Costs for opening and managing the various Centres, particularly where they are opened for a period of time, could be substantial and a process for recording costs (and where possible cost recovery) should be considered at the planning stage.
In the aftermath of an emergency, members of the public want to help those affected and may send money or other gifts. This can be a source of comfort for the affected people and community but dealing with donations and accompanying letters can be time consuming and establishing an appeal fund can be a complex and sensitive task. Considerations are required as to whether it should be of a charitable status or not, who the trustees will be, how will the funds be distributed etc. It requires the input of a professional finance officer and should be considered at the planning stage. Advice is available from a number of sources including the British Red Cross Disaster Appeals Scheme.
Serious consideration should be given to the consequences of issuing requests for donations rather than requests for funds. Support from the public should be welcomed as it can assist with the recovery by providing much needed resources to help those affected. However as previous experiences have highlighted major concerns in respect to the receipt of unsuitable goods have disrupted the effective management of centres, requiring unwarranted time and effort to resolve.