Guest Post: Engaging employees, encouraging transparency and collaboration following disasters

Posted on October 05, 2012 by Guest Blogger

Editor's Note: Veronica Taylor is a consultant specializing in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. She previously worked with The Patterson Foundation to help deepen its understanding of the disaster space. As a guest blogger, she will cover issues relevant to the disaster sector. Contact Veronica:

One more blog on investing in disaster response and recovery for now, and then it’s on to practice in motion! This is the fourth blog in this series, but please, keeps the ideas rolling in. Like I said several blogs back, there may be a disaster Einstein among us! Spread the word, share the knowledge, and solve the problems!  This is a call to ACTION!

Make it easy for employees to make donations and volunteer.

  • Work with businesses and non-profits to develop stand-by portals for donations that can be “turned on” at times of major disasters. Use the portal as an opportunity to push information on disaster preparedness and everyday community volunteer opportunities. Sell it as an employee benefit. Employees want their employers to have social awareness.

Encourage increased transparency in all partnerships.

Donors want to know. The public wants to know. Where is all the money going? Money in - money out.  People needing services – people getting services. This is especially important when asking for matching funding and monitoring case management. Help to implement tools such as posting real-time allocation of disaster funding and monitoring leveraged performance so that the reporting doesn’t become burdensome on the implementing agency.

Encourage collaboration.

Make active cooperation (and not just co-funding) a key criterion, such as making grants to two organizations working together. The more the better. Support your local COAD and/or VOAD.

Work with partners to fund long-term analysis of the impact of short-term disaster decisions.

  • From the very beginning, allocate dollars for post-disaster analysis to capture lessons observed. Decisions made on day 1 may impact year 5 recovery.

Work with the local Community Foundations to quickly develop a dedicated Community Response and Reconstruction website.

  • Don’t confuse the donors. Give them one-stop-shopping for information and confidence that their money is going to be spent directly on the recovery.


  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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