291: (news) Historic Refugee Crisis & $80M Crypto Donation Response

Weekly Nonprofit News.

As Ukrainian Refugee Crisis Becomes Historic In Size, Elements of Media Coverage Criticized For Ahistoric Framing

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent war enters its second week, the size and scope of the refugee crisis has spiraled into a full-scale disaster of historic proportion. The humanitarian situation in Ukraine has grown dire as reports of the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure have grown into nearly indisputable evidence of war crimes. However, certain media outlets’ framing of the conflict in juxtaposition to the Middle East has raised eyebrows and drawn criticism for “normalizing” violence in non-Western countries. Additionally, while the generosity of European countries taking in refugees should be lauded, international observers have criticized reports that suggest discrimination of ethnic minorities and non-Ukrainian nationals at border crossings.

Read more ➝

Crypto-Donations To Ukraine Surpass $80 Million

As the world watches in horror at the atrocities and suffering in Ukraine, cryptocurrency donations have topped over $80 million, according to Yahoo News. Approximately $44 million of those dollars have gone directly to the Ukrainian government. Interestingly, the report finds that donors are more willing to give to established organizations and entities like the Ukrainian government and organizations like the Come Back Alive foundation as opposed to DAOs. Ethereum was the most donated currency, topping Bitcoin.

Read more ➝




[00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit news feed for the week of March 7th, we are talking about the Ukrainian refugee crisis, as well as huge spikes, encrypted donations as always Nick as LA. How’s it going?

[00:00:18] What are you seeing? It’s knowing good, George. So as you alluded, our first story today, again, is the Ukrainian refugee crisis and some topics around how that’s being framed.

[00:00:33] So as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and of course the subsequent war enters its second week, the size and scope of the refugee crisis has spiraled. To a full-scale disaster of quite frankly, historic proportion. The continent of Europe has not seen a refugee crisis. This large since world war two. There’s an estimated 1.5 million refugees that have now plead that country.

[00:00:58] The number is expected to go up by millions more. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of internally displaced people as well. It’s a disaster and. Long reaching ramifications for the continent of Europe along other similar humanitarian lines. The fighting has grown more intense.

[00:01:17] The Russian invasion has taken a darker turn. There are now daily reports of the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Right now I’m aware that lots of different groups from. Governments to non-governmental groups are now collecting evidence of war crimes in the country. And it’s really quite serious and becoming increasingly dire.

[00:01:40] Just just sad news. There’s no way to say it. I can add a little bit of color from a contact of mine, not even in Ukraine. But from, in, in Europe itself in the Czech Republic which has. It’s self knows a thing or two about being invaded by the Russians. But my contacts said we are shocked and very sad what is happening.

[00:01:58] And we ourselves are very scared as well. This is being felt throughout all of Europe. And the world’s quite frankly, however, George, I think an interesting narrative. Is a nuanced story that we wanted to hone was there’s two kinds of things that play here. One is there’ve been reports that non Ukrainian nationals and folks of ethnic minority are having trouble leaving the country and has raised some alarms at the international organizational level.

[00:02:27] And also similarly some media outlets are. Criticized for framing the conflict and juxtaposition to the middle east, saying things along the lines of this is not Baghdad. This is not Syria. This is Europe. And I think both of these kind of go hand in hand with this very Eurocentric perspective of the news.

[00:02:51] And of course, Minimize the impact and significance of this. That’s not what we’re doing. And these countries taking in refugees should be lauded. Of course. But that being said we’re seeing some narratives start to come out that are framing humanitarian crises and potentially a problematic way.

[00:03:09] Recognizing that this happens in many other places in the world and has happened in Europe before as well. So George, I’m wondering what your take is on all this. I think it’s

[00:03:20] important, especially as nonprofits Wade into this, which is why we’re trying to pick up this angle as nonprofits, working with diverse stakeholders, that you understand that there is a very clear and sometimes not subtle.

[00:03:36] Nuanced microaggressions probably and beyond happening in the news reporting and then not just the news reporting, but the actual facts on the ground when you are in fact talking about the treatment of of white versus black and brown communities in Ukraine, which is alarming to say the least,

[00:03:52] The.

