USAID PSA contest illustrates why Cash is Best when donating to international disasters
Posted: May 30, 2023 | Word Count: 593
Donating to international disaster relief efforts is a generous act, but depending on what and how you donate, you could actually be hindering — not helping — this lifesaving work. Instead of donating unsolicited material items, the best way to help international relief efforts is to make a monetary donation to humanitarian organizations.
To help spread awareness of why cash donations are the best way to help communities affected by international disasters, the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) and the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance hosts an annual Public Service Announcements for International Disasters (PSAid) contest. This contest encourages college students to design public service announcements (PSAs) explaining why "Cash is Best" when donating to international disaster relief efforts.
This year, judges reviewed submissions from nearly 180 students attending 16 universities and community colleges in three PSA categories: video, static image and GIF. The winning PSAs will be used in CIDI's “Cash is Best” outreach efforts to educate the American public on the benefits of cash donations to international disaster relief programs.
Experts in humanitarian assistance, communications and design served as volunteer judges for the PSAid contest. Each submission was evaluated on how well it illustrated the importance of responsible donations to overseas relief efforts.
"I'm thrilled to have been a judge for this year's PSAid contest," said Peter Yeo, president of the Better World Campaign and senior vice president at the United Nations Foundation. "It is not only a great opportunity for college students to get experience designing meaningful PSAs, but the ‘Cash is Best’ message is an important one for many in the U.S. who want to help during international disasters."
Meet the 2023 PSAid Winners
Below are the winning entries of the 2023 PSAid “Cash is Best” contest.
- First: Cash is Best, Armani Brown, Damani Falconer, Christion Carter, Shaterra Robinson and Chynna Anthony, Howard University
- Second: Cash Swipes Right, Edwardo Cruz, Arizona State University
- Third: What Cash Can Become, Riley Perdue, Arizona State University
- First: Cash Can Be Many Things, Brandon Lopez, Collin College
- Second: Give Cash, Give Security, Quinn Patterson, Arizona State University
- Third: Cash Builds Infrastructure, Leah Scott, Arizona State University
- First: Cash is Best Wordle, Tyler Wagner, Arizona State University
- Second: Cash Creates Choice, Abby Bowser, Arizona State University
- Third: Cash is for…, Eunice Sun, Arizona State University
To view the winning entries, visit PSAid.org.
Why is cash best?
“Cash is Best” isn't just a tagline. Monetary donations are the most efficient and effective way to support international disaster relief efforts.
Unsolicited material donations, like food, water and clothing, are well-meaning but don't always suit the needs of communities affected by disasters. These items are expensive to ship, require sorting and storage, and sometimes aren't culturally appropriate. When disaster relief organizations have to deal with unsolicited material donations, it takes time and resources from the relief effort.
On the other hand, monetary donations like cash, credit card and online direct donations are fast and flexible. Aid groups on the ground can directly purchase what they need when they need it. This flexibility is incredibly important to relief efforts because the aftermath of a disaster is constantly in flux. Plus, purchasing resources for the community in the surrounding areas helps stimulate the local economy.
The next time an international disaster hits, keep in mind that cash is the best way to help communities in need. To learn more about the “Cash is Best” message and how to best help surrounding international disasters, please visit CIDI.org.