“PPREParing” Foundations for Disaster Response and Recovery

For the past two years, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy has been involved in an exciting regional effort of The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN) to strengthen community foundations in their knowledge of disasters and to empower their leadership in this arena.

The Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency & Emergency Partnership (PPREP) program is directed at seventeen community foundations from a ten-state area in the Midwest, along the Missouri River. In 2017, PPREP will welcome additional community foundations from the area to the program, with the continuing support of the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Our role at CDP is to develop and implement a curriculum for the group, which convenes online for regular educational webinars, and in-person for site visits, presentations, and discussions on the role of philanthropy in disaster response and recovery. This work has focused on providing practical resources to increase the internal capacity of foundations to lead in the face of disaster and expand their knowledge of the government and non-government actors in a disaster. The PPREP program provides:

  • strategies for building community resilience,
  • tips for enhancing relationships with local partners,
  • tactics for identifying and attending to socially vulnerable populations,
  • and examples for designing disaster grants programs.

Participants also complete a Disaster Preparedness Workbook that is updated over time to provide a central source of institutional information and processes in the event of a disaster.
Many of the participating foundations have experienced significant natural and human-made disasters in their service areas, and have generously shared case studies and other resources they’ve developed with the cohort. Current PPREP cohort members are:

  • Arkansas Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
  • Community Foundation of the Great River Bend
  • Community Foundation of the Ozarks
  • Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation
  • Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation
  • Initiative Foundation
  • Lincoln Community Foundation
  • The Minneapolis Foundation
  • Minot Area Community Foundation
  • North Dakota Community Foundation
  • Northwest Minnesota Foundation
  • Oklahoma City Community Foundation
  • Southwest Initiative Foundation
  • Tulsa Community Foundation
  • West Central Initiative Foundation

In the future, PPREP will turn its attention to government policy and legislation related to disasters, understanding network theory and practices, questions of how land-use and the built environment influence preparedness and recovery, and additional sessions to support the foundations’ institutional readiness for civic engagement in preparation for and recovery from disasters.

We feel privileged to work with these philanthropic leaders, have benefited from the expertise and good will in this group, and enjoyed the hospitality and leadership of TFN. The wealth of communal and philanthropic knowledge and the compassionate commitment to service in the PPREP cohort has been an inspiration for us at CDP, and make this project one of our favorites!

To learn more about how we can help you increase your internal capacity and lead your community in the face of disaster, please contact: Regine Webster at Regine.Webster@disasterphilanthropy.org or (206) 972-0187.

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