In light of the recent damage to the Bahamas cause by hurricane Dorian, I’m wanting to do what I can to help.

Originally I had an idea to contact companies like Pepsi and Walmart with regards to shipping pallets of water to the Bahamas to assist with the disaster relief, but as people have pointed out in answers below, this would be an inefficient use of donations.

I believe (in concurrence with an existing answer) that allowing companies like FEMA and Red Cross to handle the logistics and what the funds are used for would be a smarter idea since they'll know what the impacted region is in higher need of.

With that in mind, I work for a logistics company and would like to begin a company wide fundraiser in an attempt to help those impacted by the hurricane (and others have pointed out, it would be better to create an ongoing system for future events).

I believe that my starting channels would be my project manager, her boss, and potentially HR.

What would be a smart, professional, and tidy approach to making the initial inquiries about starting a fundraiser? Initially the fundraiser will be directly pointed to helping those impacted by hurricane Dorian, but in the future it would be whatever an employee would like to donate to.

I believe we currently have one charity that we support (though I forget the name), that employees can donate to out of every paycheck.

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    The other group is variously named something like "Community Outreach" or "Corporate Citizenship". You didn't mention the name of your employer, but I'd check for press releases which might say what your company is doing. – Julie in Austin Sep 4 '19 at 15:56
  • As an aside, neither FEMA nor the Red Cross are "companies", so your method and means of engagement with each of them will be different than with your own company. – joeqwerty Sep 4 '19 at 19:38

"but I’d prefer the professionals take care of that."

Then collect money, donate it to the Red Cross (or similar) and let them decide how to use it. Maybe local filters are better, or food, or blankets. You will spent a lot for figuring out how to send a single water delivery, so a lot of your money gets lost without helping anyone. Bigger projects or NGO already have this know how and will be much more effective.

So rather offer money (or services by your company) instead. So you and the disaster relief organizations do what they are good at.

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  • I agree with this answer in conjunction with the answer by @undefined. Thanks for the help! – user95311 Sep 4 '19 at 15:57
  • Quick comment -- FEMA is the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. They will be responding in the US Virgin Islands, but not the non-US Territories, such as the Bahamas. The Red Cross, which has supported me in disaster relief things in the past, will respond everywhere. – Julie in Austin Sep 4 '19 at 16:14

As FooBar said, I see absolutely no reason to go through so much trouble when you have Red Cross and several other organizations helping solving (or mitigating) many problems that afflict our poor world.

You should approach your manager and communicate that, inspired by the recent hurricane, you would like to start a voluntary donation program, where every employee may or may not donate a (not predefined) amount of money that will be sent from time to time to a organization. Maybe you can preselect a few NGOs that you feel might get the attention from your colleagues, selecting a new one after every round.

If your manager isn't able to approve or disapprove this, probably he will point you in the right direction.

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    I will caution the author to select the organizations carefully. There are a lot of really evil people, who will create organizations to collect money for the people affected by natural disasters, and in some cases those organizations only donate pennies on the dollar. Just do the proper amount of research before suggesting that organization. – Donald Sep 4 '19 at 15:51

Sounds like a great idea!

If there's no-one at your company who looks after this sort of thing (or none that you know of) then the first thing would probably be to speak with your manager regarding it - they might not be the person who can green light or handle this but they may know who can.

As for how to approach it I think you can pretty much say what you did here - the effects of Dorian really shouldn't be news to anyone.

Good luck!

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