[00:03:54] The problems are pretty clear in that. Also, if you’re talking about this from the west I actually see it as a very quick ability for the United States to claim this moral national superiority with very little memory and just to bring the clock back . George W. Bush recently made a statement, condemning Putin’s actions invading under false pretenses, another sovereign nation state.

[00:04:26] And I can bring the clock just 20 years to our invasion of Iraq under false pretenses later revealed. And by the way, our current sitting president voted in favor of doing so. And it’s not

[00:04:40] that like, oh, this is, which is what a huge statement and underlying problem by saying. This isn’t the middle east, this is Europe like

[00:04:47] ouch.

[00:04:48] Like

[00:04:48] you have to check that statement. These are people, these are families. These are communities. And frankly, I’m using a lot of the same words of unjustified invasion of a sovereign [00:05:00] nation under false pretenses by a superior military power. Set to invoke and cause regime change. That sounds pretty much like where we were about 20 years ago.

[00:05:10] I think keeping that in mind would produce better reporting. It would produce better

[00:05:17] communication

[00:05:18] from certainly U S nonprofits as we enter with and understanding that like war capital w is. There’s no justification. Now in this moment, it is certainly confusing and it can be hard to say like, how can we be talking about racial equity in a time where we have the largest refugee crisis since world war II?

[00:05:45] It’s because we can chew gum and walk it’s because we can hold two contrarian thoughts in our mind at the same time. And it’s important to do so that we stop making the same mistake. And again,

[00:05:58] yeah, George, I think that’s such helpful framing and they think that it’s not an either or it’s a both, and you can have these thoughts and quite frankly, Eastern Europe has struggled with Racism against refugee communities in the past crises at the Polish border, for example, the Hungarian border, for example, with regards to Syrian and Afghan refugees, respectively and what they’re doing now is monumental and how they are treating Ukrainian refugees.

[00:06:30] But I think what we can do is take this moment. Tremendous generosity and humanity and use it to continually work, to be better knowing that even then it’s not perfect. But I think really important framing for us nonprofits to understand, as they’re thinking about marketing this as they’re thinking about framing conversations about health and times of crisis and this sort of thing, and Yeah, I think that’s really important nuance.

[00:06:57] When you’re also talking about another probably triggering for black and brown communities is the sort of suddenly a lot of countries that we’re sorry, we’re full. We can’t take on any new refugees from other major crises that seem to happen every year. Sorry, we’re full is our full to suddenly share.

[00:07:18] We can take on 1.5 million and growing number of refugees come on in. You can’t help, but feel like there is a hint of Eurocentrism on that one.

[00:07:27] Yeah, definitely. It is complicated, a lot of these countries do have shared national identities and speak similar languages. So from the political science perspective, you can.

[00:07:39] You hate to say it, but almost expect it. But that being said, I think that juxtaposition is so stark and it opens a lot of questions and leaves room for a lot of improvement as we, as a global community, respond to these type of crises without a doubt. Yeah. Look before we

[00:07:56] go too far doom and gloom, I think it is tremendous to say that the U S is using banks and not tanks that the nation is responding.

[00:08:04] The globe is responding rather than just here comes to us to bungle it up. It’s actually taken European us and other support to do things like, turning off swift. So I think there are positive externalities to,

[00:08:19] to that. Absolutely. I agree. I think that when you think in terms of contexts, The response of the EU and the U S in some ways it’s never been more cohesive.

[00:08:31] And I hope that we can take that cohesiveness. And what we realized is the value of democracy and push it forward and bring us to a place where we continue tenue to support countries, pursuing democracy. No, not building democratic countries, not playing about that, but supporting those values and work to ensure human rights for everyone.

[00:08:55] So speaking of global generosity we, our next story is about crypto to-do nation, crypto donations to Ukraine surpassing $80 million. The story from Yahoo news. States that cryptocurrency donations have topped over 80 million now, approximately 44 million of those dollars have gone directly to the Ukrainian government.

[00:09:20] I think the Ukrainian government and even Ukrainian military has very interestingly and probably degreed effect made it easy to donate directly into their coffers so that it appears to be largely what’s happening here. The report finds that donors are, we’re willing to give, to establish organizations and entities like the Ukrainian government organizations like the comeback live foundation as opposed to Dows.

