1. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “100% DONATION POLICY”?
At the Gaza Fund, we have a 100% donation policy, meaning every cent received goes to the rightful recipient in Gaza. The cost of bank transfers, couriers, equipment, transport, publicity, paid volunteers, auditing aid, etc., (foreseen and unforeseen) costs are all paid by us.
Meantime, donors can voluntarily donate to our expenses fund if they wish to help us. Else, we are happy to fund The Gaza Fund by ourselves for as long as we can; and ensure 100% of what is donated goes to the people in Gaza.
2. HOW CAN YOU RUN A CHARITY WITH A 100% DONATION POLICY?
No charity can run cost-free. We too, have costs (HK$66,674+ since Feb 2021) or 6.3% of funds raised thus far (HK$1,044,801 or £100,265), as clearly disclosed online (click here). The key point is: From transfer fees, equipment, photographs, videos, transport, volunteers, banners, website, etc., we pay 100% of all expenses incurred.
In effect, the more people donate, the more it costs The Gaza Fund but Allah (s.w.t) provides rizk. May Allah accept.
3. WITH SO MANY RESTRICTIONS ON SENDING MONEY INTO GAZA, HOW DO YOU MANAGE?
Sending aid money into Gaza is not easy and can be very expensive. We minimise our problems by:
- declaring the purpose of the payment;
- documenting everything using photographs, videos, receipts, etc.,;
- disclosing everything clearly on our website in a timely manner; and
- ensuring the recipient in Gaza is an apolitical Palestinian charity volunteer.
4. HOW CAN WE BE SURE THE MONEY DONATED IS GOING TO GAZA?
The key is to be 100% transparent, and document every single expenditure.
Given our sole focus on Gaza, we are acutely aware of the need to be twice as vigilant as others, to ensure every dollar spent goes towards food, water, aid, medicine and education. Meantime, we have zero political affiliations.
Our single-minded goal is to help the poor and malnourished in Gaza. This is precisely why every dollar we raise is closely tracked and accounted for and disclosed, from the outset, on this website. Every expense is also disclosed and paid for by us, from our own pockets, rather than the donors.
The key decision is whether to help those who need our help the most (and closely track how every dollar gets spent on aid) or fall for the scare tactics in the arsenal of the oppressors.
5. WHY NOT DONATE TO OFFICIAL CHARITIES IN GAZA?
Sure! We encourage everyone to donate to these charities, although we at the Gaza Fund have a 100% donation policy, and some others may not. In fact, for a partial list of 44+ active reputable charities in Gaza that are doing plenty of good work, please click here.
6. WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE A “THE GAZA FUND” BANK ACCOUNT?
We launched The Gaza Fund on an ad-hoc basis on 29 January 2021 and decided to file a formal application to the HK Societies Office in Mid-July 2021. The application is pending (as of November 2022).
Once approved, we will start our application for NGO status, which will likely take another 6-9 months. Therefore, as soon as we are registered with the HK Government, we will apply for a bank account.
7. WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE GAZA FUND?
- We have a strict 100% donation policy.
- All expenses are paid out of our own pockets.
- Unlike most charities, we provide weekly and monthly financial updates.
- We disclose everything (list of donors, detail projects, photos and videos as proof) on our website.
- We are 100% transparent.
8. HOW TO ENSURE THE MONEY DOES NOT FALL INTO THE HANDS OF BANNED GROUPS?
The key is to identify a reliable Palestinian person living overseas.
He must not have any direct or indirect links to any banned groups. He must also be committed to the idea of helping the people of Gaza.
Every expense needs to be documented and an official receipt issued. Also, there is also a need to hire someone with an accounting or engineering background to oversee procurement, negotiating rates with local shops and suppliers and getting the best deal possible. With the high literacy rate in Gaza, it is easy to find one for US$300 per month.
At present, the best option is to invest in water filters, food aid packets, medications and funding education, items that can be tracked i.e., photos taken and receipts issued. The key for us, is transparency and timely disclosure.
9. I DON’T HAVE MUCH TO DONATE
It is not about the amount. We have individual donors who donated anywhere from US$13 to over US$8,000+ each. They are both, equally important to us.
Also, the term donation can be misinterpreted. Donations aren’t always meant to come in monetary forms. On the contrary, volunteering one’s time to create a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds, spreading the word among friends and family about Gaza, or setting aside time to help assemble and distribute relief kits, negotiating prices with local suppliers in Gaza, etc., are still ways of donating.
10. DOES THE GAZA FUND ACCEPT DONATIONS-IN-KIND? (CLOTHES, FOOD, ETC.,)
We are unable to accept donations-in-kind given the high cost and extreme difficulty of delivering clothes, food, medicines, etc., Apart from the arbitrary “dual-list” restrictions by Israel, the need for storage space and for someone to sift through the donated items and ensure everything donated is suitable for Gaza and its climate let alone, periodically package and transport the items – means this is an added costs we’d rather spend directly on impactful aid on the ground, on food, education, medicines, shelter repair and water filters.
The Rafah border is six hours from Cairo by car but there are usually further extensive delays, holdups, pat downs at the Egypt – Rafah border.
11. DO YOU ACCEPT BITCOIN AND CRYPTO CURRENCIES?
No, we will not accept bitcoin or crypto currencies until robust regulations and financial oversight over the identity of the sender(s) and recipient(s) are in place . The Gaza Fund also has its own Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Policies and clearly, bitcoin or crypto currencies is not going to help our risk profile. Click here for details.
12. DO YOU OFFER CASH ASSISTANCE?
Given the limited paper trail when handing money out to the poor, cash assistance or cash handouts are not preferred (except Zakah payments to widows, single parents, orphans, etc.,) – and vulnerable individuals living in extreme poverty i.e., to cover medication, food, education, rent, shelter repair, heating, clothes, blankets, etc.,
The key therefore, is to assess, deliver, and monitor the cash assistance where possible but preferably, focus on large, scalable and trackable projects (e.g., water filters, food aid packets, medications and funding education) as well.
13. DO YOU HAVE PROJECTS IN THE WEST BANK?
Our core focus is Gaza, and Gaza alone. The situation in the West Bank or the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OpT) is bad too, but the challenges and potential solutions are quite different from what is needed in Gaza. We therefore cannot afford to spread ourselves thin and instead need to focus on Gaza, and Gaza alone. However to support Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or OpT, there are a number of active charities with an established presence. For details, please click here.
14. MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN YEMEN, SYRIA AND IRAQ. WHY GAZA?
The occupying power and its supporters would love for us to take the spotlight off Gaza and focus on other hard-hit disaster zones. Fortunately, there are already a number of charities active in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan, Somalia, etc., Is it enough? Absolutely not but if everyone gravitated towards other severely hard-hit disaster zones, who will highlight the hardships in Gaza?