Preparing for the Worst: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Selected for Program to Build Skills for Philanthropic Response to Disasters

Published: July 2, 2014 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:

The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, which played a key role in the 2008 flood response by helping distribute funds to nonprofits, has been selected to participate in a new philanthropic-based disaster-preparedness, response, and recovery program.  The program is designed to help community foundations expand their ability to implement a philanthropic response to disasters, both in the immediate aftermath and during long-term community rebuilding.


Eighteen community foundations from across the Midwest will be a participating in the new two-year program, known as the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency, and Emergency Partnership (PPREP).


The program will provide resources, learning, and best practices so that participating community foundations can build their skills and leadership capacity in order to be better prepared to respond through philanthropy should a disaster occur. The program is managed by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.


“This program will allow us to reflect on what we’ve learned from the Flood of 2008 and will allow us to plan for future philanthropic responses to disaster,” says Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.  “We are honored to be selected and we look forward to learning from other participants who have undergone experiences we have not, such as terrorism, tornados and bridge collapses.”


For the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the two-year program will lead to actionable plans for disaster funding, grant making and communications, as well as a more thorough continuity of operations plan.


Community foundations frequently engage as philanthropic centers for disaster recovery.  Unique attributes include the ability to bring together service providers, community based organizations, businesses, government, and others, as well as their capacity to efficiently pool and distribute funds from donors. The PPREP program is designed to support the foundations and equip them with tools and knowledge they need to serve their communities when an immediate, effective, and coordinated response is of utmost importance.

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