08 Nov Good360 Partners with Center for Disaster Philanthropy to Strengthen Disaster Logistics
At Good360, we have made a clarion call for a paradigm shift in disaster giving — one that emphasizes a more thoughtful approach to disaster response as well as more effective philanthropy to better support the long-term recovery of affected communities. To be sure, we are not alone in this ambitious effort. Chief among our allies is the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which has become one of the disaster community’s leading sources of data and research on purposeful giving. The CDP’s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters. Its flagship annual report, Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy, is a deeply researched, data-driven analysis of how disaster-affected communities are benefiting from the dollars allocated to them. By gathering data that drives innovating thinking, it’s fair to say that the CDP has fast become one of the most influential voices in disaster giving. In fact, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Facebook made the decision to direct its official fundraising plea to the CDP (and promptly crashed its website). The organization has also garnered support from Google and other major donors.
Given the group’s influence in shaping disaster philanthropy, we were beyond thrilled to receive a $250,000 grant from the CDP in August to help accelerate Hurricane Harvey-related recovery. Specifically, the funds are being used to improve the distribution, warehousing and pre-staging of needed goods in southeast Texas so that they can be more accessible to Good360’s nonprofit partners. “Natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey result in a lengthy recovery period that is often overlooked,” said Robert G. Ottenhoff, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, in awarding the grant. “There are still gaps in providing needed goods to support the recovery of communities in southeast Texas. By partnering with Good360, we will make significant steps forward in closing these gaps by expanding product distribution capabilities in the area.” The transportation and warehousing shortage in disaster recovery is a serious one. When disaster strikes, a critical step in coordinating an adequate response is not just procuring needed goods, but finding a way to get the right products to the right place at the right time. In many situations, smaller nonprofit organizations will resort to renting moving trucks or even their personal vehicles, diverting precious manpower and resources away from relief efforts. Larger nonprofits such as Good360 can turn to commercial shipping companies, which can be hugely expensive to deploy. In either case, the solutions are temporary, difficult to control, and not economical or scalable.
When a disaster on the level of Hurricane Harvey occurs, moving large-scale volumes of product donations is critical. But maneuvering semi-trucks through narrow (and flooded or damaged) residential streets poses a big challenge. Warehousing is another major issue in disaster recovery. Disaster agencies need places to store relief supplies and other goods. Unfortunately, large warehouses are not always readily available at rental rates that are friendly to nonprofits. Additionally, storm damage and other devastation after a disaster can render many facilities inoperable or inaccessible. Good360’s partnership with CDP is helping to solve some of these roadblocks to recovery in Texas. Our work in the region has brought us into contact with many national and local groups that have been limited by their ability to pick up and store the amount of goods that’s sufficient for disaster response. To start, we have purchased a 26-foot box truck, which is much larger than what is available to most small nonprofits. Additionally, we have secured 4,000 square footage of warehouse space for storage in support of our regional partners. Our truck will be used in conjunction with our warehouse to deliver large quantities of supplies in places semi-trucks cannot easily go. With a local warehouse, we’re also able to pre-stage highly needed early response goods, such as batteries, flashlights, PPE, wipes, blankets and long-term recovery: furniture, insulation, flooring, and roofing.
The CDP grant is just one initiative among many that Good360 has pursued to support the recovery of communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. These include:
- Partnering with the Rebuild Texas Fund to distribute millions of dollars worth of product donations
- Bringing together Crate and Barrel with the United Way of Galveston County Mainland and High Socks for Hope to spend a week distributing furniture to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Harvey
- Partnering with Casper and Eight Days of Hope to bring much-needed mattresses to help 80 families recover in Dickinson, Texas, where an estimated 80 percent of households were affected by Harvey
Our new assets in southeast Texas will ensure that we continue to be a force-multiplier for organizations doing good in this region. We’re looking forward to leveraging our new capabilities to create opportunities to assist our nonprofit partners and help communities in their years-long recovery process.