It’s very easy to feel powerless when a country with a population of over 140 million invades its neighbor and threatens the world order. But there are many ways each of us can help Ukraine win, and if we band together, we will be a force to be reckoned with.
Stay informed and inform others
Misinformation about Russia’s war on Ukraine has been rife. Be proactive in keeping up to date, so you can avoid falling for misinformation and help those around you do the same. Call out misinformation when you see it: “if you see something, say something!” Amplify good information and good arguments by re-posting, re-tweeting, and/or discussing them offline. For concise updates on the military situation, sign up for the Institute for the Study of War newsletter (“Sign up for Email Updates” link on the right). For more comprehensive but still concise summaries, sign up for BMB Russia briefs (link to sign up here). The Economist’s coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine is also excellent and offers deeper dives for a better understanding of the war.
Donate money effectively
Ukraine needs resources for its military; for immediate humanitarian aid; and for reconstruction. If you can afford to give, please do. To maximize the effectiveness of your donations, follow these guiding principles: make your donations automatically recurring to support long-term needs; prioritize smaller organizations, which can often be much more efficient than larger ones (e.g., Kyiv School of Economics, Razom for Ukraine, and Nova Ukraine); and channel your donations to treating the cause of the humanitarian crisis (e.g., donate to the Ukrainian army or to Come Back Alive).
Show public support for Ukraine as often as possible
Attention to crises fades fast, and even the biggest European war since World War II is not immune from collective fatigue and inattention. Remind people whenever you can — on social media, via email, text, and in person — that the war is still happening and that Ukraine still needs our help, both on the military and humanitarian front. Buy a Ukrainian flag, poster, t-shirt, or mug and display/wear them (if you’re an economist, you may like this t-shirt or this mug). Find and attend a rally. Learn and talk about rich Ukrainian culture and history at Heritage Nights in local schools and similar events.
Hold your representatives accountable
Read up on what your country has been doing lately to help Ukraine. Dig beyond government statements because sometimes politicians promise help but then don’t deliver. Depending on the situation, call your representatives to thank them, to urge them to do more, or both (US representatives’ contacts can be found here). Post about their actions (or lack thereof) on social media and discuss them with others around you.
Raise money to help Ukraine
Whether or not you have ample funds to donate, finding ways to encourage others to do the same can lead to an even bigger impact. Fundraising also raises awareness of the cause, and it can be fun! A fundraiser can be as simple as distributing posters to help raise funds for the Ukrainian army. Here are ten more general ideas for how to fundraise effectively. For a deeper dive, here’s a list of 45 fundraising ideas to pick from.
Spend your money in ways that help Ukraine
Buy Ukrainian art, traditional crafts, and traditional clothing. Support companies that support Ukraine by buying their products. Boycott and write to companies that have not severed ties with Russia. Buy from Ukrainian sellers (e.g., on Etsy). Tell your friends about your purchases to multiply your impact!
Use your strengths
Each of us has unique skills that can help Ukraine. If you can write well, consider writing an op-ed in support of Ukraine. If you are an educator, think about how you can incorporate the Ukraine war into your teaching. If you have space in your home, house a refugee. If you work for a large company, find out what it has done to help Ukraine and urge it to do more. Collect and package humanitarian aid or medical supplies to send to Ukraine. If you’re still unsure where to start, check out some volunteer opportunities from Nova Ukraine and UkraineNow.
What will you do today to help Ukraine win?