Photo: PSE Dinner with CDP

Creating Connections in Disaster Philanthropy

Posted on December 16, 2023 by Kellie Alexander, TPF Fellow 2022/24
In November of 2022, Fellows with The Patterson Foundation (TPF) were prepared and ready to travel to Amelia Island for the Philanthropy Southeast conference (PSE). However, the night before, our plans quickly changed as Hurricane Nicole aimed to hit Florida's east coast. While last year we did not have the opportunity for connection and collaboration, the 2023 PSE conference came back strong. Regardless, the conversation about hurricanes and other natural hazards did not disappear.

Patty McIlreavy, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), joined a dinner hosted by TPF in Montgomery, AL, during the 2023 PSE conference. The night was a joy, complete with the attendance of philanthropic leadership from several states, including Florida, the Carolinas, Louisiana, Virginia, and regional-focused organizations.

Attendees had the opportunity to share how their organization focused on disasters and ask additional questions to grow strategy and impact. Patty shared powerful perspectives throughout the evening, including an evaluation of the definition of disaster. When approaching storms as inevitable hazards and disasters as when a hazard meets vulnerabilities, every foundation is a disaster funder. CDP is a resource for the philanthropic community and provides strategy and education that assist funders and donors in making thoughtful decisions on funding opportunities. TPF supports CDP by connecting foundations and partners to CDP's work. This dinner is an example of sharing cookies, weaving stronger connective tissue among the philanthropic sector, and creating lasting connections in the Southeast. Subsequent to our evening together, we learned that deeper connections with CDP evolved.

Grateful to those who joined TPF's dinner with Patty and spent intentional time discussing their communities and new perspectives on disaster funding.

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