Earlier this year B:CIVIC held a working lunch on disaster philanthropy to educate one another on what companies are currently doing, what trends and best practices we are seeing and how companies can stay active and engaged in the long-term recovery. We will continue with this topic at the B:CIVIC Summit on October 25th, 2018.
The following article is by YourCause B:CIVIC member.
This article was originally published on June 26th
Prior to joining YourCause, I worked for the American Red Cross on the National Fundraising Training and Development team. I’ll preface the remainder of this blog post with the fact that my experience working with companies during disaster has come from my time with that organization; however, the suggestions I make in this piece are applicable to any of the incredible organizations you choose to partner with during grey-skies.
If you’ve ever worked for a nonprofit before, you know that the role you were hired to do probably isn’t the only role you’ll have. Often times, you’re called upon (or, you raise your hand) to step outside of your normal day-job and into one that supports the mission in a more hands-on capacity. For me, that call came during Hurricane Harvey, where I volunteered on four separate occasions for Red Cross disaster response.
During that time, I witnessed the incredible generosity of companies and their employees, stepping up to donate their time, money, and goods to help those who were affected. On the other hand, I also saw opportunities where companies could have improved upon their partnerships. Here are six suggestions for how companies can support NPOs by making response efforts more streamlined, efficient, and mutually beneficial:
- Communicate Often & Early with Your Nonprofit Partners
- Engage Employees in Skills-Based Volunteering
- Identify Your Bilingual Speaking Employees & Engage Them Early
- Prevent a Secondary Disaster
- Exercise Patience
- Just Because the Sun is Out, Doesn’t Mean the Work is Done
- Strategic Response Means More Lives are Saved
Above all, it’s important to remember that we’re in this together. When a disaster strikes, communities rally to support their friends, neighbors, and everyday citizens. As leaders in corporate citizenship, it’s important to help set the tone for how we can better support each other during times of devastation. We hope that you’ll use this blog to assess your own disaster relief strategies and perhaps initiate some of these NPO support efforts in your own programs this coming season.