Disaster Philanthropy Playbook Launched to Help Philanthropic Community Respond to Disasters

Washington, DC – The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, a comprehensive resource of best practices and innovative approaches to guide the philanthropic community in responding to future disasters, is now available for use at www.disasterplaybook.org.

playbook_logoDesigned as a multimedia, interactive website, the Playbook will be an “evergreen” resource designed for continued updates and knowledge-building. Community planning, civic rebuilding, legal services, housing, addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, working with local, state and federal government, mitigation and preparedness are some of the common issues faced by communities post disaster that are covered in detail in the Playbook.

The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is a joint project of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Council of New Jersey Grantmakers in association with the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

“The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to help the philanthropy community respond to disasters effectively,” said Robert Ottenhoff, President and CEO of CDP. “The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is a logical extension of that mission. Through the Playbook, we can provide philanthropic organizations across the country and around the world with the information they need to effectively meet the short-, mid- and long-term needs of communities struck by disaster.”

“The day after Hurricane Sandy crashed into New Jersey the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers began planning a series of actions to help inform the philanthropic sector about what to be prepared for, share information and discuss strategies,” said Nina Stack, President of CNJG. “We had the good fortune to hear from funder colleagues across the country who willingly and generously shared their hard-earned expertise so that foundations and corporations could make meaningful grants and avoid pitfalls.  It was this sharing of first-hand knowledge – strategies that worked – that we felt had to be catalogued and exchanged for all in the philanthropic community to benefit.”

“We at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers are proud to have been a part of the creation of the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook and look forward to its use by our member organizations,” said David Biemesderfer, President and CEO of the Forum. “Many of our regional associations and their member organizations have been confronted with disasters in their communities and have responded to the best of their ability and knowledge. Now, with access to the information in the Playbook, they can create proactive plans to respond when future disasters strike.”

Development of the Disaster Playbook was supported by contributions from the Rita Allen Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Public Service Electric and Gas, the UPS Foundation, the Vermont Community Foundation, and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

“When disasters and tragedies strike communities, we are moved to want to help in any way we can,” said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation. “Yet recovery efforts can be so much more effective if they begin before a crisis, in building resilient and knowledgable networks of support. The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook  takes a proactive approach to helping communities deal effectively with disasters before and after they occur. The Disaster Playbook will help the philanthropic community across the country save lives and livelihoods and ensure a quick recovery when disaster strikes. That is a highly transformative way to approach disasters. And it’s one we’re honored to have been a part of from the very start.”

“Disasters inevitably disrupt health care in a community, both for those in need of critical care and those with chronic health conditions,” said Kim Keller of Johnson & Johnson. “It’s vital for communities to get their health care infrastructure back up and running as quickly as possible after a disaster to deal with injuries and to ensure continued care for those who need it. We are proud to have supported the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook as a resource for philanthropy to help communities return to a healthy state.”

“The safety of employees and customers is of paramount importance to utility and power companies during disasters. The PSEG Foundation sees the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook as a tool to help donor organizations prepare their communities for disasters and educate them about how to respond when power is lost. We urge donor communities to use their local utility websites as a resource for their communities as they fund preparedness and response initiatives.”

“At UPS our expertise is in logistics,” said Joe Ruiz, director of The UPS Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief & Resilience Program. “We stress the importance of disaster preparedness, knowing that having a plan of action in place in advance and the resources to execute that plan are essential to success. This is particularly true when you are dealing with the chaos of a disaster. Last year, The UPS Foundation delivered 263 humanitarian relief shipments across 43 countries. As a longtime supporter of the work of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, we are proud to support the development of the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook. UPS believes it will prove to be an invaluable tool to help the philanthropic community to respond when the unexpected happens.”

“We know what it’s like to help communities recover after a disaster,” said Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, Senior Philanthropic Advisor for Program and Grants of the Vermont Community Foundation. “ In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene devastated Vermont with flooding caused by heavy rains. We responded with everything we had to help communities recover. We believe that the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, highlighting the response experiences of dozens of philanthropic organizations nationwide, provides a road map that will benefit the philanthropic community  when the time comes to respond to disasters and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

“The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is an important and innovative step in how we respond to disasters,” said Nancy Anthony, President of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.  “Our Foundation is, unfortunately, an expert on reacting to community disasters after our experience with the aftermath of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing. Since then, we have often worked with other communities in times of disaster. And we know how often they are unprepared to deal with all of the issues around disaster recovery. The Playbook will be a great resource for philanthropic organizations to help communities.”

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 Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (CNJG) is the center for philanthropy in New Jersey, serving the leading independent, corporate, family and community foundations as well as public grantmakers of our state.  We support our members by strengthening their capacity to address New Jersey and society’s most difficult problems. We also access the resources of the philanthropic community – funding, expertise, leverage – to provide leadership on statewide issues. In addition to its work on Post Sandy recovery, past leadership efforts of the Council include a study of healthcare conversions and their philanthropic legacies; creating access to philanthropic dollars in underserved communities including championing the creation of the Community Foundation of South Jersey; and facilitating the landmark Facing Our Future work on fiscal crisis impacting all levels of New Jersey government.

The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers is a philanthropic network comprised of 33 regional associations of grantmakers with more than 5,500 participating organizations, making it the largest network in American philanthropy. With deep regional roots and a broad nationwide reach, the Forum Network facilitates effective philanthropy that strengthens communities and improves lives throughout the United States. We fill an important role in the philanthropic sector by improving the effectiveness of foundations and expanding their capacity to advance the common good. For more information about the Forum, visit www.givingforum.org.

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 disasterphilanthropy.org and on Twitter @funds4disaster.