How to Donate to Legitimate Ukraine Relief Funds

These last few weeks, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has simultaneously displayed the darkest and most hopeful sides of humanity. We’re seeing an outpouring of support and aid from across the globe for those impacted by the war. These funds and supplies go to help with the refugee crisis and the many people trapped in Ukraine or fighting on the fronts.

Despite the incredible amount of assistance people are willing to offer, not everyone involved is interested in helping Ukraine. Many scammers have capitalized on the news of the war to take advantage of people’s goodwill and enrich themselves. If you’re interested in donating funds or supplies to Ukraine, learn how to ensure your money goes to legitimate relief organizations.

How Are People Being Scammed When Donating to Ukraine?

Generous people from all walks of life have lined up to donate money, supplies, and shelter to the Ukrainian people. Many businesses have also stepped up to gather donations or supply portions of their sales to the humanitarian crisis.

Unfortunately, some businesses that claim to collect donations for Ukraine are actually scammers looking to make a quick income. These crooks are using legitimate-looking websites, emails, SMS notifications, and even browser banner ads.

Screenshot of an email sent by a charity scam asking for donations for Ukraine.  

Many are also targeting people through links on social media and messaging apps.

Screenshot of tweet from a scammer asking for crypto donations of Ukraine  

What’s more, scammers have even targeted the dark web with crypto scams asking for cryptocurrency donations for Ukraine. A few also set up fake petitions on GoFundMe, using fake stories that appeal to people’s emotions to get them to donate.

Screenshot of a message from a scammer posing as a Ukrainian and using emotional language to ask for bitcoin donations  

“Scammers often follow what’s in the news, and they capitalize on crises to take advantage of donors,” said Attorney General of Kentucky, Daniel Cameron. Scammers see a lucrative opportunity with the Ukraine invasion. These events have a large emotional element that pushes people to help, often without due diligence.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to take a moment and follow a few necessary steps first.

How to Find Legitimate Ukraine Charities and Relief Funds

Before donating your hard-earned income or possessions to a charity, do some research to find trusted nonprofits. That way, you can make sure your help reaches those who really need it. Follow these tips to be sure your donation counts where it matters most:

    • 👉 Don’t just click on links sent by strangers or randomly shared on social media. If you can, try to search for the organization’s website using its name.
    • 👉 Look for the organization’s rating on charity watchdog sites like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, CharityWatch, or Charity Navigator.
    • 👉 Avoid giving to people asking for donations online. It may be tempting to just give them some money, but there are accounts of people trying to impersonate refugees on social media. A safer route is to help whoever is asking get in touch with legitimate charities nearby.
    • 👉 Seek out veteran disaster relief charities that are set up to provide aid quickly. Local grassroots drives mean well, but they can be logistically impractical, especially in countries that are far from Ukraine.
    • 👉 If you’re giving to someone, give to someone you know and trust instead of donating to general crowdfunding campaigns. Most crowdfunding websites don’t vet people who set up donation campaigns on their sites.
    • 👉 Be wary of fundraising appeals pressuring you to donate immediately. It’s okay to take time and think about it before you give away your money.
    • 👉 Review the nonprofit’s terms and documentation. They should be transparent about how they collect and use donated funds. Get in touch to ask more questions if you’re skeptical.
    • 👉 Don’t give away your personal information. A legitimate relief fund will never ask for your address, forms of identification, or passwords.

If you’d like to offer aid to Ukraine via donation, refer to the top-rated charities that are helping in Ukraine right now. Here’s a list of a few well-known organizations you can donate to.

List of Available Ukrainian Relief Funds

To help you in your search for legitimate organizations, we’ve compiled this list of well-established nonprofits. These parties are delivering food, supplies, and other forms of aid to Ukrainians during the war. Keep in mind this isn’t an exhaustive list. Many other worthy charities are doing incredible work in Ukraine and elsewhere, and they can also use your help.

Donate to Worldwide Organizations Offering Aid in Ukraine

Donate to Organizations in Ukraine

Donate to Help Ukrainian Refugees (Specifically)

How You Can Help Ukraine

 

It’s challenging to look on from afar and see people and animals suffering. Doing so may make you feel helpless. That’s why it’s important to take breaks from the news when you need to. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying your time, especially with loved ones.

Do know that you aren’t helpless. You can’t do anything about the war, but you can help the Ukrainian people. Donate safely to vetted nonprofit organizations and avoid fundraising scams. Even if you can’t donate now, you can still spread awareness to support those in need.

At CyberGhost VPN, we’re doing our part. We’re providing shelter, warm meals, and workstations to refugees at our Bucharest offices. Many of our team members have also opened their homes to host Ukrainian families.

A big ‘thanks’ to everyone doing their part to help create more hope for tomorrow.

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