Skip to content

Main Menu

When A Disaster Strikes: Helping People And Communities In the Best Ways

One of the greatest learning opportunities for any organization is interactive conversation with industry leaders. Even better is the chance to learn in the company of other colleagues in your region.

Patty McIlreavy, CEO, Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Last week, Manatee Community Foundation board members Tom Breiter, Amanda Horne and Jeanie Kirkpatrick were joined by our Community Investment Officer Simone Peterson at The Patterson Foundation‘s local funder gathering featuring Patty McIlreavy, CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP).

CDP provides expert advice and educational resources to support corporations, foundations and individuals through strategic grantmaking. They focus on all aspects of disaster recovery to strengthen disaster-affected communities, including preparedness and planning, rebuilding and addressing inequities that make vulnerabilities even more pronounced.

When disasters have impacted people in other parts of the country and world, Manatee Community Foundation staff have relied on CDP’s real-time situation updates and recommendations, and we have shared the opportunity to invest in CDP’s thoughtful recovery work with our donor advisors.

MCF’s Simone Peterson said, “At this learning opportunity, it was affirming to hear that the work that nonprofits do every day helps to mitigate what happens after a disaster strikes. But it also highlighted that we as a community need to plan now or perhaps confirm how we respond and partner together after a disaster.”

For individuals and organizations, we love CDP’s tips for disaster giving. It’s a must-read piece for anyone who either wants to give money or items during/after a disaster or who may be thinking about starting a new initiative. Sometimes truly helping looks different than what you might imagine.

How does Manatee Community Foundation prepare to address potential disasters in Manatee County?

  • We develop strong relationships with community partners who can collaborate with MCF to comprehensively address potential disasters.
  • We learn about existing inequities in our communities, including where vulnerable and underrepresented people are falling through the cracks, to understand those who are likely to be disproportionately impacted by a disaster.
  • We build connections with small, grassroots organizations working closely with people on a neighborhood level as well as large, well-established organizations that have the ability to scale support for large numbers of people.
  • MCF’s Disaster Fund is ready to be deployed when needed, focused on raising money to support people or animals in Manatee County through grantmaking.
  • We share disaster giving “do’s” and “don’ts” such as those available on CDP’s website.

For disasters outside of Manatee County, we have relationships and connections to other community foundations that know their regions and to organizations like the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, a trusted global expert.

Patty McIlreavy, we appreciate your inspiring leadership. Many thanks to Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation and Michael Corley, Consultant, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, for the invitation to participate in the conversation.