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"Incredibly Fast" Corporate Donations Top Initial Goal for Haiti Relief

Corporate donations to the relief effort in Haiti now total more than $106 million according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, surpassing the $100 million in aid initially pledged by the U.S. government.

It is already the fifth largest corporate relief ever, according to the organization, and the earthquake was just ten days ago. "This is incredible, and it's incredibly fast," said Stephen Jordan, Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center.

The organization says 265 companies have donated, 44 of them giving $1 million or more. The top five donors are:

  • Teva Pharmaceutical $7,000,000
  • Jefferies Group $6,500,000
  • Carnival $5,000,000
  • Digicel $5,000,000
  • Deutsche Bank $4,000,000

Jordan says most of the donations are cash contributions to relief organizations working in the region, but companies are also donating supplies, equipment and personnel. He says the business group is also looking at ways to help beyond the immediate crisis.

AP

Most of the companies have no operations in Haiti and may never do business there, but Jordan says they are simply moved by the crisis.

He also says employees have been pushing their employers to get involved. "That internal corporate pride is a big motivating factor," he said.

EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS

Many smaller companies are also making contributions. An Internet perfume merchant is donating $10,000. The founder of a dot-com startup has pledged 10 percent of its sales through June. A networking site for young mothers has launched a drive to deliver breast milk to Haiti’s orphans.

CNBC has been asking you to tell us what your company is doing to help, by e-mailing us at haiticrisis@cnbc.com, and companies big and small are responding.

With the need for medical equipment growing more urgent by the minute, medical supply distributor Henry Schein says it is teaming up with its suppliers to donate $1 million in equipment to relief organizations.

Fragrancenet, a Hauppauge, NY, internet perfume company donated $10,000 through the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Chairman and CEO Dennis Apfel wrote in an e-mail to CNBC that the firm was greatly moved by the tragedy.

Crisis in Haiti - See Complete Coverage
Crisis in Haiti - See Complete Coverage

“It is clear that the Haitian people will need continuing help for a considerable amount of time and we hope to be a part of it,” Apfel wrote.

The founder of Art-on-Demand.com says the news from Haiti gave him perspective. The start-up firm based in Wayne, PA, sells digital art for display on high-definition TVs.

“I was thinking what a difficult time I’m having getting this business off the ground, then I heard the news of the devastating earthquake that destroyed large parts of Haiti,” writes John Munshour on the firm’s web site. “What a smack in the head that was.”

Munshour says he is donating 10 percent of his sales through June to the relief efforts.

Sarah Walton of betterwaymoms.com launched a drive to help starving infants in Haiti. “The response so far has been amazing,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Other e-mails have come from Agilent Technologies, which donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross; Expedia, which has donated $100,000, and the small California biotech firm InterMune. Senior Vice President Howard Simon says the company raised $12,000 from its 125 employees, a donation the firm will match.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy says as of Wednesday, donations to the Haiti relief effort have topped $300 million. That is nearly twice the donations at this point following the 2004 Asian Tsunami.

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