Exclusive Interview: Giselle Holloway, International Rescue Committee
When a devastating 7.0 earthquake hit the impoverished island of Haiti last month — causing destruction across the nation — the call for aid went out across the globe. Millions of Haitians were missing, left homeless and in dire need of food, water, shelter and medical attention. Literally millions around the world were quick to respond, and right in the front of the line were the folks at the International Rescue Committee.
Ingrained in the IRC’s mission is providing emergency relief, and true to its credo, the organization deployed its Emergency Response Team to Haiti to deliver help to the city of Port-au-Prince. Experts in emergency health, shelter and children’s welfare are working with local aid groups to provide help to survivors, and the IRC has committed to raise $5 million for reconstruction work in Haiti over the next year.
FS recently caught up with IRC’s director of direct response, Giselle Holloway, to talk about the IRC's work in Haiti and how organizations can be prepared to effectively respond to emergencies that require deploying funds into immediate services.
FundRaising Success: How can organizations be prepared to jump into action when something like this happens?
Giselle Holloway: The best tip for being prepared is to create a comprehensive rapid-response plan for fundraising, marketing and communications before an emergency strikes. In the same way that emergency response experts have plans that enable them to be on the ground at the onset of a crisis, your development and external relations departments need to have clear plans of action for getting the word out to all of your donor audiences about how your organization is responding and what your funding needs are. These action plans should be developed in partnership with all of the key players who will be involved in your campaign including staff, board members, business partners and volunteers.