Charity Digital – Topics – Ukraine crisis: How UK charities can help
We have all watched with horror the unfolding of the war against Ukraine in recent weeks. We have witnessed harrowing scenes of bombed cities and people desperately trying to leave the country, seeking refuge elsewhere. The situation is devastating. The need for help is urgent.
Fortunately, people around the world have taken action. Many have donated to both international charities and local organizations working on the ground, or signed petitions calling on their governments to impose sanctions on Russia or provide safe passage for refugees.
Others have chosen to support individuals, rather than organizations, by purchasing digital badges from Ukrainian sellers on Etsy, or booking and paying for a stay on AirBnB in a Ukrainian city – with no intention of going there. But what can UK charities do to help?
Charities can get involved and support the people of Ukraine in many ways.
There are many ways to take action, from emailing your MP to signing a petition. The Ukrainian Institute in London urges people to email their MP, asking them to push for sanctions against Russia and provide safe passage for refugees. They have include a templatemaking it quick and easy to write to your MP.
The absence of torture has a Change.org Petition, which as of this writing is close to 200,000 signatures. The UK government is currently pushing its Nationality and Borders Bill through Parliament, which, if passed, will make it harder for refugees and asylum seekers to find safety in the UK. The charity is calling on the government to help refugees from Ukraine now.
There is also a petition in parliament, calling on the government to scrap visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees, which at the time of writing currently has over 176,000 signatures. As it has reached over 100,000 signatures, it will be debated in Parliament on March 14.
Gather all the ways staff can take action and send an internal email or post an article on your intranet.
Support other UK charities
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), and its 15 member charities, have issued an urgent appeal for Ukraine. The UK Government has pledged matching funding of up to £20m and £55m has been raised in just one day – including government counterpart funding.
Within four days, the total amount raised had exceeded £100m. But with an estimated seven million people displaced, more is needed.
UK charities can support the DEC call by organize a fundraiser. As more and more of us return to the office, one of the ways to raise funds to support the crisis in Ukraine is to organize a bake sale.
An NSPCC staff member raised £600 through a bake sale to support British-Ukrainian Aid, which supports war victims. Even if not everyone is back in the office, having a fundraising online means colleagues can still donate if they wish.
Support grassroots organizations
In addition to large aid organizations, consider supporting smaller grassroots organizations in Ukraine. Nino Ugrekhelidze, who works for the Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM) has set up a Grassroots Organizations Twitter Feed in Ukraine who support LQTBQI communities, who risk being targeted.
If you would like to donate directly to grassroots organizations in #UkraineI share with you a small list of queer and young feminist orgs I have worked with at different times, and offer you with all my heart to support them in this time of absolute crisis 🧵
— Nino Ugrekhelidze (@nii_ugre) February 24, 2022
Don’t donate property
While it was initially encouraged for people in the UK to donate items such as clothing, blankets and baby items, this is now discouraged as it creates logistical issues.
Speaking to the BBC, DEC Director General Saleh Saeed said, “While it is commendable to want to collect clothes and other items for people in need, the things people donate today may not be. not be what people will need tomorrow and aid workers say they cannot use much of what comes. . Donating through DEC is the most helpful way people can help. »
Rather than donating items, consider donating money instead or purchasing emergency relief items, such as a family food parcel or sleeping bag, through The RefugeEase online store.
Review your corporate partnerships
Take a look at your current business partnerships and if these companies have ties to Russia. While no charity wants to lose donations that would help its mission, continuing to receive support from high-value companies or donors with ties to Russia is certainly an ethical issue.
It may be time to review your ethical fundraising policy and update it to reflect the current crisis.