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
- Run your own fundraiser.
- Donate to a crowdfunding campaign.
- Join the rebuilding effort.
- See if your company will match your gift (Use our tool to check!).
- Donate to a disaster-relief nonprofit.
- Share and promote fundraisers you support.
- Contribute to the United Way’s Fondo de Emergencias.
- Support Direct Relief’s efforts.
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:
- Choose a platform — We recommend Fundly because it is free and lets you create a visually compelling and highly shareable campaign in mere minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Promote often — Online fundraisers succeed and fail based on how their promotion goes. You have to generate an audience for your crowdfunding campaign.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Red Cross
- Mercy Corps
- Operation Blessing International
- Save the Children
- SPCA International
- Project Paz
For example, Project Paz is working in conjunction with the El Paso Community Foundation to help raise money for earthquake relief in central Mexico.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Advance team — A small, experienced group of people deployed to assess what each community’s most urgent needs are.
- Brigade — A larger group of volunteers who bring necessary support as specified by the advance team.
- Reconstruction — Longer term work to rehabilitate buildings and homes.
Contributing is as easy as visiting their website. They even have an easy translate option for non-Spanish speakers.
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).
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.
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.