CDP announces grants from the Disaster Recovery Fund

SBP’s Disaster Corps helping a homeowner clear their home before performing mold suppression. Source: SBP

Through the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Disaster Recovery Fund, we strategically allocate funds across the United States and U.S. territories to support those affected by the myriad of disasters we experience each year. Our most recent round of funding supported organizations in multiple states responding to several different disasters, always with a focus on equitable recovery for all.

Grants in support of tornado recovery

As with most disasters these days, there is no longer a true “tornado season.” That was proven as we witnessed devastating storms nearly destroy entire communities in Kentucky and surrounding states in December 2021, followed by multiple storms across the country throughout 2022.

To support recovery from these storms, we made the following grants, with grant dollars often coming from multiple CDP Funds, often in partnership with Google, to provide the most strategic funding for partners who work across multiple disaster events:

  • Felix E. Martin, Jr. Foundation for the Muhlenberg County (KY) Long Term Recovery Group received $150,000 to build the capacity of the Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Long Term Recovery Group. This grant funds a disaster response coordinator to oversee the recovery process and provides for a disaster relief center. Additionally, funds will help address the unmet needs of residents affected by the disaster.
  • Community Foundation of West Kentucky received $500,000 to expand the capacity of long-term recovery groups working in nine counties affected by the December 2021 tornadoes.
  • SBP received $250,000 for the SBP FEMA Appeals program to help disaster-affected individuals and families secure additional government resources for recovery to benefit those most in need.
  • Northwest Tennessee Development District received $80,000 to leverage additional funding to support hiring two positions to focus exclusively on disaster recovery over three years in rural areas of northwest Tennessee devastated by the same tornadic storms that affected Western Kentucky in December 2021.
  • Otsego County Community Foundation received $104,645 to expand their Michigan community’s capacity to support long-term recovery following a devastating tornado in spring 2022.
  • Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team received $50,000 to help coordinate community recovery from a tornado that hit the town of Elgin in central Texas in March 2022.
  • Orange County Disaster Rebuild (OCDR) received $226,264 from multiple CDP funds, including for recovery from a tornado that affected several residents in spring 2022. The funding will help OCDR to sustain its work in support of recovery in their service area by coordinating rebuild projects with national volunteer groups returning to the area over the fall and winter months.
  • The Disaster Leadership Team received $250,000 from multiple CDP funding sources, including those intended to support recovery from multiple tornado events in 2021 and 2022. The funding expands their capacity and builds their sustainability for deployment of mentors and trainers and the provision of recovery resources for developing long-term recovery groups in disaster-stricken areas of the U.S.
  • Good360 received $431,888 from the Disaster Recovery Fund and other CDP funds to be more proactive about disaster response and recovery. By positioning products in warehouses for distribution in areas identified as needing such products, they expand their capacity to respond to and support recovery partners in multiple locations following multiple disaster events.
  • Vibrant Crisis Emotional Care Team received $500,000 from the Disaster Recovery Fund and other CDP funds to offer robust and accessible virtual and in-person best practices training to prepare communities and non-profit organizations to respond in the wake of a natural or human-caused disaster.

We also collaborated with our colleague, Cari Cullen, and the Midwest Early Recovery Fund, to support recovery from storms that affected Oklahoma and Arkansas. You can read about those grants here.

As we looked back over the past year at the number of tornadoes and grants made to communities affected by them, the CDP team determined that we need to have a fund available to our donors and our grantee partners that specifically focuses on the recovery needs of tornado-affected areas. So earlier this month, following several days of deadly storms in multiple states, we launched the CDP Tornado Recovery Fund to help address the specific needs of those impacted by these often deadly and devastating wind events.

Grants in support of recovery from other 2022 disasters

Not only did the United States experience severe storms and tornadoes throughout 2022, but multiple regions across the country felt the devastating impacts of wildfires, flooding, and even manmade crises. From early spring and through the fall, wildfires impacted New Mexico, flooding displaced communities in Appalachia, and thousands in Jackson, Mississippi were left without clean drinking water.

To support recovery from these events, CDP made the following grants, with dollars often coming in partnership with Google, to provide strategic funding centering the most marginalized communities and partners working across multiple disaster events.

Wildfires in New Mexico – April 2022

  • Seeding Sovereignty received $61,065 in flexible funding to further mutual aid efforts in emergent needs response, food sovereignty and trauma-informed wellness services centering Indigenous, QTBIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ community members to recover from wildfires.
  • Flower Hill Institute received $60,000 in flexible funding to support local Indigenous and Tribal communities’ stewardship and protection of culturally significant lands and enable access to resources for recovery from wildfires.

Flooding in Appalachia – July 2022

  • Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky received $200,000 in flexible funding to support the Appalachian Crisis Aid Fund and ongoing emergency relief and general recovery from the floods, with a focus on housing reconstruction and long-term recovery planning.

CDP is still in the process of allocating grants to support recovery from flooding in Eastern Kentucky and have planned a visit to the area to meet with local partners to further determine where CDP can be of most use to the region’s restoration.

Flooding and Water Access Crisis in Jackson, Mississippi – August 2022

  • National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics received $100,000 to respond to provide equitable health care response and water access within their Underserved Patients program. The program utilizes community health workers, technology, and social workers to distribute clean water, hygiene supplies, and other immediate necessities.

CDP remains in the process of administering a final grant to support ongoing emergency relief and recovery from this event.

Throughout 2022, CDP, the United States, and the rest of the world witnessed an increasing occurrence of natural and manmade hazards. It’s becoming increasingly true that hazard events such as tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricanes no longer appear to have “seasons,” but can be expected at any time, year-round. As we enter 2023, we at CDP are grateful to our partners who continue to devote themselves to the recovery and resilience of their communities in the face of layered disaster events and a changing climate.

Sally Ray

Sally Ray

Director, Domestic Funds