Sarah Ford | January 14, 2014

Good360’s “DisasterRecovery360” App Wins $850,000 Verizon Grant

Source: The Washington Post

Here’s a statistic that will make your eyes pop out: Sixty percent of items donated during disasters wind up in landfills. Sixty. 6-0. Items flood in during the first days or weeks after a tornado, or flood, or earthquake, but may not be appropriate or aren’t needed until months later, when the news media have moved on but the victims remain. The glut of unusable or inappropriate donations is often called “a second-tier disaster” which takes up rescue workers’ time as they sort and discard.

An organization in Alexandria called Good360, launched in 1983 as “Gifts in Kind,” has become a worldwide leader in helping organize disaster relief as well as connecting corporations with charities in non-disaster times. Good360 has distributed more than $7 billion in product donations since its founding and is consistently ranked among the top 10 most efficient charities by Forbes magazine, with its operating costs less than 1.8 percent of the value of donations. Its current board chair, Carly Fiorina, who knows a little something about corporations and technology, called Good360 “the biggest nonprofit no one’s ever heard of.”

Now, Good360′s attempts to broaden its ability to work in emergencies has gotten a huge boost: In a national competition sponsored by Verizon, Good360′s “DisasterRecovery360″ online portal won second place and an $850,000 grant which will help Good360 develop the app, and enable disaster responders to pick or request specific items needed immediately, rather than deal with truckloads of unwanted clothes or unneeded food.

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