Here in hurricane-prone Florida we are definitely hard-wired to want to reach out and help our fellow Americans in other parts of the country when disaster strikes. The communities in Oklahoma that were struck by this week’s tornadoes are in the first steps of what we know will be a long road ahead of them to deal with a myriad of immediate, intermediate and long-term relief and recovery needs. If you want to give a donation to help with relief and recovery efforts in Oklahoma, here are some options to consider:
- Gifts to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund will help meet the needs of those impacted by the tornadoes. Gifts to the foundation’s Community Emergency Fund will be directed to nonprofit organizations that are providing immediate, direct assistance to those impacted by the tornadoes.
- The Tulsa Community Foundation has created the Moore & Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund to assist with the mid- and longer-term needs of those affected by the storm. The George Kaiser Family Foundation has seeded this fund with the first $100,000.
- You can also consider donations to nonprofit organizations that are on the ground providing assistance in Oklahoma, including the American Red Cross, Central and Western Oklahoma Region and the Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma.
- The United Way of Central Oklahoma has reactivated its disaster relief fund and is accepting donations to help with immediate, intermediate and long-term relief and recovery needs. Fund dollars will be distributed without administrative fees to United Way Partner Agencies working on tornado relief efforts. The Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation announced a combined grant of $2 million to the United Way to support tornado relief and recovery efforts in Oklahoma.
As foundations consider how they may want to respond to the disaster in Oklahoma, I’d like to remind everyone of a great resource published last year by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a founding member of FPN, “Creating Order From Chaos: Roles for Philanthropy in Disaster Planning and Response,” which outlines 12 roles where philanthropy can be of greatest help in times of crisis. The publication is based on the foundation’s experience in working on the ground with its community partners to respond to the devastating tornadoes in Alabama in 2011. We held a webinar based on the publication last summer (you can view the archived webinar here), and last year I wrote a blog post about the webinar and the publication. I encourage you to check them out. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy also has some helpful information and resources for donors related to Oklahoma tornado recovery.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been impacted by the tornadoes in Oklahoma this week.
– David Biemesderfer, President & CEO, Florida Philanthropic Network