Lessons From the Front Lines of Disaster Fundraising
Feb. 21, 2006
By Abny Santicola
Presenting for a session on "Disaster Fundraising" at last week's DMA Nonprofit Federation 2006 Annual Washington Nonprofit Conference, Julie
Hambuchen, marketing director for Portland, Ore.-based international relief and development agency Mercy Corps, outlined the four key lessons her organization learned from the disasters of 2005. Disaster fundraising is part of Mercy Corps' mission, but it also stresses long-term solutions for affected areas. As long-term providers of relief, Mercy Corps knows it must capitalize on the intense initial media coverage given to disasters. In her session, Hambuchen said coverage typically peaks and fades and therefore it is important for fundraisers to capture donations during that time of interest. Luckily, in the case of the 2004 tsunami and 2005's Hurricane Katrina especially, the window of awareness stayed open longer than the usual few days or week.