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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Finding a role?

Donate to the Red Cross

What is there one can say about not-for-profit organizations and the continuing crisis of Katrina that would be of some use to our readers? Looking for something edifying to write about I went to look at the web site of the YMCA of New Orleans and found … silence. timed out. It’s gone.

Then I did a general search for YMCA and Katrina and found that: the YMCA of Houston is housing evacuees, and the YMCA of Ann Arbor Michigan is collecting gift cards from national chains and sending them down to the Houston Y. The YMCA of San Francisco is providing volunteers to help staff the Red Cross Bay Area Call Centers, which are receiving over 200 calls an hour. The YMCA of Grand Rapids has made a branch available to the Red Cross to house evacuees. The YMCA of San Antonio is matching all employee contributions to its Katrina fund. And numerous YMCAs all over the country have announced that all of their facilities are free to people displaced by the hurricane.

YMCAs seem to have several built-in ways to help out. But what can other organizations do? Look within your domain of your organization's special expertise and you may find a very organic role. Two of our clients have done just that. Our friends at Outdoor Advertising Association of America are providing the Red Cross with posters, broadsides and bulletins for their instensified fundraising, while a “Meating the Need” program run by our colleagues at the American Meat Institute is collecting donations of meat from its membership to send to the Gulf Coast.

If your organization has found a creative and effective way to encourage its constituency to respond to the crisis, please leave us a note about it here.

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