CDP Awards Grant for Flood Recovery in Rural Nebraska

Grant from CDP’s Midwest Early Recovery Fund Will Help Flood Recovery in DeWitt, Nebraska

Washington, DC – The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has awarded a $51,688 grant from the Midwest Recovery Fund to help DeWitt, Nebraska recover from historic flooding. The grant, given to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in nearby Beatrice, Nebraska, will fund a disaster case  and supervisor to reach out to those families and individuals in DeWitt with un-met needs and help connect them to important resources.

On May 7, 2015, southeast Nebraska recorded its largest single day rainfall in 110 years. In DeWitt, a small rural community of 570 residents 40 miles south of Lincoln, flood waters rose so quickly the entire town was evacuated and sheltered overnight in a nearby school as nearly a foot of rain submerged roads, cars, and homes. More than 50 percent of the 250 homes in DeWitt were significantly damaged by the flood.

“This kind of disaster is why the Midwest Early Recovery Fund was created,” said Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. “The Fund is designed to help vulnerable populations living in communities in the Midwest that have been affected by ‘low-attention’ disasters. These are events such as tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes, landslides, or wildfires that, while destructive, don’t receive the same attention – and, therefore, less funding for recovery – as more catastrophic events.”

“The aim is to get money quickly and efficiently to organizations working with people who are most vulnerable,” said Ottenhoff. “The Fund uses a streamlined grantmaking process to make awards to organizations in 10 states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.”

“It is our hope that CDP’s lead gift will inspire other donors to consider giving to DeWitt, collaborating with CDP on information sharing, and adding disaster planning and long term response to their grantmaking activities,” said Ottenhoff.

CDP’s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters. With an emphasis on recovery and disaster risk reduction, CDP aims to:

  • Increase the effectiveness of contributions given to disasters;
  • Bring greater attention to the life cycle of disasters, from preparedness and planning, to relief, to rebuilding and recovery efforts;
  • Provide timely and relevant advice from experts with deep knowledge of disaster philanthropy;
  • Conduct due diligence so donors can give with confidence; and
  • Create plans for informed giving for individuals, corporations and foundations.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy mobilizes philanthropy to strengthen communities’ ability to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. It provides expert advice and resources while managing domestic and international disaster funds on behalf of corporations, foundations and individuals through targeted, holistic and localized grantmaking. Find out more at and on Twitter @funds4disaster.