Innovative Practices

Center for Disaster Philanthropy Disaster Recovery Fund

This fund is launched following a major disaster or crisis and provides the opportunity for many donors to come together and fund long-term recovery projects focused on vulnerable populations. CDP’s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase and leverage donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters, with an emphasis on long-term recovery and disaster risk reduction. The fund has made more than 20 grants to various projects following Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, the Ebola pandemic and the 2015 Refugee Crisis.

Community Foundation of New Jersey and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Established the New Jersey Recovery Fund (NJRF) with grants from dozens of other funders. The NJRF, a funder collaborative, supports catalytic ideas and projects with an emphasis on collaboration, innovation, and sustainability as New Jersey recovers from Hurricane Sandy. Preference was given to efforts by nonprofit organizations and communities that: serve as demonstration projects from which others can learn; enhance projects funded with public dollars; and/or are complementary to other recovery efforts. The fund sought to attract flexible dollars that could be deployed as the wide-ranging effects of this disaster unfold. Not only did the Fund encourage the pooling of resources among private and corporate funders, but it also established a structure whereby its grantees could collaborate, thereby leveraging new resources and maximizing impact. Environmental organizations, public policy groups, arts and cultural nonprofits, community engagement organizations, and media outlets are all working collaboratively in order to achieve the greatest results for the people of New Jersey.

Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund

Established by the Governor and First Lady of NJ, this pooled fund organized as a nonprofit and raises and distributes funds to organizations that support the recovery and rebuilding efforts of New Jersey communities impacted by the storm. The Fund aims to make a sustainable, long-term impact and focuses on programs that address the unmet needs of New Jersey communities. More than 120 corporations and corporate foundations made grants to this fund in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. (Read a spotlight story about this Fund in Impact Stories.)

The Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Provided a large disaster recovery grant to The Indiana Association of United Ways in the wake of a deadly tornado in southwestern Indiana in 2012. The United Ways formed a steering committee, convened to determine a fiscal agent for the grant, collected funds from their communities as well as other donated funds from around the country, and established March2Recovery (M2R) the official long term recovery organization serving the residents of Clark, Jefferson, and Washington counties in Indiana. It grew out of Southern Indiana Community Organizations Active in Disaster (SINCOAD) and organized using best practices and guidance from National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Within a few months after the tornado struck, M2R had created an organization structured to handle a multi-million dollar recovery. (Read a spotlight story about this fund in Impact Stories.)

Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, FL

Coordinated recovery funding to streamline the process for non-profits to request funding from multiple local sources for disaster recovery funds in response to Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. The foundation created a coalition of funders comprised of Children’s Services Council, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, FLLost Tree Village Charitable Foundation, Inc., Sun Sentinel/McCormick Tribune Foundation, Palm Healthcare Foundation, Quantum Foundation, Allegany Franciscan Ministries and The JPB Foundation. Applications received by the United Way were summarized and then discussed by the participating funders. Individual funders then reviewed the applications they were interested in more thoroughly, requested more information from the agency if necessary, and coordinated their funding with the other funders.

Community Foundation of the Florida Keys

Led a collaborative community-driven fundraising campaign in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma to provide funding for basic needs.

Porter County Community Foundation

Participated in the United Way regional effort to respond to the serious flooding in northwest Indiana.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Collaborated with the United Way of Western Connecticut and a number of other funders, in order to coordinate efforts after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. They worked with both the greater Norwalk and greater Bridgeport long-term recovery committees and participated in the immediate and long-term planning efforts of a regional collaborative committee. This allowed them to hold back funding until it was really needed and use that funding to fill gaps.

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