(The following post was written by Stephen Sherman, reference librarian at the Foundation Center-Atlanta, and originally appeared on the Philanthropy Front and Center - Atlanta blog.)
The environmental disaster resulting from the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the subsequent sinking of the offshore oil rig will have long-lasting effects for marine life and communities in the Gulf states. As with other natural and man-made disasters, nonprofits and foundations stand to play a large part in the region's short- and long-term recovery. How are funders responding to the crisis so far? (Last updated: Thursday, June 3.)
The Southeastern Council of Foundations has created a resource page with links to information on how foundations in the Southeast are responding to the disaster.
The Greater New Orleans Foundation has created the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund to make emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the spill and to address the long-term economic, environmental, and cultural effects of the disaster. The foundation also provides links to spill-related resources and news coverage. Marco Cocito-Monoc, director of Regional Initiatives at GNOF, offers his thoughts on philanthropy's response to the crisis at the Council on Foundations RE:Philanthropy blog here.
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County in Florida has activated its Disaster Relief Fund to provide future support for nonprofits engaged in first-response work and help communities affected by the oil spill.
The Greater Escambia Community Foundation has formed the Pensacola Environmental Relief Fund to support nonprofit organizations engaged in response and cleanup efforts in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida. The fund will support efforts to assess, protect, and clean fragile coastal habitats and save wildlife in harm's way.
The Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health (GCF), a project managed by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is currently providing emergency grants to organizations participating in first-responder efforts and will work to coordinate communication among coastal organizations, government agencies, and affected communities. Read this Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the Gulf Coast Fund's response to the oil spill.
The Florida Philanthropic Network is tracking the response of funders and nonprofit organizations in that state. The Network's Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Relief & Response page lists regional grantmakers that have opened funds for disaster response, nonprofit organizations that are accepting donations or providing immediate assistance in the wake of the spill, and links to government resources.
The Environmental Grantmakers Association and many partners are organizing a series of webinars about the role and response of philanthropy to the disaster. The first of these was presented yesterday, May 6, but other sessions will be held in the near future. Further information can be found at the COF blog. Please note that these programs are geared toward foundation trustees and staff and are not intended to provide funding information for grantseekers.
Information on the federal response to the disaster, along with links to state resources and volunteer information, can be found at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
Lenny Kravitz headlined a benefit concert, called Gulf Aid, to raise funds for wetland recovery efforts and for Louisiana fishermen who were affected by the disaster. The event took place Sunday, May 16, in New Orleans, and featured a range of artists, including Ani DiFranco, Mos Def, John Legend, and Allen Toussaint. The concert is reported to have raised over $300,000 for relief efforts in the region. Further details on the event can be found here.
As reported by the Chronicle, BP America recently made a $1 million contribution to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana. These funds will go towards emergency food assistance and financial counseling for local fishermen and their families who have been directly impacted by the disaster.
- Deepwater Horizon Disaster | PhilanTopic
- Gulf Oil Spill News and Information
- Gulf Coast Oil Disaster: How You Can Help | National Audubon Society
- IBRRC In Action: Saving Oiled Wildlife in the Gulf | International Bird Rescue Research Center
- Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: How You Can Help | Idealist.org
- The Oil Spill and the Conservancy’s Response | Nature Conservancy
- How You Can Help Wildlife Impacted by the BP Oil Spill | National Wildlife Federation
- Oil Spill Academic Task Force (FL)
- Fishermen and Others Turn to Charities for Aid Along the Gulf Coast | Chronicle of Philanthropy
- Philanthropic Response to Gulf Oil Disaster: Is It Enough? | onPhilanthropy
- Organization Gives Donors a Firsthand Look at Oil Spill’s Consequences in Effort to Raise Funds | Chronicle of Philanthropy
Know of other resources not included here? Use the comments section below and we'll add them to the list.
(Photo credit: CNET News)
-- Stephen Sherman