How Corporate America is Stepping Up in the Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Blake Friis September 1, 2017 Employee Engagement

Like many parents, I can’t help but see my children in every tragic news story.

When a member of the National Guard carried a young child through the flood waters running through Houston, I saw my son. This played out over and over this weekend as the human toll of Hurricane Harvey was realized on live television.

Text overlay, "7 days disaster stat."I couldn’t look away, but I couldn’t just watch either, so I did what so many of us do when we witness devastation from relative comfort — I researched organizations leading the relief effort and made a donation.

Then it was Monday, and we all went back to work.

There was a time when that would have spelled the end of our collective philanthropic momentum, but in today’s world of corporate social responsibility, the desire to help doesn’t stop at the office.


Corporate America Steps Up

By late Wednesday morning, Corporate America had contributed an estimated $65 million to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. There have been generous, headline-making seven-figure donations made by large corporations, but many companies are contributing by matching their employees’ individual donations as well.

By the time most employees fired up their computers on this Friday morning (less than a week after the Hurricane hit), the YourCause Global Good Network had raised more than $3.8 million with employee giving and company matching.

Our historical client data shows us that 79% of disaster relief donors are first-time donors. And of these first-time donors, 65% of employees returned to donate again in the future. These stats illustrate the collective need we all have to help out during a disaster, we just need the means to do so. And once an employee discovers a giving program at their company, they realize how simple it can be to continue practicing philanthropy.

Find out more employee giving and disaster relief data in our latest Industry Report:


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Keep the Receipt

If you’ve made a donation in support of the relief effort, keep the receipt and find out if your employer will match your gift. Many companies have a matching policy in place. Many YourCause clients are upping the ante by doubling or even tripling employee donations to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

With many companies looking for ways to contribute, a strong showing by employees could be the catalyst for a matching program to be developed.


Stay Engaged

In addition to disaster relief campaigns developed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many of our clients at YourCause support year-round giving and matching. One way to ensure the organizations helping those victims receive the support they need is to set up a recurring payroll donation. Rather than making one large donation today, consider dedicating a smaller amount from each paycheck.

As hard as it is to believe right now, one day we will turn on the news and Hurricane Harvey will not be the lead story. The long, slow rebuild will make for less riveting television than children being rescued from their homes by a neighbor with a fishing boat and a big heart. That’s when our donations and employer matches will prove most valuable.

The victims of Hurricane Harvey will need our empathy and support long after the national media leaves town.


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