Reflections on My First Month

Photo credit: Nasdaq

On April 1, I reached my first mensiversary with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. And what a month it has been … for all of us. In what seemed like an instant, stay-at-home orders, remote work and distance learning changed our everyday lives and here at CDP, the spotlight turned to us for our expertise in disaster giving and recovery.

I’m proud to report that our team responded to the stresses and strains of the past weeks with utmost professionalism and the true resiliency in the face of disasters you have come to expect.

Launching a COVID-19 Response Fund and presenting informational webinars in early March, CDP received quite a lot of high-profile attention as a go-to source for advice and for donations. It’s been gratifying to see the coverage, including the Washington Post’s Sunday metro section listingThe Guardian and Time on how to help and mentions on the Today show. And I was proud to represent CDP – by myself due to social distancing – closing the Nasdaq on March 17. Our team has also been featured in a number of news articles including the Chronicle of PhilanthropyInverse and AP.  We’ve held and been panelists on webinars and continue to write blogs for our own website as well as Charity Navigator. There have been numerous press releases tied to the many generous contributions, including Verizon and The Coca-Cola Foundation. CDP has also been part of an incredible number of cause-related marketing campaigns, some of which are simple connectors to Fund contributions and others, such as the Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon podcast or the Athletes for Relief campaign, are helping to broaden the audience for our work.

As to dollars, the Fund has thus far raised more than $12 million. And we are responding thoughtfully but rapidly to get funds to those in need in vulnerable communities with 13 grants totaling more than $2.75 million disbursed within weeks. On behalf of the many people who will be helped through the programs funded, I want to thank all of CDP’s donors – large and small – for your faith and confidence in us. We are honored to be your partner in the response to COVID-19. And we hope you will continue to stay in touch and work with us further in the coming months. Support for the recovery and resilience of affected communities will be needed long after we’re able to leave our homes.

Of course, we always keep our attention on the other disasters impacting people across America and the world. Amid the pandemic, we know the coming months will be exceptionally challenging for those affected by natural disasters and those living amid complex humanitarian emergencies. I have learned a great deal in one month and what I know for sure is that our team is a highly capable and trusted resource, ready to assist. We build the philanthropic community’s capacity to plan and respond; we maintain and develop relationships with responding agencies; and we manage Recovery Funds, all toward our vision of a world where the impact of disasters is minimized by thoughtful, equitable and responsible recovery for all.

If you wish to stay better informed on our work, I encourage you to follow CDP on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Thank you for being part of our journey to leverage the power of philanthropy to strengthen communities’ abilities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. I encourage you to consider joining us as regular contributor to our efforts. We’re all in this together.