The tornado on Sunday in Minneapolis caused much unwanted destruction. Yet, as these Americans rise to personify the Phoenix once again Minnesotans will rebuild, renovate and make the communities better than they were before. Already positive signs of community involvement are being seen. In a Minnpost.com article Joe Kimball wrote of two charities, the Minneapolis Foundation and the Greater Twin Cities United Way, matching any donations up to $200,000 when given through a fund at Give.MN.org(1). But let’s not just read the news and see what other people are doing to help while we carry on like normal. Instead, let’s look at four different avenues of action that can be taken to make a difference during this Minneapolis tornado crisis.
Businesses: Businesses drive the world, for good or bad, and along with it major resources and the ability to make things happen quickly. There are two main ways your business can help this situation:
- Use your business to help. The tornado caused damage to multiple properties in Minneapolis. This is obviously a horrible situation for the homeowners and communities. However, if you are a construction owner at any capacity; painting, electric, building, etc. You now have an opportunity to not only get some business, but make a real difference in a hurting community as well. The Minneapolis Business Journal quotes a local developer, “‘I think you’re going to see a big influx of repair and construction in the area,’ said Charlie Nestor, development and leasing manager for Minneapolis-based Hillcrest Development, which has done work in that area.”(2) Among the disaster there is opportunity. Additionally, many other businesses can rise up to this occasion through offering good services that can meet needs.
- Through CSR initiatives focused on the minneapolis tornado; done in partnership with charities or social businesses. As stated above, businesses have tremendous resources, why not think about using leveraging them with some local charities to rebuild these communities?
Charities: As seen above, charities are already rising to the challenge to help out in this situation. No doubt there will be numerous individuals and families in need of charitable efforts. Whether through rebuilding, food, clothes or shelter there are areas for non-profits to help.
Social Businesses: Some of you may, or may not, have heard of this concept. For the sake of length we won’t go into detail, but if you would like to know more check out a blog devoted to social entrepreneurship, www.justinhayslett.com. In a nutshell, a social business is a business thats sole aim is not profit maximization but social impact. However, unlike a charity it operates with a revenue generating business model. This is a call to action for anyone reading this to look at this situation through those eyes. How can you create a model that can bring great social impact to the affected Minneapolis tornado areas at a great price that generates a revenue, and perhaps can even be scaled and grown to help in many other instances. Something to think about.
Individual Donations: If you are an individual reading this, what can you do to help? Don’t just leave it to established organizations. Here are two ways you can make a difference.
- Donate your money: There are numerous great charities on the ground already doing work, and I can guarantee they need more money so they can help more people.
- Donate your time: why not take some time and volunteer with some of the charities working in the disaster areas?
This will not only help make a difference in the situation, but will provide you personally with more joy and fulfillment than you could have imagined.
The news is great to keep up on what’s happening, but let’s not let that be the end of our involvement. Take some time to think through these four ways to make a difference in this minneapolis tornado disaster: business involvement, charities, social business, and personal donations.
Matching funds available at GiveMN.org for tornado relief donations
By Joe Kimball | Published Mon, May 23 2011 5:06 pm
Twister may spur housing development
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal – by Sam Black and John Vomhof Jr., Staff Writers
Date: Monday, May 23, 2011, 2:56pm CDT – Last Modified: Monday, May 23, 2011, 3:12pm CDT