Kari McCann Boutell, President Iowa Council of Foundations
As we enter into April, we see signs of spring all around us. Farmers are anxious to get in the fields; teachers and students look forward to summer break; and everyone is ready for more warmth and sunshine. For those who work in disaster preparedness, response and recovery, spring is a time for preparation. As community foundations, you all have important roles you can play in this space and we hope the resources we have curated in our Disaster Philanthropy Resource Page can be a helpful guide to getting you started in your planning, or in refreshing your plans for the year ahead. Through our participation in The Funders’ Network’s Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership (PPREP) cohort, we have learned alongside community foundations – including some of our own members – and other philanthropy serving organizations about the important role community foundations play in disaster philanthropy. TFN recently released a new report, Community Foundations: Drivers of Inclusive and Meaningful Local Change, which details much of this learning and highlights some of our members: Quad Cities Community Foundation, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, and Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. I hope you will take some time to review this comprehensive and informative report. As the pandemic persists in our country and our world, we know everyone is being impacted in some way. Consider how the Iowa Community Foundations Initiative Disaster Philanthropy Toolkit can be a resource to you as you navigate both pandemic response as well as preparedness for natural disasters in your communities. You can never plan or build positive, trusting relationships with partners too early. The best time to begin this work is now!