Disaster Relief Gets Interactive Technology

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Ventera Corp., an IT professional services firm, has partnered with Relief Interactive to facilitate online giving for disaster relief.

Ventera, McLean, VA, will donate more than $250,000 in services, research and development to provide online news media with links to a REACT Web site where visitors can donate to the disaster relief organization of their choice. The Web page will display up-to-the-minute snapshots of relief efforts and participating organizations.

By maximizing the interaction between online media and disaster relief organizations, this technology will allow users to make secure credit card donations the moment they read about a crisis.

"We're not a replacement for other online philanthropy efforts; we're simply an easier venue for people to give, especially during crises and emergencies," said Dr. Brady Brown, founder/president of REACT. "The sheer number of people who read news and make online purchases creates an enormous potential to raise awareness of relief efforts and garner donations online."

Although many relief organizations have Web sites with the capability to make secure online donations, Internet users may spend several minutes surfing to find an organization that matches their cause and donation criteria. A lengthy search keeps many potential donors from following through.

Despite the obstacles, Brown said, many relief organizations receive as much as one-third of their total contributions from the Internet.

"Imagine what will happen when every potential donor has the power to contribute in the relief effort of their choice with just one click of the mouse," he said.

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