For charities and contributors involved in disaster relief efforts, the IRS website includes an article that provides several helpful resources.
The FAQs address the following areas:
- Providing relief through an existing charitable organization.
- Creating a charitable organization to provide disaster relief.
- Providing relief to employees of particular employers.
- Charitable contributions for disaster relief.
Before well-intentioned individuals start their own charities to provide relief, they should consider whether supporting existing organizations would be more effective and efficient, and whether a new organization will have viability. See Stephanie Strom's article in The New York Times (March 13, 2006), "Many Charities Founded After Hurricane are Floundering." Another alternative to starting a new charity: fiscal sponsorship.
Also see original Disaster Relief post (8/10/05).