February 12, 2016
By Elisabeth Hyleck, Programs and Initiatives Director, The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG)
The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers supports the coordination and education of the Baltimore-area philanthropic sector to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major local disaster. We’ve seen time and again that contributions from foundations and corporate giving programs have helped battered communities recover quickly and effectively from disasters – both natural and man-made.
When we are confronted with a disaster, we are often unsure of how to respond in the best and most effective way. Do we help with immediate humanitarian needs? Do we wait to help with rebuilding? What will the needs of these people be in six months or a year? It can be a confusing and overwhelming situation.
The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is a new tool to help the philanthropy community make these decisions. The Playbook is the comprehensive resource of best practices and innovative approaches to guide us as we prepare for and respond to future disasters. It’s now available at www.disasterplaybook.org.
Designed as a multimedia, interactive website, the Playbook compiles ideas and approaches from multiple organizations and is an “evergreen” resource designed for continued updates and knowledge-building. Community planning, civic rebuilding, legal services, housing, addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, working with local, state and federal government, mitigation and preparedness are some of the common issues faced by communities post disaster that are covered in detail in the Playbook.
The Playbook also allows organizations to prepare for all phases of a disaster. What can we do to plan and prepare our community? What about mitigation? How do we help build a resilient community? What should we think about in the months and years after a disaster as we undertake the arduous path of recovery?
ABAG members can visit ABAG’s webpage for Disaster Preparedness for tools specific for ABAG members and now includes the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook. The Playbook is a joint project of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Council of New Jersey Grantmakers in association with the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
Smart philanthropy is important when it comes to disasters. A bad response will literally put the lives of men, women, and children, and entire communities at risk. And it will create a negative impression of the organization making the response. We are pleased to share this new resource for philanthropy and encourage ABAG members to check it out.