Responsiveness Matters When Disaster Strikes: Disaster Relief Strategy

Holley LeFeber August 4, 2016 Employee Engagement

Disasters can be many things. There are large-scale disasters that everyone hears about in the news or reads on the Internet. Canada has recently experienced this with massive fires and the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

Sometimes a disaster occurs on a smaller scale but is no less impactful. A personal tragedy in the life of a beloved co-worker might be an example.

Regardless of the size, the uncontrollable nature of disasters calls to the goodness in people. They want to help, they want it to be effective, and they want it to be available instantly.

Having a plan for how to deal with disasters is as important to Corporate Social Responsibility as it is on a personal level.

The Steps to a Disaster Relief Strategy

The first step is to determine what events you want to respond to:

  • Address every national disaster in the news.
  • Allow employees to suggest which events they feel most passionate about supporting.
  • Respond only to events that impact areas with large numbers of employees.
  • Or adapt a ‘play it by ear’ strategy.

Guidelines to explain how decisions are made can be very helpful for employees.

Once you’ve determined what events to support, step two is setting up a “disaster page” on the YourCause platform. This will allow for a rapid response from your employees.

The “disaster page,” which is located in Site Administration under Design/Pages, allows for the collection of credit card donations to a charity or charities of your choice.



You should include a photo on the page to give immediate proof of the need to act and to humanize an enormous event. A carefully worded message explaining what has happened, how many people were impacted, and how employee action will help encourages participation. Adding a “Total Raised” counter can also help measure impact.

Getting the Word Out

Once your page is established you should notify employees that it’s live and how long the opportunity to donate will be available. It’s important to communicate the details of the campaign:

  • if the company will be matching individual donations.
  • if those matches will count against their match cap.
  • if there will be a separate match cap at all.

Another option is that the company can make a separate lump sum match after the donation period has ended.

Disasters of all sizes will never cease to be devastating but neither will the kindness of humanity. YourCause is here to provide a conduit for channeling that goodness effectively.