I hope that this note finds you, and your family, safe and well post-Sandy.

While the actual storm has passed, its effects are powerful here in NJ (we’re just outside NYC).

I’m lucky. My family is safe and our home without power but untouched—but many others are not. We are dealing with devastation here in such massive proportion—its impact will be felt for a long time.

Please donate right now to support these regional organizations working hard to help those most affected by the storm. These folks are on the ground, providing services right now and need your help to keep it up.

1) NYC Rescue Mission (via HopeMob)
The Mission is sheltering twice the normal number of guests but is without power and is getting low on food.

2) Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless
This wonderful service for homeless and near-homeless in Union County NJ never gives up. But the Coalition has had a huge increase in folks who need help post-Sandy, and is not receiving the usual food overages from grocery stores and caterers in the past few days (and isn’t likely to for the days to come).

3) Community Food Bank of New Jersey (via Feeding America)
Getting food and water all over the state where needed.

4) Covenent House New Jersey (sheltering youth and their babies in several NJ locations)

Thank you.

P.S. Our office is still without power and heat, but we’ll plan be up and running when the power is restored (likely to be next week). We’re working, to the best of our abilities, remotely, as possible.

Nancy Schwartz in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 1 comment
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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 in Branding and Messages | 2 comments
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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 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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