from Stanford Social Innovation Review:
If there is any lesson to be learned about how to donate to international disasters, it is this: don’t give your money when you first see the disaster splashed across TV.
To ensure the rebuilding effort survives over the long term, donors need to stagger their funding and guarantee it over many years, instead of sending the money all at once.
Yes, as hard as it may be to watch the dying and pain on our news, realize that money is not the impediment to getting aid to Haiti right now. They need military and security forces to help organize rescue, logistics and transport and security operations.
What your money can do is help the long-term food and medical aid necessary while rebuilding takes place. It will be a rebuilding that will take years, if not decades.