The Ukrainian charity sector is providing emergency support to the Ukrainian people following the Russian invasion of the country on 24th February, and is seeking support. UK and international charities are helping too and have launched fundraising appeals.
UK Fundraising in collaboration with others has put together a list of organisations providing support and seeking donations.
If you want to donate money
The following registered organisations are appealing for donations:
- Anna Dezyk has set up a GoFundMe appeal to support the Ukrainian people on behalf of Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) and at the time of writing it has raised over £287,000.
- British-Ukrainian Aid supports victims of the ongoing war, orphaned children, internally displaced persons, the wounded and others in need. It has launched a JustGiving appeal.
- Ukrainian Red Cross “Every day volunteers and staff of the Ukrainian Red Cross in different parts of the country support people who have found themselves in difficult living conditions or suffered from emergencies.”
- The Ukraine Humanitarian Fund is one of the UN’s country-based pooled funds. “Contributions are collected into a single, unearmarked fund and managed locally under UN leadership. As crises evolve, funds are made directly and immediately available to a wide range of partner organisations at the front lines of response. This way, funding reaches the people most in need when they need it”.
- Voices of Children helps children affected by the war in eastern Ukraine with psychological and psychosocial support.
- SOS Children’s Towns in Ukraine: founded in 2003, it works to prevent orphanhood in Ukraine, to develop family-based care for children deprived of parental care and to support young people coming out of care .
Support for other civil society activities
- The Kyiv Independent is seeking support to enable it to continue its independent reporting on the ground from Ukraine.
- A multi-organisation GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support Ukrainian media organisations, including Ukrainska Pravda, Zaborona, Detector Media and others. It is being coordinated by The Fix , Are We Europe , Jnomics and Media Development Foundation , as well as multiple media partners from across Europe.
Support for Ukraine’s armed forces
The UK has many ‘service charities’ that support members of the armed services and their families while they serve and when they leave the service. It is not clear if the following appeals reflect that model but we include them for completeness.
- The National Bank of Ukraine has opened a special multi-currency account for payments to “support the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. Anyone from any country can donate. It is open for transfers of funds from international partners and donors, any person as well as from Ukrainian business and citizens. Details are on the bank’s official website.
- Come Back Alive, a Kyiv-based charity, provides Ukraine’s Armed Forces with equipment, software, personal body protection, and training. It also accepts donations by Bitcoin, has published its accounts, and lets donors choose between ‘help the Ukrainian Army’ and ‘support the fund’.
- A round-up from Alliance magazine last week focused on philanthropy initiatives in Ukraine.
- Interested in learning about a philanthropists’ network that is working alongside organisations to create impact? The Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum was established in 2005 at the initiative of seven international and domestic foundations, and is a professional association of charitable foundations and organisations.
- There are also 33 community foundations in Ukraine, with experienced local insight into local/regional needs:
UK and international charity appeals
- The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), consisting of 15 UK aid charities, launched its Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal on 3 March.
- The British Red Cross has announced an emergency appeal:
- UK for UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency’s charity partner in the UK) has launched an urgent appeal for funds so that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, can continue delivering essential support for displaced people across the country and the region.
- CARE’s appeal is highlighting the risks faced by women in girls in conflicts like this.
- The Center for Disaster Philanthropy in the USA has launched the CDP Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund. Donations will be used “focus on addressing humanitarian needs that arise, particularly among the most vulnerable, marginalised and at-risk internally-displaced peoples (IDPs) and refugees.”
- GiveOut in the UK has launched an appeal to support its Ukrainian partner organisation
- Refugee charity Choose Love have launched an emergency appeal to support the Ukrainian people. Donations will support “projects (that meet our criteria) who are providing vital aid and services to those still in and fleeing the country, including: emergency medical care, food, shelter, clothes, legal support, support for the LGBTQIA+ community and mental health support.”
- Aid to the Church in Need (UK) ” is committing 1 million euros towards emergency aid to support the work of the Church in Ukraine” and is seeking financial support.
- The (US) Urgent Action Fund is “committed to supporting women, trans, and nonbinary activists on the ground in and surrounding Ukraine by providing flexible funding and security support.”
Habitat for Humanity Great Britain has launched an appeal to support refugees arriving into neighbouring countries at the borders.
To donate skills and time
- Tech to the Rescue is inviting companies to donate their staff’s technology skills “to make Ukraine stronger”.
It also organises ‘Spring for Impact’ where individuals can join teams on particular projects.
- The Ukraine Advice Project UK was set up by a group of volunteer legal professionals with immigration/asylum expertise on 28 February 2022 to provide free UK immigration and asylum advice to Ukrainian citizens affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Lawyers with relevant experience who wish to volunteer are invited to get in contact.
