8 Ways to Raise Money for and Donate to Victims of the Mexico Earthquake

Updated 9:57 AM EST on Friday, September 22nd.

While reports come in about the earthquake that hit Mexico on Tuesday, the news keeps getting sadder and sadder. As of today, the death toll numbers 273 people and the rescue effort is still underway, meaning that number is likely to rise. Much of central Mexico has been turned to rubble, and this comes after the deadly earthquake that struck the southern coast of Mexico two weeks ago, killing upwards of 90 people.

Tuesday’s magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City and its surrounding region including the states of Puebla, Mexico, and Morelos. The images and video footage from the region are absolutely devastating, and all evidence indicates that recovery from this natural disaster is going to take a long, long time.

It is hard to know what to do in times of such unthinkable tragedy. But if you’ve made it to this page, it is because you want to help the relief effort and are looking for some ways to get involved. Below, you’ll find a list to get you started.

8 Ways to Join the Relief Efforts for Victims of Mexico’s Earthquake

We’ll start with advice for organizing your own fundraiser.

1. Run your own fundraiser.

One of the most hands-on methods of fundraising for Mexican relief is running your own crowdfunding fundraiser. It sounds challenging but is actually relatively simple. Of course, seeing your campaign through will take true dedication, but helping the people of Mexico will be more than worth it.

Crowdfunding is an effective fundraising option for earthquake relief in particular, because it is quick, efficient, and global. You want to start your campaign (do so here) sooner rather than later, while the relief effort is still at the front of everyone’s minds. 

If you’re interested in launching your own crowdfunding campaign, here’s the rundown of how it will go:

  1. Choose a platform — We recommend Fundly because it is free and lets you create a visually compelling and highly shareable campaign in mere minutes.
  2. Establish your goal — Find a sweet spot between achievable and challenging. Donors need to feel like your goal is possible, but you also want to raise enough to provide for the people of Mexico.
  3. Set up your campaign — When you set up your campaign, you’ll be looking to include a few things: compelling copy, high-quality images, a descriptive title, and a verification of who you are.
  4. Promote often — Online fundraisers succeed and fail based on how their promotion goes. You have to generate an audience for your crowdfunding campaign.
  5. Collect your donations — When the campaign is over, it’ll be time to collect your donations and use them to fund the relief effort in Mexico.

We compared the top crowdfunding platforms and recommend Fundly for disaster-relief fundraisers! Click the image to start your campaign.Run a crowdfunding fundraiser to raise money for earthquake relief in Mexico.

Make sure you carefully select a recipient of the funds you raise, so look to local nonprofits or global organizations that are focused on disaster relief. In other words, trust the experts.

Next step: Click to start a campaign right now

Click to start a crowdfunding fundraising campaign to help the victims of the earthquake in Mexico with their relief effort.

2. Donate to a crowdfunding campaign.

Not everyone can run their own crowdfunding campaign, but the good news is, there are plenty of campaigns created each day that are worthy and in need of donations. So, if you support and appreciate the crowdfunding model but don’t have the time or ability to run your own fundraiser, you can donate to someone else’s campaign.

Head over to a crowdfunding website, like Fundly, and search the existing campaigns. You can either type your query into a search bar or browse through the platform’s categories. The picture below gives you a preview of what the disaster relief category looks like. Click the picture to be taken to the page and category shown.Check out the disaster relief category on Fundly's website for fundraising options for the earthquake.

Outside of looking through a crowdfunding website, you’ll want to visit your main social channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and see if any of your immediate contacts are running a campaign. If so, review their campaign goals and details and decide if you’d like to contribute to their work.

With minimal digging, either through your own social channels or through a crowdfunding platform, you should be able to find a number of campaigns to peruse. 

Just be careful to make sure that any campaign you donate to is legitimate. It’s a sad fact, but there are scammers out there who take advantage of natural disasters like these. Most crowdfunding sites do an excellent job of scrubbing illegitimate campaigns from their platforms, but as a donor, you should also be vigilant about doing your own research.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the organizer have an existing online presence?
  • Is the organizer Facebook verified?
  • Is the campaign transparent about its goals?

