Giving Compass' Take:

• Ana-Marie Jones of Philanthropy California shares its organizational resilience-building approach that will advance equity and justice for the most vulnerable communities it serves. 

• Why is it essential to think about the most vulnerable communities in times of disaster? How are their needs different? 

• Read more about disaster relief and recovery. 

In 2019, Philanthropy California — an alliance of Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego Grantmakers — underwent a statewide planning and training process to enhance our individual and collective capacities to respond to disasters. This approach reflects the increasing frequency and severity of natural hazard events in California, which have disproportionately impacted our most vulnerable communities. Over the past two years, we responded to several wildfires up and down the state and received multiple inquiries about philanthropic responses to disasters from foundations across the country. Our coalition realized that as philanthropy-serving organizations, our role is not only to act as conveners and connectors for our philanthropic members; we also serve as purveyors of evidence-based best practices that promote community resilience centered in equity and justice.

To best serve as a liaison between funders, government agencies, and communities, Philanthropy California sought to achieve two organizational preparedness goals.

First, we ensured that every staff member within Philanthropy California understands our organizational responsibilities to our members and the broader philanthropic community when a disaster occurs in our state.

Second, our team could meaningfully contribute to our disaster response efforts by using a new statewide emergency communications platform by drawing upon their personal and professional expertise.

To achieve these two goals, we enlisted disaster preparedness expert Ana-Marie Jones to reframe our thinking and integrate our existing and new organizational tools into a more effective for every individual in our team. Through our work with Ana-Marie, we realized that the same practices could be helpful to many of our members and the agencies that they support. To best capture her insights and expertise, Alan Kwok, Philanthropy California’s Director of Disaster Resilience, spoke to Ana-Marie about how philanthropy can best strengthen organizational resilience, especially to advance equity and justice in our most vulnerable communities.

Read the full article about organizational resilience at Northern California Grantmakers.