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How nonprofits & E-commerce websites can partner on disaster relief

How Nonprofits & E-commerce work together | Amazon Business

Disaster relief is a service that nonprofits provide across the country. Find out how Amazon Business can partner with disaster relief organizations today.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), in 2022, there were 18 weather and climate disaster events in the United States costing $165.0B. According to the same source, these events have gradually increased in frequency and cost, making disaster relief a crucial focus for many nonprofit organizations. In fact, Candid estimates that in 2022, charities and foundations provided approximately $242.8M in disaster relief support. This number does not include volunteer hours or in-kind donations that many nonprofits provide.


Disaster Relief Challenges Nonprofit Organizations Face

As the need for disaster relief and recovery continues to grow, e-commerce sites, such as Amazon Business, are becoming increasingly important partners for nonprofits seeking to assist in disaster relief efforts. However, nonprofits often face a number of difficulties when sending supplies for disaster relief. Logistical challenges, such as difficulty in getting supplies to the affected area due to damaged infrastructure and limited access to transportation, can make it challenging for nonprofits to provide aid. Additionally, supply chain disruptions can make it difficult for nonprofits to obtain the necessary supplies and equipment needed for disaster relief.

Beyond these logistical challenges, nonprofits also face difficulties in sourcing supplies. These can include:

  1. Availability: Finding sufficient supplies in a timely manner can be difficult, particularly in the immediate aftermath of a disaster when demand for supplies is high.
  2. Cost: The cost of supplies can be high, particularly if they need to be shipped or transported to affected areas.
  3. Quality: Ensuring that supplies are of high quality and suitable for the specific needs of affected communities can be difficult.
  4. Sourcing: Finding reliable suppliers of emergency supplies can be challenging, especially if nonprofits are working in unfamiliar or remote areas.
  5. Inventory management: Keeping track of inventory and ensuring that adequate supplies are on hand can be difficult, particularly in the immediate aftermath of a disaster when logistics are often disrupted.


How Nonprofits & Ecommerce websites Can Work Together

E-commerce sites can be a valuable tool for nonprofits seeking to solve for these challenges. These sites offer a wide range of products and a streamlined ordering process, making it easy for nonprofits to acquire the supplies they need. Additionally, these sites often offer a variety of cost-saving tools, such as discounts on bulk purchases.

  • Cost: E-commerce websitesare often comprised of a large number of third-party sellers competing to win the buy box, resulting in improved pricing and availability for nonprofits. On Amazon Business, buyers are able to request quotes when buying in bulk, further driving down cost and empowering nonprofits to stretch the funds further.
  • Sourcing: The large number of third-party suppliers often means that they are geographically disbursed. This provides a number of advantages including supporting local businesses and finding products from regions not impacted by disaster.
  • Inventory tracking: In addition to tracking the volume of supplies ordered and recording where they are going, nonprofits must be able to reconcile their purchases for auditing purposes. E-commerce sites often provide analytics data, shipping information, and purchasing history that simplifies the process.
  • High volume purchasing: As mentioned above, purchasing in bulk can provide additional cost savings and is especially crucial during times of disaster. Bulk purchasing can also include pallets and case packs. Relief efforts often require large volumes of water, temporary housing materials such as tarps and tents, and even medical supplies such as first aid kits and personal protective equipment.
  • Donation integration: While some nonprofits provide financial support, others provide in-kind donation support. Nonprofits can scale their donation program by integrating with online stores, such as Donation Driver from Amazon Business. These integrations bring the convenience of eCommerce to the giving process, helping nonprofits expand audience reach, personalize communications, and simplify the giving process. 

“We immediately have access to whatever is purchased through Amazon Business in a dashboard. So, from the donor side, the audit side, the survivor side, and the procurement side, the efficiencies gained by this process are life-changing.” 

— Elizabeth Disco-Shearer CEO, Disaster Services Corporation

It's important to note that specific actions taken by a nonprofit will depend on the nature of the disaster, resources available, and needs of the affected communities. Nonprofits play a crucial role in providing disaster relief and support and their efforts can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected. 

Amazon Business can help you be disaster relief ready 

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