Once you’ve properly vetted the campaign and organizer, all that’s left to do is make a donation and support the recovery effort.

For example, here’s a great campaign that was recently started to help the earthquake recovery effort. The campaign is even has a special offer where all donations are being matched, meaning double funding for the relief effort.Donate to this crowdfunding campaign for the relief effort in Mexico following the earthquake.

Next step: Visit a campaign and donate.

3. Join the rebuilding effort.

The earthquake in Mexico absolutely destroyed much of central Mexico’s buildings and infrastructure. Construction and rebuilding in the region is going to be a huge priority and part of the recovery effort.

Luckily, you can help out by supporting nonprofits that specifically focus on fulfilling such needs. For example, consider donating to, raising money for, or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

You can donate to Habitat for Humanity or any earthquake-related campaigns run by Habitat for Humanity and use your money to help kick-start the rebuilding process. To donate, head over to and explore this page:

Supporting the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program is a great way to help the earthquake relief effort.

By donating to Habitat for Humanity, you’ll join the over 76,000 donors who have helped the organization raise $14,074,690 for its global volunteering program so far.

For example, here’s a campaign for a Habitat for Humanity build that is set to go to Mexico next year (donate here), when the region is going to most certainly need still need rehabilitation assistance:

Check out how you can help the rebuilding process in Mexico.

Next step: Donate to Habitat for Humanity’s rebuilding effort.

4. Get your gifts matched.

If you work for a company that has a matching gift program, that essentially means you can make your donation go twice as far.

Here’s the definition of matching gifts, for those who don’t know (learn more here):

“Employee matching gifts are donations a company makes to match its employees’ charitable contributions. Employee matching gifts are typically at a dollar-for-dollar rate but some companies go even further by tripling or quadrupling their employees’ donations.”

At Double the Donation, we build and maintain a database of companies that match donations along with the forms, guidelines, and steps you should take to submit your match. Across our database, 15-19 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.

And for relief for recent disasters (Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Imra, Hurricane Maria, and the two earthquakes in Mexico) we’re making our database available for FREE.

You can use our matching gift tool right now. In the search bar below, type in your employer (ex. Home Depot, Verizon, Microsoft, etc.) to see if your company offers a matching gift program and to access forms, guidelines, and instructions.

Or if you want to view a list of the top matching gift companies click here. It’s all really that simple, and by filling out a little bit of paperwork, you could be doubly helping the people of Mexico.

Next step: Search for matching gift companies with the above search tool. Then Link to this page (https://doublethedonation.com/blog/2017/09/raise-money-donate-to-victims-mexico-earthquake/) from your website or social media to share this matching gift information with other supporters.

Click to start a crowdfunding fundraising campaign to help the victims of the earthquake in Mexico with their relief effort.

5. Donate to a disaster-relief nonprofit.

When in doubt, trust the experts. In other words, if you don’t know where to send your money, look to large and established nonprofits that already have folks on the ground and plans in place to aid the relief effort.

Primarily, you’ll be donating funds more than anything. While Mexico will surely be in need of items like non-perishable food and clothing, it’s often best to send money first that can than be allocated as needed. You certainly don’t want to end up sending goods that clutter airports and shelters and won’t be put to good use.

Nonprofits to consider include:

For example, Project Paz is working in conjunction with the El Paso Community Foundation to help raise money for earthquake relief in central Mexico.

Project Paz is just one example of a nonprofit earthquake relief effort you can contribute to.

At the end of the day, consider regional, national, and global organizations, and pick the program and relief effort that you feel most passionately about. A range of help is not only needed, it is necessary.

Next step: Review your options for donating and pick a nonprofit to support.

6. Share and promote fundraisers you support.

One of the quickest ways to help out a cause you care about, any time, is to share and promote the fundraising effort. For example, if you are a big proponent of your local homeless shelter and they’re running a campaign, you can help by sharing that campaign with your friends, family, and broader social media network.

The same principle applies to sharing and promoting fundraisers for the disaster-relief work being done in Mexico. So, visit your favorite campaign and share it.

