Australians are always very generous in times of disaster and emergency and sadly these times seem to be more common than ever. Whether it's cruel Mother Nature or humans turning on each other, communities are devastated regularly across the globe. We see the destruction on the television news, we read about it in the papers and on the net, and we are often moved to reach into our pockets and give. At the time of crisis, when it is fresh and before our eyes, we are generous.
But what happens to those devastated communities in the months and years to come? After the initial influx of donations, these communities are often left to fend for themselves. A new emergency occurs and our attention turns to it.
GiveNow through the Our Community Foundation, are launching a new appeal -Give Now Help Later. We are inviting donations to this appeal which will focus on helping those community organisations helping communities ruptured by disaster, long after the disaster has occurred. We believe a belated injection of funds could make all the difference to their recovery.
The National Guidelines for Managing Donated Goods, funded by the Australian Government and launched by the South Australian Minister for Emergency Services in April 2012, provides guidance on how you can become a more thoughtful, effective and successful giver in times of emergency. Recommendations include:
- Giving money as a preferred donation. Money, unlike donated goods, provides choice, flexibility and autonomous decision making. It also helps to support local economies by encouraging local buying.
- Donations made on assessment of need. The needs of disaster-affected people and communities should always be the first consideration. This helps to empower, and provide choice to those affected.
It's important to remember that disaster relief is long term and that assessment of need is ongoing. The detrimental effects of a disaster do not disappear when media coverage moves on. Disasters require rebuilding, and that can take a very long time, and can require ongoing resourcing that continues well after the average donor has shifted attention to another cause. We believe that GiveNow Help Later can make a real difference.
How it will work:
We will hold donated funds for a period of six to twelve months and then work with community organisations to distribute the funds where it is most needed. This will be an ongoing process with funds distributed bi-annually.
At the time of donation you will receive a generic receipt only issued by the not for profit Our Community Foundation. However, once funds are allocated to the appropriate community group donations over $2 will receive a Deductible Gift Recipient receipt which can be used at tax time by the donor.
Through our GiveNow website and Our Community Matters, we will keep you updated on where the funds go and what benefits they bring.