As the director of domestic funds at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, I am always guided by our mission and our values when making funding decisions and recommendations.
Our grantmaking is community-driven, equity-focused and holistic. Whenever possible, we fund local organizations that represent the communities they serve and are trusted by the local people to do the work. Our first Grantee Perception Report conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, which included a review of our domestic and international grantmaking, shows that nearly 80% of our U.S.-based grants over the past year have gone to local organizations.
We recognize, too, that sometimes the local capacity to support a holistic and equitable recovery is not there. In that case, connecting local communities to national expertise and resources is critical to leverage the community assets available for what is often a long and challenging recovery. We fund national partners so they’re ready to support recovery wherever they may be needed; we help them prepare to support local communities.
As this is National Preparedness Month, we want to honor the critical work of national partners in staging for recovery to prepare for what might come.
National partnerships support local recovery
At CDP, we have many national partners that help us enhance the resources and abilities of local communities to recover from disasters. We often provide grant funding to these partners to support their work across disaster geographies. Our support allows these organizations to localize their work while allowing community access to national resources. For example:
- The Disaster Leadership Team (DLT) – We funded the DLT for the first time through the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund in 2018. They are seasoned disaster recovery leaders who offer peer mentorship to help disaster-affected communities establish and efficiently and effectively operate long-term recovery organizations. DLT mentors come from communities that have experienced disasters. They bring training and other resources to communities as they move from response to recovery after disaster. Our current grant to the DLT allows them to strengthen their mentor network so they can be there when needed. It helps them mentor communities across the U.S., and they’ve recently supported the development of recovery groups in Kentucky, Colorado, Florida and Texas, to name a few.
- Good360 – Good360 is our go-to partner for in-kind product donations. They work with corporate donors and nonprofit partners to ensure that “the right goods are delivered to the right people at the right time.” Our funding supports Good360’s disaster warehouse activation project, which provides an expanded and scalable network of warehouse partners and space across disaster-affected areas of the U.S. for donations in short and long-term recovery. When we learn of a local need for products, we know a quick connection to our contacts at Good360 will often get that need fulfilled.
- Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) – ITDRC provides communities with the technology resources necessary to continue operations and begin recovery after a disaster. We fund ITDRC to provide these technology and communications resources in communities without access to them and that need their services for long-term recovery. We have helped strengthen their capacity for immediate response, too. Our current funding focuses on resources in eastern Kentucky following the floods in Appalachia and western Florida to continue services provided following Hurricane Ian.
- Vibrant Emotional Health – Vibrant manages the Disaster Distress Helpline, the first national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. Vibrant’s Crisis Emotional Care Team (CECT) cares for those in the acute and long-term recovery phases of a disaster. They have a cadre of mental health professionals across the U.S. and territories ready to activate locally when a disaster happens. Our current grant with Vibrant funds preparedness training for organizations and persons responding to disasters, as we know those local responders can benefit from learning how to care for themselves and their communities in traumatic situations. We often connect our local partners to the team at Vibrant to help them navigate the traumatic effects of disasters on the people they are serving, for themselves and their teams.
These are only some national nonprofit partners we work with to help strengthen and sustain local long-term recovery from disasters. Others include legal services providers, housing support providers, disaster case management providers and more. They all go above and beyond and often help us identify local needs and organizations meeting those needs that we can support, as well. These nonprofit groups and others like them are indeed CDP’s partners in providing an equitable recovery for all.
Editor’s note: Read the full list of our current U.S.-based grantee partners we support through CDP’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund, COVID-19 Response Fund, California Wildfires Recovery Fund, Disaster Recovery Fund and Midwest Early Recovery Fund.