Here’s an excellent example from Raul Gonzalez, who is the organizer of a crowdfunding campaign that is raising money (and doubling donations) for relief in Mexico following the earthquake.

Share and promote fundraisers that are for the relief effort for after the earthquakes in Mexico.

It might seem simple, but just a few clicks and short message can go a long way toward increasing how much money a fundraiser brings in and is able to put toward the cause. In fact, the average campaign share raises $97!

Next step: Find a crowdfunding campaign and share it to help the victim of Mexico’s earthquake.

Click to start a crowdfunding fundraising campaign to help the victims of the earthquake in Mexico with their relief effort.

7. Contribute to the United Way’s Fondo de Emergenicas.

The United Way is one of the most recognizable nonprofit names in the world. The United Way focuses on building strong, sustainable communities through three key areas of impact: education, income, and health.

The United Way has a branch in Mexico and has created an emergency relief fund dedicated solely to the recovery effort from the numerous disasters that have occurred in the country over the past month or so.

They currently have a 3-stage intervention plan that the funds will go towards:

  1. Advance team — A small, experienced group of people deployed to assess what each community’s most urgent needs are.
  2. Brigade — A larger group of volunteers who bring necessary support as specified by the advance team.
  3. Reconstruction — Longer term work to rehabilitate buildings and homes.

The United Way of Mexico has a disaster relief fund to help with the earthquake recovery effort.

Contributing is as easy as visiting their website. They even have an easy translate option for non-Spanish speakers.

Next step: Visit the United Way’s website and contribute to the fund

8. Support Direct Relief’s efforts.

For those who don’t know, Direct Relief is a nonprofit that serves all 50 states, as well as 80 other countries, including Mexico.

Their mission is simple: “Improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies.”

Due to their emergency relief focus, they’re extremely well-equipped to help the people of Mexico recover from the devastating earthquake.

According to their website, “Direct Relief is coordinating with Mexico-based companies and national emergency response organizations to get desperately needed medicine to those impacted by the earthquake.”

Additionally, “Direct Relief has Donataria Autorizada status from the Mexican government, allowing companies in Mexico to receive tax benefits for donations to the organization.”

On top of accepting donations and doing vital work in the damaged region, their site also features frequent updates and news stories, to keep donors and supporters fully informed (shown below).

Direct Relief is not only providing earthquake recovery help, it also have a great news resource on its site.

As you can see, you can visit their site and not only donate, but read first-hand accounts about what is occurring on the ground in Mexico.

Next step: Check out Direct Relief’s website and explore how you can provide support.


There are the eight ideas. So hop to it. Start helping and spread the word about how everyone can support the relief effort. Mexico needs us, and we need to step up for them in this time of tragedy.

Raise money for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria with crowdfunding or donate to a campaign.

 

8 Storytelling Tools to Boost Donation

Human beings like stories. We are exposed to them from the moment we are born and learn how to connect with and learn from others through storytelling. Although everyone is not a natural born storyteller, everyone does have the ability to tell a good story if given the right tools.

Developing storytelling skills is essential for nonprofit fundraisers because the key is nothing more than telling a great story to your donors. People are more likely to convert from visitors to donors when there is a narrative they can follow and connect with. Here is a list of 8 tips we have compiled to get you started on your storytelling journey.

1. Hands on experience

Write what you know. This is one of the first pieces of advice any young writer is give and, it still applies to storytelling for nonprofits. You can’t tell an authentic story if you have never experienced some aspect of it. I’m talking to you, development team, it’s time to get involved.

There is a natural divide that exists between program and development staff at any nonprofit. You view each other with distrust, always thinking the other is doing less. But as a member of the development team you need access to the best stories which means a good working relationship with your program staff. Make it clear that you value the work that they do. Set up bi-weekly or monthly meetings to share stories about your work. This will give your team access to stories which appeal to donors and humanize the development team to program staff.

Attend volunteer events. Your development team should be required to attend a certain number of volunteer events each year. This allows you to experience first-hand what your organization does and get you some great stories.

