October a Critical Month to the Ebola Crisis

The first week of October is off to a robust start at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and the remainder of the month promises to continue at a fast pace.
On Oct. 1, we hosted a webinar on Building Disaster Ready, focused on the importance of private funding in planning and building resilient communities. On Oct. 2, we co-hosted a second webinar, “How Philanthropy Can Act to Stop the Ebola Crisis,” with our friends at Philanthropy New York. This webinar was particularly important to us, as in the final days of September, CDP increased our response to the Ebola Crisis and launched our Ebola Crisis Fund. Donations made to this fund will go to the most effective, high-performing international non-governmental organizations working to stem the Ebola outbreak.
I’ve also had the opportunity to speak at several important gatherings during the first week of October. At the annual meeting of the National Association of State Charity Officials, we discussed the importance of guidelines and coordination in a disaster. It is crucial in the recovery process for responding parties to coordinate together to bring the most effective aid plans to the table in a disaster. The work of NASCO is key in this process, because it rests with these regulators to ensure funds are used appropriately in a time of chaos. L ink to article.  I also had the opportunity to speak to a conference of business reporters about media coverage of disasters. I urged them to not forget about the long recovery period after a disaster strikes and reminded them that some disasters – like the Ebola crisis – don’t start with a dramatic event but are slow to evolve.
CDP has also been part of several major news stories in USA Today, The Huffington Post, and National Public Radio. The focus of much of this coverage has been the Ebola Crisis and what funders are doing, and what they could be doing to respond to this disaster. I am excited to be able to speak to the dynamics of the private philanthropic community, and this coverage is an important part of CDP’s goal to help educate and inform the public.
During the rest of the month of October, we’ll continue to focus on our work with the CDP Ebola Action Fund. We’ll also take a look at the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and perhaps most importantly, the recovery work of many of our grantees, whose projects are in the final stages of completion.
The next few weeks will be critical ones in the Ebola crisis. Can government and nonprofit workers slow down the spread of the disease in west Africa? Will we see more cases in the United States?  Will American donors rise to the challenge and support these heroic efforts?  We’ll do our best to give you answers to these questions and more. If you have a specific question, email me at bob.ottenhoff@disasterphilanthropy.org.

Robert G. Ottenhoff

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