Guest Blog: How can foundations support disaster response and recovery?

Guest Blog: How can foundations support disaster response and recovery?

Posted on September 28, 2012 by Guest Blogger

Editor's Note: Veronica Taylor is a consultant specializing in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. She previously worked with The Patterson Foundation to help deepen its understanding of the disaster space. As a guest blogger, she will cover issues relevant to the disaster sector. To connect, email:

This is the third blog in a series of promising practices for investing in disaster response and recovery. From leadership to legal assistance – to one of my hot buttons, “forgotten emergencies”.  Join in the brainstorming, or let us know if you’re working on one of these concepts with a partner. Spread the word, share the knowledge, and solve the problems! This is a call to ACTION!

Fund legal intern programs, case management programs, and grant writers to supplement the peak period of recovery. 

  • Communities cannot recover from a disaster without these three resources – and there’s never enough. Reach out to professional associations in your state or around the country. Look for multi-organization collaboration and match funding. Provide communications vehicles to insure timely and uniform information.

Develop a network of loaned leadership for support during times of disaster.

  • Often, leadership is directly impacted by the disaster and can’t perform regular duties during that time period. Look for qualified volunteers from the same industry to temporarily step in. This is especially good for board development or additional board support for an interim period. Think about getting your foundation board engaged.

Introduce annual ‘forgotten emergency’  funding, similar to the humanitarian prize.

  • This summer when Tropical Storm Debby came through, the wildfires in Colorado were raging and the temperatures in the north were soaring and thousands of people were in shelters because of lost electricity. Disaster response agencies were maxed out and there were few donations. Embrace these “forgotten emergencies” and beat the drums! Call a press conference each time you fund an emergency, together with partners, and explain why the foundation chose that emergency, to help it be a little less forgotten.


  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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