2. Write with your ideal donor in mind

One of the first rules of storytelling is to know your audience. While you are creating content for many people, that content is being consumed individually. For your readers, your content isn’t generated for the masses, it’s created for them.

Use donor surveys and craft donor personas. Your donor personas represent those who give to your cause. A donor persona includes job title, average age, gender, communication preference and other important information that tells you who your donors are. Once you know who your donors are, write to them.

3. Impart your vision

When you are storytelling for your nonprofit your goal should never be “to raise money.” It’s not specific enough and doesn’t give you a story to tell.

Consider instead what the money you are looking to raise will be used for. Is it a specific project? Tell the story of that project and what impact it will have on lives.

If you need money for basic operational or administrative costs tell the story of what would happen if your organization wasn’t able to do the amazing work it does. For example, if your organization didn’t exist- would lives be affected? How many? In what way? Craft a story around this idea with donors as the heroes, the ones who make your work possible.

4. Present conflict and make your donors part of the resolution

If you read your story and realize there is no conflict, then it’s not a story; it’s a pitch. This is essential because the conflict in your story is the reason your organization exists. If your organization builds wells in rural Zambia when individuals already have access to clean drinking water, then your organization exists for no reason.

When crafting your story and thinking about your central conflict consider the following questions:

How does your organization address issues in your community?

What do you need to address this problem?
Funding.

How much funding?

What exactly will the money do?

Who provides the money?
Donors.

Who is the hero of the story?
Donors.

Asking these questions will help you story tell in a way that appeals to your donors.

5. Create a sense of urgency

Your story should be time sensitive. You should make donors feel that there is only a limited amount of time to give and to help. Adding a deadline is one of the easiest ways to create that sense of urgency.

International Rescue Committee does an incredible job creating a sense of urgency in their story about the Rohingya population from the Rakhine state of Myanmar. This population is facing persistent violence in Myanmar with hundreds of thousands of refugees in need of basic services.

6. Use a variety of methods and channels

Sometimes we get locked into the idea that stories can only be written. But in many cultures, storytelling is still a mostly oral tradition and there are many different ways to express them.

Remember the section on “knowing your donors above”? Well, not all donors are going to want to read your stories. Some, especially younger donors, want to see videos, pictures, infographics.

Tell the same story in different ways and see if one method yields different results. Stay creative and agile because storytelling is a fluid art.

The example above from malala.org shares Malala’s story in an interactive timeline,which integrates many different storytelling mediums from image to video to text. It is dynamic and easy to follow.

7. Inspire others to share their stories

Most people are more likely to connect with a story when it is autobiographical. This may not be applicable if your organization doesn’t work with people, but if it does, get the people you serve to tell their own stories. Interviewing people about their own experiences creates a more authentic story and allows your donors to connect to what you do on a more emotional level.

If you don’t work with individuals get donors to tell their stories. People like hearing from others who have given before because it legitimizes giving and provides them with realistic expectations about where their money will go and how to give.

8. Litmus test your story

You want to test your story before you send it out to the world. The best advice I have heard on this topic is to litmus test your story at the dinner table. If it doesn’t perform well there, then it isn’t good enough.

This also tells you how simple your story should be. How much do you hate it when someone monopolizes the conversation at the dinner table with a story that takes 15 minutes but could have been told in 5? Don’t be that person. You will bore and alienate your donors.

Conclusion

Great fundraising is great storytelling. Every great nonprofit fundraiser will tell you the same thing. If you want to boost donations, then further developing your storytelling skills is the best way to make it happen.

Just remember, you tell stories everyday and you have been telling them since you had the ability to speak.

If you want to read even more on the subject The Storytelling Nonprofit is a great place to start. Happy storytelling!

Author Bio

Emma Wolfe is the Communications and Partnerships Manager at Elevation, a full-service nonprofit web design agency. Emma has been involved in the nonprofit world for years working at multiple NGOs located both in the United States and abroad. Her experience ranges from refugee occupation counseling to empowerment programs for youth in West Africa. When she isn’t traveling Emma loves doing yoga and trying new food.