Harvey Recovery Fund Grant Committee Assesses Needs

Texas National Guard members work to rescue people stranded in Hurricane Harvey. (Army National Guard photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle)

CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund grant committee named; biweekly funder briefings open to grantmakers

Following Hurricane Harvey, a total of 41 counties in Southeast Texas received a federal disaster designation, and nearly 900,000 individual assistance applications had been received by FEMA by the end of November 2017. Many residents are still displaced from their homes, some still living in hotels across the state and beyond. The storm also impacted schools, affecting more than 1 million students and 220 school districts throughout the region.
The total FEMA verified unmet need is $1.2 billion. Experts estimate the true amount will likely be triple that number. Philanthropic dollars, though significant in support of this disaster, will not be nearly enough to address all the needs. To that end, CDP, through our CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund, is focusing on ways to leverage other public and private funds to have the biggest impact on the recovery efforts.
As we have described in the past, CDP is looking carefully at unmet needs across populations, geographies, and issues. As we think about where to allocate funds, we are taking into account the racial and economic diversity, looking carefully at the 24 counties that bore the brunt of the property damage, and the effect of the storm on employment and income.

Meet the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund grant committee

The Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund Director Sally Ray, in close collaboration with me and other CDP staff, have organized our grant committee to include national, state, and local experts in the areas of long-term recovery, nonprofit and government leadership, and identified issue areas. Committee members include:
Lori Bertman serves as chair of the committee. Lori is president and CEO of the Baton Rouge- based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, Louisiana’s largest private family foundation. She is the co-founder and chairman of the board of CDP.
John T. Cooper, Jr., Ph.D., is the Assistant VP of Public Outreach and Partnership at Texas A&M University. He has an extensive background in disaster long-term recovery, especially as it relates to community resilience, and has previously directed the FEMA-funded Emergency Preparedness.
CDR Elizabeth Hastings is the Texas Federal Health and Social Services Recovery Field Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
Kelli King-Jackson is the Senior Program Officer for The Simmons Foundation, a private foundation located in Houston and focused on education, health, civic & community, and human services. She brings more than 15 years of experience working in nonprofit advocacy.
Damian Morales is the Disaster Services Manager for the OneStar Foundation, where he works to support Texas resiliency. He also serves as the Central Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
Rey Ocanas is based in Houston and serves as the Executive VP and Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation for BBVA Compass. He also oversees the bank’s corporate foundation.
Bob Ottenhoff is the President and CEO of CDP and is a veteran in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and entrepreneurship
Last week, the grant committee met to determine that the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund dollars should support an efficient and effective long-term recovery process. Over the course of the next six weeks, we will be working to support organizations leading that long-term recovery process. We will publicly announce our first round of grantees toward the end of February. In the meantime, we wish to extend our thanks to all of the individuals and organizations working in Texas to support Harvey recovery efforts.

Join us for biweekly funder briefings

As part of our efforts to mobilize funders around long-term Hurricane Harvey recovery, we are partnering with The Simmons Foundation to host biweekly funder briefings. To complement and broaden the reach of local efforts, these briefings will educate local and national grantmakers on best practices in disaster philanthropy, as well as provide updates on funder activity. Grantmakers are encouraged to join these discussions and share any questions or information on their own Hurricane Harvey efforts.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any comments or questions. It would be my pleasure to speak with you.

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