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Tsunami Corporate Challenge

27 January 2005 at 12:01 pm
Staff Reporter
The role of corporates in the Tsunami Appeal has been described as being everything from magnificent to just playing one-up-manship…but one Australian business consultant has set up a 'challenge' to cement CSR.

Staff Reporter | 27 January 2005 at 12:01 pm


Tsunami Corporate Challenge
27 January 2005 at 12:01 pm

The role of corporates in the Tsunami Appeal has been described as being everything from magnificent to just playing one-up-manship…but one Australian business consultant has set up a ‘challenge’ to cement CSR.

Christo Norden-Powers, is the Convenor of the Tsunami Challenge with big plans to highlight Australian Corporate giving in the world arena.

Norden Powers says the purpose of the Tsunami Challenge is to:

– encourage companies in Australia to contribute $250 million, and companies worldwide to contribute $2.2 billion, in the short term for immediate Asian tsunami relief

– establish a simple method by which companies worldwide are able to contribute modest and manageable sums of money and ‘in kind’ contributions on a longer term basis for the reconstruction of the tsunami-affected region

– create a global database of companies and citizens who are willing to assist short term or long term in relief efforts, in cash or kind

– create a global brand that can be used to generate revenue for the relief and re-building effort long term

– create a simple means of collecting and exchanging data that can be used by the relevant aid agencies and the United Nations to match needs to resources and move aid into affected areas promptly.

– provide a database of experiences, knowledge and survival stories that can be applied to enabling more people to survive any future tsunamis.

– acknowledge those who give their time and energy to help others in crises

– acknowledge and honour all donors

– remember those who died or suffered loss

– raise individual, corporate and global awareness.

Norden-Powers says he conceived the idea of a challenge on New Years Eve out of frustration that he could not do more personally, out of concern that business had responded slowly to a tragic situation and out of a belief the people who make decisions in large business do have a heart.

He says the previous day, the gutsy Australian travel publication, The Lonely Planet, had thrown down the gauntlet to corporate Australia to match or better their $500,000 donation – an outstanding contribution from a company that does not even make the BRW Top 1000.

Since Australians like a challenge, and are at home with Australia vs. Rest of the World in cricket and other sports, it seemed reasonable to extend the Aussie passion to aiding the tsunami-affected relief effort.

The word is getting around the world. In the past couple of weeks,
– The Tsunami Challenge has been mentioned in a Report by the U.N.’s Global Compact, (an initiative of Kofi Annan for more socially responsible business practices), and
– The following organisations have encouraged their members take up the Tsunami Challenge:
* World Business Council on Sustainable Development (Geneva – an international business peak body)
* Ethical Corporation (London)
* Australian Business Council (Australian business peak body)
* Trans-Tasman Business Circle (Australian/New Zealand Businesses)
* Australian Institute of Company Directors.
– The United Nations World Food Program and several US-based and Australian aid agencies have requested our assistance to help them raise funds from businesses to meet desperate needs in the affected region.
– Australians in Indonesia trying desperately to bring aid to areas that do not have the attention of the large aid agencies have sought our assistance
– The Trans-Tasman Business Circle has also formally endorsed the Tsunami Challenge.

Christo Norden-Powers says the Tsunami Challenge now has the capability to generate a database of businesses worldwide that are willing to contribute cash and other resources to the tsunami relief and re-construction efforts in the short term and/or long term, and to link those contributions to the specific agencies and projects that will have maximum impact for $ spent in the areas where the resources are needed.

He says this approach is unique, costs very little, and enables companies to rapidly direct their contribution/resources to the areas and projects that have most benefit. By logging onto the database, companies can go back to the business of business, and budget a reasonable sum for ongoing relief over the period of their choice.

The Tsunami Challenge does not collect money for aid. Donors donate/pledge to the aid agency of their choice, then register themselves with the Tsunami Challenge on the website.

You can check out the funds raised and the corporate donors at

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