February 27, 2013 By Elaine Pittman
Aidmatrix is showcased in the media after disasters, but the organization’s daily work is what really makes a difference. Applying sophisticated tools to support humanitarian relief is at the heart of the Texas nonprofit, which helps mobilize
$1.5 billion in aid annually using supply chain management technology.
“Our mission is to help people become more efficient,” said Scott McCallum, the foundation’s president and CEO, and former Wisconsin governor. Aidmatrix technology matches donations to needs, facilitating global delivery of food and supplies.
Originally applied to support refugee camps in Croatia, the system’s use has grown in the last decade. The National Donations Management Network (NDMN), for example, is funded by FEMA and industry partners and uses Aidmatrix’s Web-based tool to help manage disaster donations and volunteers. McCallum said Hurricane Katrina was the first major disaster the foundation was asked to help with, and it was highlighted as something that went right during the troubled response. Today the NDMN covers 92 percent of the U.S. population and connects states with relief organizations.
The technology pulls together multiple parties during emergencies. For instance, following Midwest flooding, a California manufacturer offered to donate carpet remnants on Iowa’s NDMN portal. Habitat for Humanity indicated in the system that it needed the carpet, and transportation companies could see where services or monetary donations were wanted. McCallum said UPS donated the transportation from California to Iowa.
But McCallum stressed, “Disaster is only part of what we do.” More than 47,500 organizations use the technology, including 200-plus food banks. “Almost all of the charitable food in the U.S. goes through our technology,” he said.
Photo by Jason Janik
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