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Nonprofits and the War in Ukraine

Updated: Feb 20

Last week, on June 2, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine passed the 100-day mark. The conflict has been brutal. Casualties number in the tens of thousands. There are as many as seven million refugees. Even worse, there appears to be no end in sight, so those numbers will continue to increase. The down-stream impact has been felt across the globe. Many Americans' thoughts and prayers are rightly with the Ukrainian people, and with all those affected by the war. Understandably, many Americans, being so far removed from the conflict, feel unable to help.

But many Americans have stepped up to help. In fact, there are numerous individuals and organizations that have provided, and continue to provide, aid to the people of Ukraine and others affected by the war. The time, money, and effort by private entities and individuals alone quickly surpassed a billion dollars. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees ("UNHCR") reported receiving over $200 million during the first three weeks of the conflict. As of the date of this post, Candid reports that Ukraine has received over $1 billion in grants.

Various large private foundations have joined in. Celebrities have helped raise money (especially those with ties to the country, such as Mila Kunis, who is originally from Ukraine, and Hayden Panettiere, whose ex-husband is now mayor of Kyiv).

For those Americans feeling that they are unable to help, there are of course many ways you can. Aside from donating to the UNHCR or being involved in a large, private foundation (like those associated with Microsoft, Caterpillar, Mars, PepsiCo, etc.), many smaller or locally-focused nonprofits have begun directing their efforts towards Ukraine.

In North Texas, the Omnis Foundation has been working to provide relief in Ukraine since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014. Save Our Allies is a newer nonprofit that was formed specifically to respond to the refugee crisis in Afghanistan, but now also provides goods and services to Ukraine. In Palm Springs, the Mensch International Foundation has been raising funds to ease the refugee crisis.

Search for your hometown along with "Ukraine" and "nonprofit," and you're bound to find at least a handful trying to help.

And if you're concerned about where the money actually goes, Charity Navigator can help you select the nonprofit you want to support.

Remember, there are millions of nonprofits in the US alone. Those nonprofits are largely small businesses, with a median number of employees of four. You have options: some big, some small, some international, some local. You can help, and you can make a difference.

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