Two years ago when I interviewed 15 big name corporates to see what they were currently doing regarding disaster relief and response, there were two things that stuck out. 

Firstly, that only two out of the 15 had a plan as to how they are ready to support disaster impacted communities – well they said they had a plan, but I personally wouldn’t call it that.  

That means that 87% of those I spoke with didn’t have any plan as to what they would do as an organisation to help communities impacted by natural disasters or man-made incidents.  Their responses were ad-hoc, decided on the day and were delivered with minimal understanding or interest in outcomes.  

I found it staggering that organisations could happily give away up to $1million and not know (or dare I say care) about where their goodwill ended up.  I know in some instances it didn’t end up anywhere near the impacted community that needed it the most.    

A great example of goodwill having zero impact!

My second observation was that every organisation agreed that a plan should be driven by their employees – and that, I’m happy to say, I 100% agree with.

No one knows your business like your collective group of employees.  They know the risks, the opportunities, the stakeholders and the communities in which you operate.

A plan created by a representative group of your whole organisation delivers on your belief in them.  And empowering your team members to:

·      Understand the emergency landscape

·      Develop your plan 

·      Own it at all times; and

·      Activate it when it’s needed

will build more employee morale than you think.  

Because aside from being the experts, employees care about how the organisation they are invested in daily is “doing good”.

So if you are looking for a way to motivate, engage and retain your employees while truly supporting the community in which you operate, why not empower your employees to create your community disaster support plan today!


Renae Hanvin brings to businesses (of all shapes and sizes) a unique understanding of connecting corporate goodwill to disaster-impacted community needs. With a personal commitment to educate, connect and motivate businesses to support the communities in which they operate, Renae proudly leads a national team of best practice emergency sector and community relations specialists.

To become a business leader in community disaster support visit

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