Washington, DC – The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) announced today that the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation of Baton Rouge has awarded $100,000 to the Gulf Coast Resilience Innovation (GCRI) Fund in response to record flooding in Louisiana. The gift kicks off a national campaign to fund recovery efforts for northwest, northeast, and southeast Louisiana. CDP will serve as a long-term anchor to the local relief funds already created by the experienced community foundations in this region, and will partner in these efforts with the Community Foundation of North Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and the Northshore Community Foundation.

CDP was originally created out of donor experiences during Hurricane Katrina, and was co-founded by Louisiana donors in order to encourage donors to collaborate on effective, long-term giving throughout the life cycle of disasters.

“The slow-motion disaster taking place now in Louisiana demands that we lead with a gift that inspires others to join us in supporting a full recovery,” said Lori J. Bertman, president and CEO of the Pennington Family Foundation. “In collaboration with other donors, we can focus on the long-term recovery strategies that our experience knows are necessary to help truly rebuild and, ultimately, rejuvenate our communities.”

The GCRI Fund was established in 2015 by the Pennington Family Foundation on the tenth anniversary of Katrina in honor of the many donors who contributed over time to the recovery of the Gulf. It is designed to support projects throughout the life cycle of disasters, in particular helping communities better plan and prepare for disasters, supporting those working with vulnerable populations, and identifying innovative, replicable, and sustainable solutions. It is an outgrowth of the Pennington Disaster Resilience Fund, which was a proactive grant-making fund that created and funded solution-based disaster efforts.

“We are extremely grateful for the Pennington Family Foundation’s generous leadership,” said CDP President and CEO Bob Ottenhoff. “The devastating flooding in Louisiana requires that the philanthropic community follow their lead and embrace long- and mid-term recovery efforts built on partnerships that maximize the impact of their dollars.”

Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation
The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation has a long history of community giving. A large part of our giving is focused in the Greater Baton Rouge area and surrounding parishes, including East and West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee. Our focus is in the areas of: human services, health and chronic diseases, the arts, public safety/community development, disasters/community resilience, and the environment. The Foundation funds organizations at all stages of maturity and values projects that are innovative and leverage resources in new ways.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy
CDP’s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters. With an emphasis on recovery and disaster risk reduction, CDP aims to:

  • Increase the effectiveness of contributions given to disasters;
  • Bring greater attention to the life cycle of disasters, from preparedness and planning, to relief, to rebuilding and recovery efforts;
  • Provide timely and relevant advice from experts with deep knowledge of disaster philanthropy;
  • Conduct due diligence so donors can give with confidence; and,
  • Create plans for informed giving for individuals, corporations and foundations.