Giving Guidelines for Disasters Part II
Posted by Allison Fine on January 22, 2010
The response to my post the other day about the need of developing giving guidelines for natural disasters was very positive. And I’ve been following other developments online unfold throughout the week as well. Based on what I’ve been reading and discussing with folks, I’d like to expand on my original proposal for national guidelines for giving for natural disasters.
I’d like to begin with a point of clarification. The focus of my proposal is on the immediate affects of an event. In his excellent post on what donors can learn from past disasters, Michael Seltzer calls this period “immediate relief.” What I’m not focused on here is coordinating relief efforts or creating a central fund for nonprofit relief organizations. I’ll let others has those things out. I am simply focused on providing guidelines for giving donations to relief organizations in the first throes of a large natural disaster.
I wanted to mention an interesting experiment happening on the Great Nonprofits website. The idea is to crowdsource relief organizations that are doing a great job. It’s an interesting idea that needs some tweaking in order to be really effective. First, they need a bigger crowd in order to really do this well. Small crowds are good for somethings, like a technical review of a legal document, but bigger ones are needed to assess the performance of organizations working around the world in difficult circumstances. However, that’s not the real problem. The real issue is that I don’t think crowds should be assessing relief organizations. It’s simply too easy for organizations and their supporters to game a system. Instead we should have an independent, rigorous assessment after significant relief efforts to ascertain which organizations performed well. What we could crowdsource are the criteria for quality relief work.
I was asked who would host the guidelines? Well, it’s a social media world, we don’t need one host, guidelines can live everywhere online and when an event happens organizations, bloggers, tweeters can share them and encourage people to abide by them. At this point, perhaps a group like The Clinton Global Initiative (not to be confused with the Clinton/Bush Haiti Fund which is collecting huge sums of money to be given, sometime in the future to unspecified organizations.) Or maybe it’s something a Philanthropy Ambassador’s office as outlined here in this interesting post by Sean Stanndard-Stockton could spearhead.
So, let’s get started!
Step 1: Based on past events and experiences, develop criteria for what is needed for immediate relief.
Step 2: Identify a core group of organizations that meet these criteria. The groups could be organized by geography as Tony Pipa suggested.
Step 3: Draft the guidelines including which organizations in which parts of the world. Just as importantly these guidelines would outline WHAT NOT TO GIVE TO within, say, the first thirty days. Meaning don’t try to send food or clothing but rather give money to these organizations.
Step 4 Disseminate the guideliens to organizations, media, bloggers and tweeters.
Is it just me, or does this seem pretty simple?
This entry was posted on January 22, 2010 at 9:01 am and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: Clinton Global Initiative, Michael Seltzer, PND, Sean Stannard-Stockton, Tony Pipa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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