Japan Relief: 10 Legit Websites for Online Donations

It’s appalling, but it happens every time there is a disaster — people try to profit off other people’s grief. After the devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, Japan is in much pain, but hundreds of fraudsters are actively capitalizing on the tragedy. On March 15 (just 4 days after the earthquake!) BoingBoing reported “more than 1.7 million malware pages, 419 scams trading on the Japanese disasters, 50+ fake domains with “Japan tsunami” or “Japan earthquake” in their URLs.” I wouldn’t be surprised if this number has quadrupled by now.  From fake donation sites to phishing sites, and from likejacking scams to all sorts of SEO poisoning, chances of donating to a scammer rather than to a legitimate charity are growing higher every day.

In light of the foregoing, today I’d like to bring you a compilation of 10 legitimate websites where you can make your donation to help Japan (it’s not a ranking of any kind, just an alphabetical listing):

  1. American Red Cross
  2. Doctors Without Borders
  3. Global Giving
  4. Habitat for Humanity
  5. International Medical Corps
  6. Mercy Corps
  7. Oxfam
  8. Save the Children
  10. World Vision

If I have missed a charity that belongs here, please post about it below. Important: All comments are closely moderated. So, if you see that your comment/charity suggestion hasn’t appeared after 12 hours, chances are I couldn’t verify the site as 100% safe. In this case, feel free to email me about it, and I’ll take a second look.

Added by commenters:

11. Crash Japan
12. Salvation Army
13. Samaritan’s Purse

8 thoughts on “Japan Relief: 10 Legit Websites for Online Donations”

  1. The first thing I see on your list is American Red Cross and Japan has said they don’t want/won’t use American Red Cross money. American Red Cross is a fine charity but the money you give them won’t likely make it to Japan.

      1. I couldn’t find any evidence to back up the above statement, and unfortunately Brooke hasn’t replied either.

        From everything that I read, it looks like the Red Cross has already collected $1 billion for Japan + “dispatched more than 200 emergency relief teams” [source]. I am keeping them on my above list.

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