Disaster Initiative FAQs
- What are the objectives of this initiative?
The Disaster Relief Initiative has explored how local, national and international relief agencies respond to disasters and how individual community members can be involved in supporting disaster relief efforts. We have learned that preparedness is critically important, both in terms of a community’s ability to recover from a disaster and a relief agency’s ability to respond quickly and effectively. We are now focusing on how to encourage collaborations and partnerships that will enhance local community resilience to disasters.
- Why is TPF interested in the disaster space?
Dorothy and Jim Patterson were concerned about supporting people – individuals and families – who were victims of poverty, illness and personal disasters. The Patterson Foundation honors their values through its long-term focus to provide relief for individuals and families in crisis.
- How does TPF define disasters?
A disaster could be any natural disaster occurring anywhere in the world, from a hurricane here in Florida to an earthquake in Japan, to a famine in a developing country. A disaster could also include the human impact from a significant terrorist attack such as 9/11 or the Madrid bombings. We believe that the values of TPF – collaboration to leverage resources and ideas, exploring new solutions, and inspiring communication and risk-taking – can foster ways to bring a local caring community together to enhance the response to victims of disaster.
- Does TPF give directly to agencies that provide disaster assistance?
The Patterson Foundation does not make individual grants to agencies. Rather, TPF fosters collaboration and network building, including the creative use of communications and technology to enhance the impact of organizations and caring communities in response to disasters. The Patterson Foundation is focused on how to build connective tissue within and across communities and organizations that enhances the work of preparing for and responding to disasters.
- Is your work local, national or global in focus?
We look at disaster geography and engagement in three concentric circles:
Local – TPF is not only engaged in disasters as a primary initiative, but we are also physically located in one of the most disaster prone states in the nation, Florida. It is our duty, as humanitarians and citizens of this state to be engaged with the local disaster organizations.
Regionally – TPF is a proud member of The Southeastern Council of Foundations www.secf.org and firmly believes that foundations can, and should have a greater impact on disaster preparedness and community resilience. Therefore, TPF is committed to working with foundations in the eleven southeastern states to become better stewards of our donations, investments, and humanitarian leadership.
Globally –TPF supports the cross-specialty network of communication and sharing of resources. For example, TPF invests in NetHope www.nethope.org , a communication technology catalyst for collaboration among humanitarian organizations.
- What phase of the disaster cycle do you work in – resilience, rescue, response, recovery?
Rather than focusing on the disaster “Rs”, TPF focuses on ways to look at and improve the entire cycle. We do this through three lenses – communication, finance, and technology. For example, improving communication between relief agencies, the beneficiary community, donors, media, governments – all stakeholders – will improve communication throughout the disaster cycle and ensure better community resilience.
- How do I make a proposal for funds?
Rather than accepting proposals for grants, TPF undertakes its work via strategic initiatives with partners selected by the foundation. In other words, our initiative managers research issues in depth and identify potential opportunities for improvement. They then identify potential partners or networks of partners for collaborative engagement.
How will TPF begin its disaster work?
TPF has already begun its journey on improving community resilience to disaster events. See www.disaster.thepattersonfoundation.org for additional examples of TPF disaster work and how we connect with innovators and thought leaders in the disaster environment.
TPF has stated that each initiative has an exit strategy to determine when TPF will exit the each initiative. What is the disaster initiative’s exit strategy?
TPF has identified disaster as one of its primary and ongoing initiatives. We will work at improving community resilience from catastrophic disasters as long as appropriate.
What’s next and how will we learn about TPF’s work?
The Patterson Foundation is now exploring how to encourage leveraging of partnerships by relief organizations that value collaboration and exploring new approaches. You can learn about our work by checking our website and following our blogs.