By Kate Olsen and Allison McGuire
Natural disasters attract impulse donations in response to media coverage of the unfolding tragedy. In fact, many individuals who do not regularly donate are compelled to make charitable contributions. We at Network for Good see online giving activity spike by factors as high as ten in the days following a large-scale disaster, then quickly taper off due primarily to a lack of media attention.
As the graph above underscores, disaster preparedness is essential if your company seeks to empower an effective giving response. Once the immediacy of the event wanes, it becomes harder to rally your audience—whether it be employees or consumers, or both—with a compelling donation appeal.
Companies can consider a two-phase disaster approach that 1) immediately prioritizes cash donations in the days following a disaster so rescue organizations can source the needed supplies, and 2) contemplates recommending vetted volunteer opportunities during the weeks and months of recovery, once the specific needs are understood and nonprofits have a chance to structure tangible projects.
Many companies are compelled to help in the days following a disaster, but don’t have a disaster plan that can be activated easily. The moment a disaster strikes is not the time to begin formulating a unified corporate response. That foundation must be laid in advance to ensure that the right people, resources and messaging are deployed at the right time.
Want to learn how your company can use the 5-Step Disaster Plan? Download our FREE eGuide, How to Help: 5 Steps to Effective Corporate Disaster Giving Campaigns.