That’s one of the biggest challenges in disaster relief. Seller said only about 40 percent to 42 percent of the money raised for the tsunami disaster had been used. Melia added that about $165 million was raised for the tsunami and about $30 million was spent in the first six months, while about $145 million has been raised for the Haiti earthquake and about $19 million spent in the first six months.
To make sure donors know where their money will go, CRS has implemented a long-term strategy to help Haiti rebuild.
- It’s critical to integrate with social media to tell donors where the money is going.
- Use photos and updates.
- Quick response is vital.
- There are changing donor expectations — you must meed their needs.
- Donors expect things to flow — acknowledgments, scalability, continued communications about how they are making a difference.
- Exposed new donors.
- Community giving was prevalent, not just individuals.
- Don’t try to be what you’re not.
- Respond to donors, react and plan.
- Learn from every experience.
- We have to be multichannel, consistent, integrated and be true to ourselves.
- We must know what our donors need.
- Manage expectations, but try to play whatever role donors need you to play.
- Wait out for need to really come. Don’t just jump in right away.
- There may be backlash — Why weren’t you there earlier? — but stay true to your organization and mission.
- The change was extraordinary — the communication expectation soared.
- Donors expected to get communications wherever they were.
- It was the tipping point for things like mobile and the demand of communications.
- Donors don’t just want communications; they want dialogue — we got a huge response when we could have a conversation.
- Help build relationships — mobile, social media, digital are really the only place to have intense, personal conversations with everyone all at once.
- You must have conversations.
- People are so informed that we are not necessarily in a position of trusted experts. Don’t think the dynamic is there the same way. Ask questions. You have to earn trust. That does change the relationship.