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Frequently asked questions

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About Mercy Corps

Q. What’s the best way I can help?

A. Monetary donations are the most effective way to provide assistance. Mercy Corps uses cash donations to purchase needed items locally, which gives the local economy a boost, cuts down on high transportation costs and is the quickest way to bring aid to those who need it most.

Q. What percentage of my dollar goes to programs?

A. Over the last 5 years, Mercy Corps has used 88 percent of our resources for programs that help people in need.

Charity Navigator rates Mercy Corps with four out of four stars, and we meet all 20 Better Business Bureau standards for charity accountability.

Q. Where does Mercy Corps work?

A. Mercy Corps currently has programs or partnerships in 41 countries. Since our founding in 1979, we have worked in 114 countries.

Q. Where is Mercy Corps located?

A. Our headquarters are in Portland, Oregon. We have offices in Seattle, Boston and Washington, D.C. We also have a European headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland. Other offices exist in the 41 countries where we have programs.

Q. Does Mercy Corps only respond with aid for disasters?

A. No. Mercy Corps provides immediate relief after disasters, but we constantly strive to respond in ways that provide long-term recovery opportunities.

Q. Is Mercy Corps religious?

A. No. Mercy Corps is a nonsectarian organization.

Fundraising for Mercy Corps

Q. What happens after I register?

A. You will land on your newly created fundraising page! You can make further edits by opening the "Edit" tab. Start spreading the word and send the link to your friends and family.

Q. What is an online fundraising campaign?

A. Our online fundraising campaign pages allow you to collect funds from your community in one place. You can name your campaign after yourself, group or organization, and send the fundraising page link out to your community. You can also customize your page and choose whether donors’ names and gifts are displayed, suggest a gift size, upload an image and more!

Q. I forgot my password. What should I do?

A. No problem! Once on mercycorps.org/fundraising, click "Already a fundraiser? Log in.", and open the "Request New Password" tab. Enter your email address or username, complete the word verification and check your email inbox for a message containing your new, temporary password!

Q. How do I change the name/title of my fundraising campaign?

A. After logging in on mercycorps.org/fundraising, click on your campaign listed on your user page and open the "Edit" tab. The first field is "Title" where you can change the name of your campaign.

Q. How do I promote my fundraising campaign? Do you have a logo I could use or flyers?

A. Take a look at Online fundraising tips for helpful ideas on spreading the word about your campaign and asking for support. Mercy Corps also has downloadable logos, fact sheets, videos, PowerPoints, donation collection tools and more! Visit Materials and messages in our online Fundraiser's Toolkit.

Q. What will Mercy Corps do to promote or publicize my fundraiser?

A. As a tax-exempt organization, Mercy Corps cannot engage in activities which may be viewed as “advertising” an event, product or service — even if the proceeds benefit our programs. We are unable to share or use our emails lists to promote fundraisers. On your fundraising campaign page are social media and email tools to help you promote your efforts online.

Q. Can a Mercy Corps representative attend my event?

A. We can’t guarantee a representative, but we are often able to attend events in the Seattle and Portland area. You can request a Mercy Corps representative by completing and submitting the Mercy Corps representative request form found in our Materials and messages. Please keep the following in mind:

  • Generally, we need 5 days or more to successfully arrange a visit
  • Representatives can accept straight donations at a table, but can’t handle other types of purchases/donations such as ticket sales.

Q. I can’t find my fundraising campaign on Mercy Corps’ website. Can you help?

A. Go to www.mercycorps.org/fundraising. If you're not logged in, click on "Already a fundraiser? Log in".

Q. Can I see the list of people who have donated to my fundraising campaign so I can thank them?

A. Yes — and you can send them a customized email right from your fundraising page! After logging on, click the "Fundraising Results" tab on your fundraising page.

Q. Can I hold a raffle or auction for Mercy Corps?

A. Laws regarding events or appeals that involve gambling differ from state to state. It is your responsibility to ensure that the event complies with state laws. Tickets purchased for gambling activities are not tax-deductible.

Please note that Mercy Corps cannot provide tax-receipts for in-kind donations to your auction event, but we can send a letter of acknowledgement on official letterhead.

Q. Can I sell an item or service to benefit Mercy Corps?

A. Yes! Businesses, nonprofits and individuals alike are selling items and services for a good cause by donating the proceeds. “Cause marketing” partnerships generate much needed funds for our programs. In order to maintain positive and compliant cause marketing relationships, Mercy Corps follows Better Business Bureau standards and state laws. Please read our Cause Marketing Guidelines carefully.

Q. How do I get donations that I collect offline counted toward my total?

A. You can update your online campaign total as soon as your event ends! Log on, click on your campaign from your user page and open the "Edit" tab. Fill in the "Amount raised offline" field and hit "Save."

All donations must then be sent to Mercy Corps along with our Fundraising Tracking Form (PDF or Excel file).

Q. Will donors to my effort receive tax receipts for their donations?

A. Mercy Corps can provide tax receipts for cash, check and credit card donations to donors we have name and address information for. For offline gifts, we’ll send out tax receipts through the mail 1-2 weeks after we’ve received the donation at our offices. If you are sending in a check which represents multiple donors’ cash gifts, use our Fundraising Tracking Form (PDF or Excel file). More information can be found on our Handling donations page.

Please note that if you are using part of people’s donations to cover your event expenses, donors must be informed in advance that their tax receipt will only reflect the amount Mercy Corps receives.

Q. Will event sponsors or item donors receive tax receipts for their donations?

Mercy Corps cannot provide tax-receipts for in-kind donations to your event as they are being made to you, but not directly to Mercy Corps. Instead, you can offer item donors or event sponsors a shout-out in your emails, on your fundraising page or on event fliers, and Mercy Corps can send a letter of acknowledgement on official letterhead.

Q. My fundraiser has ended. Where and how do I send in my donations?

A. Thank you so much for fundraising for Mercy Corps! Please provide us a bit more information about you and your fundraiser by registering. After joining our community of fundraisers, you can read about Handling donations. Please always use our Fundraising Tracking Form (PDF or Excel file).

Q. Does Mercy Corps accept material gifts, such as blankets, toiletries and other non-monetary items?

A. In general, Mercy Corps does not accept donated materials from the public, especially in times of emergency, because of the relatively high cost and difficulty of sorting, shipping, storing, and importing the goods. Mercy Corps does consider donations offers of brand-new product in relatively large quantity — but only if it meets a specified and strategic need. Typically, those donations come from corporate or institutional sources.

Q. What is Mercy Corps' tax ID or EIN?

A. Please contact us by emailing Mercy Corps Community Fundraising Team.

Q. What if I don't want to be contacted by Mercy Corps after I register?

A. You always have the option to opt out of our communications, as do donors to your fundraiser, by calling 1-888-842-0842 or emailing donorservices@mercycorps.org.

Still have questions? Please send an email to Mercy Corps Community Fundraising Team.