Proudest moments from 2022

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Editor’s note: Over the past 12 months, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy team has made great strides toward fulfilling its mission to minimize the impact of disasters and help communities recover equitably. And yet, the devastating effects of climate change – especially on marginalized and underserved communities – and continuing inequities mean we have more work to do.

We take this holiday season to reflect on the past year, from big and small wins to learning moments, knowing that collectively with our community partners, we are making a difference.

Several staff members who lead the many aspects of our work looked back at what they and their teams accomplished in 2022 and shared what they’re most proud of and why it is so meaningful for them.

I’m incredibly proud of the changes we made to simplify and embed greater equity, trust and localization into our grantmaking processes, a project coordinated by our team but involving all of CDP.

As CDP’s ‘International team’, Taylor and I are wholly committed to investing in local humanitarian leadership. In 2022, more than 51% of our funding went to local organizations, with over $9 million going to local NGOs through our grantmaking and local implementation. We couldn’t have done this without our finance colleagues working with us on due diligence requirements that ensure appropriate risk management while still centering equity and trust in our partnerships.”

Alex Gray
Director, International Funds

“In 2022, the Midwest Early Recovery Fund supported grantee partners across the 10-state region. Because of the grant dollars, thousands of individuals and households have case managers, mental wellness resources and legal assistance. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to engage communities after low-attention disasters and provide resources that increase their ability to recover and remind them that they are not alone.

This year, we also hired a grants manager to work with the entire grants team; Audrey is transforming the grants processes at CDP. Our ability to provide better grantee partner engagement has increased significantly. She continues to bring joy to our databases and systems.”

Cari Cullen
Director, Midwest Early Recovery Fund

“There are many ways that 2022 was a great year for the development team. We added two new wonderful colleagues in Sonja and Nevean. Our donors illustrated time and again that they believe in thoughtful, equitable disaster giving, helping us surpass 2021’s level of operational support. The greater CDP team continued to play a critical role in our fundraising efforts, helping us be an organization worthy of donors’ trust. And we had fun working on it together. I’m extremely grateful to work with everyone at CDP and to have built relationships with a phenomenal group of donors and advocates of our work. Thank you to you all!

Devin Mathias
Senior Director, Development

“CDP invested in evaluating ourselves and how to be stronger partners with a CDP Grantee Perception Report conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy. We learned about ourselves and our partners and implemented changes in areas where we could improve.

Despite remote work because of COVID, we still created and built on solid relationships with partners. We connected with organizations serving the most marginalized populations disproportionately affected by crises. More than 80% of our funding directly supported historically marginalized populations! I’m grateful we invest in improving our work, learning and sharing what we learn.”

Sally Ray
Director, Domestic Funds

“Joining CDP as the new Senior Director of Consulting this year was the proudest moment for me. After more than a decade of admiring the work of the organization, now I can contribute directly by advising philanthropy on equitable disaster recovery. I’m honored to work with such a great group of passionate and committed people.”

Sarah Petrin
Senior Director, Consulting Services

“This was the year that Learning and Partnerships (L&P) truly became a ‘team’ with the addition of a full-time Program Manager who joined me in February. Austin has made a tremendous contribution to L&P and, in turn, made me a better director. Certainly, L&P has grown and expanded, developing strong procedures and practices thanks to his contributions.”

Tanya Gulliver-Garcia
Director, Learning and Partnerships

“Although launching a new website was a tremendous accomplishment for the marcomms team, I am most proud of colleagues who rolled up their sleeves every day to make major projects and our day-to-day promoting CDP’s work possible, successful and enjoyable: Ruja, Adrian, and former intern, Abby.

I am grateful for my wonderful colleagues Alex, Cari, Devin, Sally, Sarah and Tanya, and those not featured in this post – Allison, Audrey, Austin, Guy, Jennifer, Kim, Liz, Nevean, Patty, Regine, Robin, Sonja and Taylor. I’ve learned so much from their wisdom, passion and commitment to serving marginalized and underserved people through their work.”

Yna Moore
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications

What is your most memorable moment from the past year?

CDP Staff