Other sources for appeals
The Ukraine Crisis Media Center has published a list of recommendations of charities in Ukraine to support.
The Ukrainian Institute lists ways of supporting Ukraine, staying informed and making your voice heard:
Nino Ugrekhelidze has published a Twitter thread list of “organisations led by and working with people with disabilities in Ukraine to donate to”. The crowdsourced list was initiated by Jen Bokoff.
Civil Society Media has published two lists of charities launching appeals and which accept donations:
- UK charities and community groups fundraising to support people in Ukraine
- More charities launch emergency Ukraine appeals
- Ukrainian charities: a guide for international supporters is an eight-page (currently) Google Doc published by a group of Ukrainian journalists.
- Charity Excellence has published a list of charities that are listed as being primarily grant makers and working in the Ukraine. They have been sourced from the Charity Commission (for England and Wales) and are listed in order of annual spend.
- GoodGoodGood.co has shared a list of ways of How to help Ukraine – Donate to orgs and stop misinformation. It includes mental health and animal charities and mutual aid activities.
- NCVO has published How charities and civil society can support Ukraine.
Other support provided
Some countries are providing extensive and rapid support to Ukrainian refugees, including Slovakia, so supporting relevant charities in those countries is also an option:
Others are fundraising for some of the many citizens of other countries who have become trapped in Ukraine or are facing difficulties leaving the country.
Some have faced racial discrimination and abuse in addition to all their other difficulties, so one GoFundMe campaign is fundraising to Support Black people fleeing Ukraine. Organiser Tokunbo Koiki has raised £43,000 in three days against an original target of £10,000. Over 1,400 people have given, including one donation of £500.
Rob Blackie is raising funds on Crowdfunder to show independent news about the war in Ukraine to Russians using digital ads to get around Putin’s censorship. He says £10 buys about 1,000 ad views.
Other ways to help
The Government of Canada is offering matched giving to encourage citizens to make donations. It will match all eligible donations made by individual Canadians (so not businesses) to the Canadian Red Cross’ Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal from 24 February to 18 March 2022. It has pledged a maximum of $10 million.
British Telecom has announced that “for anyone wanting to contact loved ones in Ukraine, we’ve made mobile and landline calls, texts and data to and from the region free from today, 25 February”. You can let Ukrainian friends and contacts know about this.
Other telecomms companies have made similar changes, including Vodafone UK (and related companies like Voxi), EE, O2 and Three:
Nectar points can now be donated to any UK charity. If you have points you can choose to donate them to a UK charity supporting people in the Ukraine.
Marks and Spencer are inviting customers to donate their Sparks points to Unicef UK to support its work with Ukrainian children. “Select UNICEF UK as your chosen Sparks charity”, the company suggested, “and from today we’ll give a double donation every time you shop with Sparks”.
You might also want to support Ukrainian companies. There is a strong technology sector based in Ukraine or founded by Ukrainians. UK Fundraising uses Kiev-based MacPaw’s CleanMyMac and Gemini II.
MacPaw for example set up a foundation in 2016 and is now highlighting its ability to to source and distribute large quantities of food, medical supplies, hygiene products, and other humanitarian aid to those in need. It is appealing for donations to extend this, listing its bank details. They plan to purchase and distribute seven truckloads of aid every day.
Here is a thread on the many technology platforms and services that were founded, are run by or contributed to by Ukrainian entrepreneurs and companies:
You can share stock photos of Ukraine for free (in return for a credit and link) via the Ukraine Imagebank, a partnership between Ukraine Now and DepositPhotos:
- Fundraising Everywhere is inviting fundraising and charity sector consultants who wish to offer their services for free to post details on a Twitter thread.
One charity ‘benefit’?
The transfer of ‘stewardship’ of Chelsea FC by owner Roman Abramovich to Chelsea’s charitable foundation appears at first glance to give the charity the benefit of running and owning a Premier League football club and global grand.
But… his terse announcement – “I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC” – leaves many questions unanswered. For how long will he transfer the club to the charity? Does it open the charity to financial losses? What does ‘stewardship’ mean, if anything, in charity law? Are the trustees of the foundation allowed under charity law to accept such a ‘gift’, and equally, to return the gift of a company?
The statement made no reference to Ukraine or Russia’s invasion.
Other overviews of the UK charity sector’s response
Madeleine Sugden has published Charity sector’s response to the Ukraine crisis (3 March 2022).
Laura Croudace is Head of Impact, Cirrico. She has worked in fundraising for 13 years and supports nonprofits to grow through technology. She stands with Ukraine and its people.
- Emergency fundraising appeals launched for Afghanistan (18 August 2021)