Disaster Relief: How Companies Can Get Involved in Nepal Earthquake Efforts

Disaster Relief: How Companies Can Get Involved in Nepal Earthquake Efforts

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#DisasterRelief: How Companies Can Get Involved in #NepalEarthquake Efforts http://bit.ly/1IvDOVk via @Cone #CSR
Friday, May 1, 2015 - 2:15pm

As rescue workers continue to survey the damage from the magnitude- 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, one thing is clear: there is a desperate need for aid to help the region and its remote villages recover from the damage, and companies must be a part of the relief and recovery equation. In fact, citizens across the globe expect companies to participate, as nearly nine-in-10 (87%) believe companies must play a role in natural disaster response, according to the 2013 Cone Communications Global Disaster Relief Trend Tracker.

Corporate support has already started pouring in. Some organizations were quick-acting with simple, yet impactful monetary donations to disaster relief organizations like Microsoft’s $1 million donation of cash, technology and services to NetHope and TD Bank Group’s $50,000 donation to the Red Cross. And to encourage individuals to donate, companies in the travel industry, such as American Airlines and United Airlines, are offering bonus miles for donations. Other companies are working to ensure families and first-responders can stay in touch during the crucial first hours and days after disaster strikes. Cell phone carriers AT&T, Sprint*, T-Mobile and Verizon are waiving fees and charges for calls and texts to Nepal, while Skype is offering free calls to landlines and mobile devices in the area. Google has launched its Person Finder program so people can exchange information on potential missing persons and Facebook has activated the Safety Check feature to find out if families and loved ones are okay.

As companies think about the best way to lend their unique assets to relief efforts, Cone recommends a few best practices:

1.    Consider looking beyond the check: Although cash donations can give disaster nonprofits a much-needed monetary injection to meet urgent needs, the most effective relief efforts don't always come in the form of dollar contributions. Companies that leverage unique assets – such as products, technology or networks – can often make significant impact when it comes to recovery and restoration efforts.

2.    Do your due diligence: In the age of crowdsourced donations and online giving, it's even more vital to choose nonprofit partners wisely. When initially selecting a partner, make sure the nonprofit can also make a long-term commitment to relief and rebuilding efforts and that the organization is prepared to report and communicate on the progress and impact of programs.

To read more on Cone's Prove Your Purpose blog, click here.