[00:09:44] But George, this is this is a pinnacle moment in a way for crypto donations. What do you think this says. The future of cryptocurrency donation and how we engage with crises as a global community.

[00:09:57] There’s a tremendous amount to unpack here. And [00:10:00] if you are simply taking this top-line and running away, you’re really missing how monumental it is that for instance, crypto donations are far above what, for instance, like groups like NATO or the UN have sent in or other aid groups have sent in terms of dollars, you are missing the fact that.

[00:10:18] Right now, there is an American giving directly to do Ukrainian government. That’s not a thing that has ever happened before, and they’re being transparent about how they’re using it because you can look at their wallet and see where the money then went. The second order effect could

[00:10:37] be

[00:10:39] potentially, maybe even decrease the ability for us nonprofits that provide their variety of aid.

[00:10:46] To raise as much as they would have. Anyway, I think that inherently must be true because 80 million has been given and is satisfying that how do I help right now in an immediate, impactful way that used to be a niche that nonprofits were uniquely designed to fill. Now that works still needs to be done.

[00:11:09] Make no doubt. And there are, and we have more stories to come about those nonprofits doing that work, but

[00:11:18] it’s maybe a weird way to put this, but there may

[00:11:20] be some philanthropic competition between the longstanding of growing ideology around the give directly, not the organization, but the concept of giving how.

[00:11:33] Can I get this money to my perception, speaking as a donor, my perception of the person in need as a threat to disintermediate the nonprofits actions, which again has

[00:11:46] a social impact value in that process. Without a doubt, I think that’s a great synthesize there. Of things that we will continue to keep an eye on.

[00:11:56] All right. We can go into the summary now. Just some more stories within our nonprofit news newsletter. Our first one is from nonprofit pro.com and it lists 10 nonprofits that are delivering aid to Ukraine and refugees. A lot of folks will recognize. Some of the names on this list. They’re big name organizations.

[00:12:20] They’re Ukrainian diaspora organizations. George, I think an interesting narrative here is you’re seeing we’re both active on LinkedIn and, you see a ton of posts about donate here in here. I think just the important thing to remember is Just do your homework. If you’re an organization that is raising money, make sure that you prove your legitimacy.

[00:12:43] I think each and every crisis people get a little more, a little better trying to keep them selves safe when donating to organizations that might be new to them. So a big takeaway for nonprofits is. If you have an annual report, make that easily accessible. If you have a financial statements, your form nine 90, make all of that financially or all of that transparent and available just prove authenticity in this time of enormous giving and people seem to at least really be doing their homework, to finding organizations that are delivering value.

[00:13:14] Yeah. Yeah. And in case you just chimed in randomly in the middle of this episode, see the previous story, crypto donations surpass. Look at

[00:13:22] how the Ukraine is

[00:13:24] promoting Ukrainian Dow and the organizations they’re sharing their, their wallet address, but then also talking about no, they didn’t do it and Ft airdrops and the use of potential NFTs also from other artists coming into play.

[00:13:40] So I would encourage. You to make sure that one, you have a way of accepting crypto at this point, we have talked about it in the past that getting blocked is a current client of whole Wales, but also the smartest safest way in our opinion, to have a non-profit collect cryptocurrency what’s more, is there an opportunity to explore an a D projects?

[00:14:01] I don’t know if they were earmarked for. You crane support and aid, you might be able to tap into another pocket of generosity, but now is the time to frankly, raise money as a nonprofit doing this work because the truth is the half-life of compassion is incredibly. And usually spans only two to four weeks fish around large major news events in cycles.

[00:14:25] So now is the moment and it’s brutal because now there’s also the moment to take action, to build hospitals, to take care of refugees, but you also need that fundraising engine running as fast and as efficiently as possible. Right now, I don’t envy the organizations needing to do all this work.

[00:14:40] All right.

[00:14:40] I can take us to our next story. This one comes from the New York times magazine and the title of the story is they came to help migrants. Now, Europe has turned on them. It’s a long story. I suggest you read it. You may listen to it as well, but it follows the story of Sarah [00:15:00] Mardine and Sean binder of emergency response center international.

