Tag Archives: disaster grantmaking

When Disaster Philanthropy Hits Home

Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey (Photo: REUTERS/Les Stone/American Red Cross)

The clean-up and relief effort will be going on for weeks if not months, while the recovery and rebuilding will take years. There will come a point in the weeks to come when the work will transition from first response to recovery, when the American Red Cross will move on, and the long road to rebuilding will start.  If things in New Jersey unfold the way they have in other communities devastated by catastrophic events like this, we know that the philanthropic community will be deeply involved.

The challenges created by Sandy will be with us for a very long time, and yet we aren’t even sure what all of these challenges will be.  Additionally, there will be great opportunities to bring innovative ideas and practices to some of our longstanding problems. This is what philanthropy can do quite well.

—Nina Stack, CEO of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and President of the Forum’s Board in a new blog post at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation‘s site.

Read the full post here.


RAs Respond to Crisis in Japan

Last Friday Japan was struck by a 8.9 magnitude earthquake resulting in a devastating tsunami and an unfolding, perilous situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Regional associations have been working hard to coordinate responses by their members and share information about the latest news, needs, and resources. Below are a few highlights of how regionals are responding.

Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers

ABAG will serve as a clearinghouse for resources and information about relief efforts. The newly created Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts section of ABAG’s website will be updated as new information is received.  The Disaster Grantmaking section of the ABAG website provides additional resources. Continue reading

Help for Pakistan: An Update

Earlier this week, I posted a call for resources from regional associations responding to the flooding in Pakistan. Minnesota Council on Foundations has an informative post on their own blog, Philanthropy Potluck.

If you’re interested in helping the people of Pakistan, there are many trustworthy NGO’s responding to the disaster who are eager for your support — OxfamMercyCorpsDoctors Without Borders, and UNICEF among them. For a more complete list of options visit USA Today, or Asian American Giving.

To track ongoing developments in the philanthropic response to the floods in Pakistan, please visit the response page on the Council of Foundation’s site.

The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers is also gathering resources. They sent a newsletter to their membership yesterday including lots of good information and resources, among them:

To help you sort and filter the information on the philanthropic response to the floods in Pakistan, we have established an ABAG Pakistan Relief Efforts Webpage to provide you with the latest information and resources.

You can also visit the ABAG Disaster Grantmaking & Preparedness Webpage for information on grantmaking in times of a disaster and our region’s philanthropic response to previous disasters.

Keep those links and resources coming. This disaster is far from over as the UN warns that the specter of disease outbreak looms large, especially for the nation’s children.

Philanthropy for Pakistan

WarpedThe United Nations says it has yet to raise half its $460 million target. The World Health Organization has received commitments for just 25 percent of the $56 million it has asked for. One aid group has called donations from European countries “feeble.”

Relief agencies say they are puzzled by the lack of generosity, while analysts cite a mix of factors: the disaster’s low death toll, its timing during the northern hemisphere’s summer holidays — and fears that aid money will be squandered through corruption or make its way into the hands of the Taliban.

After a slow start, the U.N. and relief agencies say donations are now rising as the scale of the calamity becomes clear. But the response has been far less spectacular than the global generosity that followed Haiti’s earthquake and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Since late July, floods triggered by monsoon rains have washed through Pakistan from its mountainous northwest, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and an estimated 1.7 million acres (nearly 700,000 hectares) of farmland. Some 1,500 people have been killed, and 20 million are affected.

“The problem is that it’s not as immediate as an earthquake,” said Melanie Brooks of aid group CARE International. “It can’t be captured on a photograph like in Haiti. Someone wading through the water is not the same as seeing someone pulling a relative out of the rubble.”

What is your regional association doing to organize the relief response for flooding in Pakistan? Let me know and I’ll post back with resources.

Excerpts from AP. Photo used under Creative Commons license from NB77 on Flickr.

How Big is the Gulf Oil Spill? How Will Philanthropy Respond?

I’m sure you’ve all been following the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf that is slowly but surely making its way ashore.This morning, Brenda Camper, Executive Director of the Greater Escambia Community Foundation in Pensacola, Florida, gave us a front-seat view of the action on COF’s Re: Philanthropy blog: 

The trajectory maps predict the oil is less than eighty miles away and in some communities along the Gulf Coast the smell of salt water has been replaced with the stench of petroleum. Sadly, the seabirds, the dolphins, and all of our wildlife are especially vulnerable and while they may know something is amiss, they have no knowledge of the imminent danger. As federal waters are being closed to fishing, scores of cancellations for vacations and charter fishing trips are being received. Damage has already been done to the commercial fishing industry, and the poor who have to fish to eat.

It’s hard to imagine how big the impact of this spill might be. Paul Rademacher from Google Earth developed this tool that allows users to overlay the size of the Deepwater Horizon spill over any metropolitan area. Here’s how it looks over DC.


As Brenda points out in her post, it will be interesting to see how philanthropy will respond. After all, this is a man-made disaster, not an earthquake or tsunami. Even so, the suffering caused to both the environment and the economies of the Gulf Coast region inspires action. SECF is maintaining a page of resources that will be updated as this crisis develops.