mercy Corps — you can make a donation through the Brighton Jones Richer Life Foundation’s #OneTeam for Ukraine Fund.

You can also find other vetted organizations doing critical work in Ukraine at Giving Compass, CAF America, and Global Giving. 

Can I donate to international organizations, in Ukraine or elsewhere? 

While contributions to foreign organizations generally are not tax deductible, you can still donate to international organizations if you choose. Please also note that most DAFs cannot make grants to non-U.S. charitable organizations. 

Groups with a local presence and knowledge of the community context are considered to be most effective in providing needed support to local communities. So here’s what you can do: 

Are there other ways I can help?  

Airbnb is waiving all administrative fees for bookings in Ukraine as a way for global citizens to channel funds directly to Ukrainian families. 

Contact your U.S. representative to support the provision of humanitarian aid to the estimated 3 million refugees that will result from the war. Use your ZIP code to find your local representative here. 

Seek out a refugee resettlement organization in your community. Ask what their needs are right now and if they anticipate that families affected by the crisis will be arriving in the weeks or months ahead. 

What is Brighton Jones doing to support?

Brighton Jones stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine as they face an unprovoked and merciless invasion of their country, and ongoing senseless violence against their citizens. We honor the bravery of the people and organizations working on the front lines of this crisis.  

We launched a fundraising campaign in mid-March to support the three fantastic organizations listed above, and by April 18, the Brighton Jones community raised $235,000 in donations from clients, team members, regional philanthropy committees, and our co-founders. We disbursed 100% of the funds to Mercy Corps, Razom, and World Central Kitchen.

This article was originally published on March 22, 2022. It has been updated to reflect the total fundraising amount as of April 18.

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