disaster

What is the place of nonprofit communications in the wake of disaster, particularly when this most recent crisis of epic proportions—the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan—is rightly dominating our minds and conversations, as well as the media?

For a nonprofit, the answer lies in the way (if any) your organization is involved in the relief effort. The following guidelines derive from an analysis of news of, and fundraising for, recovery efforts around the Japanese earthquake and Pacific tsunami disasters. Note that relief donations are far below those for the Haitian earthquake relief effort, and some groups are questioning whether Japanese relief giving is beneficial or necessary.

It’s likely that your nonprofit is facing one or more of these challenges right now. Read the full article for more practical guidance on how to move your marketing forward, despite the troubled times.

For organizations providing disaster relief services in Japan

  • Make it clear why your organization is well-equipped to help. Be as specific as possible.
  • Communicate broadly, clearly and visually (if possible) about how donations are managed, where they are going and what your organization’s relief effort is achieving.

For organizations fundraising for relief efforts, but not directly providing help

  • Be proactive and specific in conveying the process for distributing donations and where/how/when the money will be spent.
  • Explain why your organization has chosen to get involved as a pass through for donations.
For other nonprofits continuing with fundraising and communications outreach
  • Be sensitive to inappropriate pitches.
  • Relate your work to relief work when relevant—but don’t distort or overstate.

More guidance on communicating in the shadow of the Japanese disaster.

Your Strategies?
What are your strategies for communicating and fundraising productively in the shadow of disaster? Please share your strategies here.

P.S. Learn how to strengthen your nonprofit’s marketing impact with the new 2011 Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom.

Nancy Schwartz on March 24, 2011 in Branding and Messages | 2 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , , ,

The speed and breadth of the devastation in Japan is astounding. You can follow the story  via CNN or Al Jeezera.

Most importantly, please donate to the relief effort now via one or all of these trustworthy, experienced organizations:

Global Giving - Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund (To disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services.)

American Red Cross - Has disaster relief stations in affected regions.

Save the Children – Has worked in Japan for 25 years. Relationships and staff in place to help.

Please help now. Developed countries are frequently overlooked at the time of disaster, but Japan needs our help.

Nancy Schwartz on March 11, 2011 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , , ,

How to Communicate in the Shadow of Disaster -- Guidelines for Respectful but Effective Outreach

As I read accounts of Haitians struggling for basic needs post-earthquake, I’m struck by the number of lives that have been taken and touched by this disaster. It’s almost all one can think of.

That’s a significant communications challenge for the nonprofit organizations delivering aid: How to mobilize giving while communicating respectfully about their efforts and impact on the ground? How to keep giving going even as the earthquake, and the plight of survivors, is no longer top of mind? And what about the many other organizations not directly providing relief efforts but soliciting donations to pass on to relief organizations, or the majority of nonprofits that must maintain their communications and fundraising initiatives despite the world’s focus on disaster recovery?

What is the place of nonprofit communications in the wake of disaster, particularly when even the most recent crisis of epic proportions—the January 2010 7.0 earthquake in Haiti—has generated less giving than the Hurricane Katrina relief effort?

For a nonprofit, the answer lies in the way (if any) your organization is involved in the relief effort. The following guidelines derive from an analysis of news of, and fundraising for, relief efforts in the response to the Haitian earthquake and the plight of its three million survivors in need. Review them today to ensure you’re taking the most effective path in this tricky time.

P.S. Here’s another useful guide to read right now: You’re Not in Competition with Haiti.

P.P.S. More effective messaging is a priority for all organizations. Learn how to craft the most essential message — your tagline. Download the free 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report, filled with must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 2,500+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz on February 3, 2010 in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, Crisis Communications, Nonprofit Communications | 0 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , , , ,

<< Back to Main