[00:15:05] Which is a small humanitarian aid group and the story touches on a lot of different themes, but among them how. Essentially anti-immigrant attitudes in Greece have hardened, particularly as it relates to migrants crossing from north Africa via the Mediterranean to Southern Europe. We’ve seen in the past other stories of folks being arrested for helping migrants or rescuing them by these countries. So it adds, I think, more color to the conversation we were having before that there’s a lot of work to do. Of course this is a complicated issue. But aid groups in general, Struggling to operate for fear of legal prosecution.

[00:15:49] In, in some of these Mediterranean countries, when it comes to addressing migrants, crossing the Mediterranean. Thanks for

[00:15:55] refining the story. And not too much to add on it, but it tracks to the early. Narratives that we’re starting to see brought to life in this

[00:16:03] moment of crisis.

[00:16:04] Absolutely. Another story that we highlighted in the summary, and this comes from the website, diatribe.org, which is a. Tagline is making sense of diabetes, but the article is about a nonprofit pharmaceutical organization called Civica, which is planning to deliver a low cost insulin. So this company or non.

[00:16:29] I should really say announced plans to make generic low cost insulin for everyone, regardless of insurance status, the recommended price for users will be no more than $30 per vile or 50 diet, $55 for a box of five pen cartridges. This follows up on threads of nonprofits filling the gap when it comes to us health care and mitigating.

[00:16:55] Basically the problems with it, quite frankly. And that’s the absurd cost of insulin in this country. Just cool to see a nonprofit organization here within the pharmaceutical industry. Stepping up to the plate, I believe their funding comes from different foundations and associations and that sort of thing, but.

[00:17:14] Really interesting. And if this can be replicated and expanded could really make a difference for a lot of people. I love the story super positive.

[00:17:23] And the quote in here in diabetes is arguably America’s most expensive chronic condition. And it’s heartbreaking that millions of people are rationing their care and putting their lives at risk because they cannot afford insulin.

[00:17:35] There’s a point at which certainly max mizing shareholder value makes sense. It gets us these breakthroughs and innovations, but after the profit taking has happened and it is frankly pre. Fundamental and symbol that to develop insulin, the current prices range from $194 down to $43 to bring that price down further means taking out the margin and non-profits are a very clear solution for it.

[00:18:02] I was excited to see this and wish them all of the luck and speed in developing, getting this to

[00:18:08] market. All right, George, have I failed? Good story. I think you owe it to us. All right. This is a good one. We will be going back to Ukraine, but this is as reported by ABC seven, North Carolina affiliate.

[00:18:24] This is an article about. The nonprofit Samaritan’s purse which is an international Christian relief organization based out of Greensboro. There is set up a 30 bed hospital in Ukraine, and I think this is really interesting because you’re following the situation. You’re seeing a lot of people going into Ukraine normal people looking to fight, which is its own thing with its own complexities, but here’s what.

[00:18:50] The bottom line here is the us government for complicated reasons has decided they cannot directly involve themselves in Ukraine and not an international relations podcast, but they have decided they will not directly engage with the Russians in Ukraine. Guess what nonprofit organizations can go in, they can represent the world and a humanitarian response without having.

[00:19:16] The same strategic implications of sending in a military. You, George, you said it before perfectly banks, not banks, not tanks, but here it’s hospitals, not tanks. So you just love to see a nonprofit stepping up and traveling to across the world to help out. Yeah.

[00:19:32] This is no joke.

[00:19:33] You’re walking into an active war zone.

[00:19:36] A land war in Europe is.

[00:19:39] Incredibly dangerous, very hostile, but also a nuance to think about where, the direct aids shipping your crypto donations directly to the Ukrainian government doesn’t necessarily get those extra hospitals build simply because they’re so focused on a war effort while the humanitarian need is so strong.

[00:19:59] [00:20:00] And so that is why I still think that there is incredible need and. Getting to this type of nonprofit work, where people are bringing to bear resources outside of the country, different ways of helping and supporting the displaced populations that have come and will come from it. So Bravo to them and all that are really putting themselves literally in harm’s way.

[00:20:24] Hope they stay safe. All right, Nick. Thanks for summarizing. Thanks, George. Great.