In times of crisis, when many lives are at stake, a joint appeal for funds unites the strengths of multiple humanitarian organizations for a common purpose.
By joining forces, rather than competing with each other, organizations seek to speak with one voice on humanitarian issues, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs, and take the guesswork out of giving so that more aid gets to those who most need it. While participating organizations retain their individual priorities and capacities, they recognize that coordination between them in fundraising efforts will produce better outcomes for donors and aid recipients alike than if each agency were to raise funds independently.
What Are the Benefits of a Joint Appeal?
During humanitarian emergencies, member agencies speak with one voice, provide direct access to disaster and response information, coordinate spokespersons and share resources, including a single phone centre, website and communications team. When disaster strikes, each member agency brings its specific expertise to implementing humanitarian programs.
By working together and pooling resources, emphasis is shifted away from competing priorities and toward shared goals and the delivery of the most effective humanitarian response possible. When disasters strike, organizations in a joint appeal work together to ensure that assistance is timely, appropriate and effective.
Reduced fundraising costs:
Instead of rolling out competing fundraising campaigns that would duplicate costs, these costs are joined into one single campaign. A joint appeal allows member agencies to collectively devote a greater percentage of donated funds to relief activities.
Increased awareness and accountability:
By joining forces, experienced humanitarian agencies can further raise the profile of disasters, humanitarian needs and required responses. Their collaboration also requires increased accountability among peer agencies (for program quality for example) and to the public. By evaluating their respective programs and approaches, better reporting is possible and best practices can be shared for improved performance in the long term.
Ultimately, joint action means a more comprehensive, timely and cost-effective humanitarian response. The collaborative approach has also proven to increase the amount of donor dollars raised during a humanitarian crisis. The “one-stop-shop” approach to fundraising builds the public’s trust and the organizations’ accountability.
While models vary in different countries, certain characteristics remain central to the success of joint humanitarian appeals. These are:
- Participation of experienced global humanitarian agencies
- Media partnerships that support appeals by informing the public and decreasing fundraising costs by providing free ad space
- Private sector partnerships that take many forms but generally allow the private sector to establish their involvement in disaster relief that is in line with their resources for rapid deployment and support of relief efforts
Joint Appeals around the World
Around the world, humanitarian organizations and the private sector have come to recognize the value and effectiveness of joint action. Though the approach of each joint appeal varies, each depends on uniting multiple organizations with a common purpose, offering to improve outreach and accountability to donors, reduce costs and increase the efficiency of humanitarian responses.
Here is a list of joint appeals around the world:
- United Kingdom: Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)
- Germany: Aktion Deutchland Hilft (ADH)
- Switzerland: Swiss Solidarity
- Italy: AGIRE
- Netherlands: Samenwerkende
- Japan: Japan Platform
- Canada: The Humanitarian Coalition
The Humanitarian Coalition consists of five member agencies: CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada. Together, the members of the Humanitarian Coalition have over 200 years of humanitarian response experience, and since the Coalition’s creation in 2005, have successfully launched appeals for the Haiti Earthquake (2010), the Pakistan Floods (2010), the Japan Tsunami (2011), the East Africa Drought Crisis (2011), the Sahel Food Crisis (2012), the Syrian Refugee Crisis (2013), Typhoon Haiyan (2013), and the Ebola Crisis (2014).
Together, the Humanitarian Coalition and its international counterparts mentioned above form the Emergency Appeals Alliance, which meets once a year to discuss shared experiences and innovative ideas for joint action, and to build members’ ability to increase the impact of humanitarian aid globally. A Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming the EAA's efforts to work more closely together was signed in October 2013.