How to Help Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts

by Brianne Miers
Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal

If you are looking to help support Nepal earthquake relief efforts, here are my recommendations for established local and international NGOs that are accepting donations.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 4/28 at 7:30 p.m. ET

I updated the details on how to give to Next Generation Nepal.

UPDATE: Monday, 4/27 at 6:30 p.m. ET

There have been more after-shocks today, so people have been sheltering in tents. Funds are needed immediately for supplies.

UPDATE: Sunday, 4/26 at 10:30 p.m. ET

I heard from the director of Hands for Help Nepal, and he confirmed that there are no operational banks, ATMs or money exchange offices, so, as I explain below, it’s best to give to NGOs already equipped to accept and process donations.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal

This stone temple in Bhaktapur Durbar Square was completely destroyed.

Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts: Where to Donate

It was devastating to wake up this morning to the heartbreaking stories and images coming out of Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. The beautiful country and its people are very close to my heart – I spent a summer in Pokhara during graduate school while volunteering with Hands for Help Nepal, an NGO based in Kathmandu.

International NGOs that Support Nepal

If you’re interested in helping support the Nepal earthquake relief efforts, my professional opinion – based on 10+ years of working in nonprofit communications and fundraising – is that you should stick with established NGOs, since they have the resources on-the-ground get funds where they are needed as quickly as possible. The best include:

Also, Intrepid Travel is matching donations up to $200,000AUD, and funds will benefit its partner, Plan International. I took a group tour for the first time this past fall with Intrepid and was extremely impressed with their dedication to sustainable tourism, and their commitment to preserving local cultures and the environment.

Nonprofits Based in Nepal

Here are a few other personal recommendations of non-profit organizations based in Nepal:

  • I have a personal connection to a small DC-based NGO called Aythos that is raising funds for the rural villages in the mountainous region where it works that have been “flattened.” The founders left for Nepal on April 27 to coordinate relief efforts. (Hear from Aythos founder Beau Miller about his experiences).
  • I also have a personal connection to The Greater Himalayas Foundation, which honors my former World Wildlife Fund colleague, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, who was killed in a helicopter crash in his native Nepal. 100% of funds raised will go to earthquake relief efforts.
  • Maiti Nepal is an incredible organization that rescues girls from sex trafficking and gives them a place to heal – Its founder was the CNN Hero of the Year in 2010. The official US representative of Maiti Nepal, Friends of Maiti Nepal, is raising funds to help the organization repair the damage to its Kathmandu campus.
  • I’ve been following the work of Women LEAD for a while. It’s the first and only leadership development organization for young women in Nepal. Select the “Nepal Earthquake Reconstruction Efforts” option under the list of programs on the donate page to earmark your donation.
  • I also have been following Namlo International. Founded by a former mountaineer, Namlo’s goal is to raise the standard of living in Nepal through partnering with communities on educational and economic development efforts. (Update: Namlo International closed its doors in 2020.)
  • On April 27, Next Generation Nepal launched its Earthquake Relief Fund. NGN was founded by Conor Grennan after he volunteered at an orphanage in Nepal and realized most of the children there had been taken under suspicious circumstances from their poor, rural parents. NGN works to rescue trafficked children and reunite them with their families, so, according to Conor, “NGN has a team on the ground with a very specific skill set that Nepal desperately needs right now.” (And I highly recommend reading Little Princes, the book Conor wrote about his experience.)

Tips on Donating after an Emergency

  • I DO NOT recommend giving through crowd-funding sites post-disaster because of all the scams that pop up.
  • You should always check out Charity Navigator and Guidestar before giving to any U.S.-based nonprofits, to be sure your money is going where you want it to go.
Banner photo: Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Kathmandu, was heavily damaged.

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Khadijat Oseni April 30, 2015 - 12:41 pm

Thank you so much for this extremely helpful post.

brimiers18 April 30, 2015 - 9:04 pm

You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful.

Beautybeyondthescale May 6, 2015 - 12:48 am

It’s really great of you to compile these links to let people know legitimate ways to help. Sometimes it’s hard to know what organizations to trust. Thank you!


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