If you are reading this missive, you are likely searching for a way to respond to the tornado outbreak that devastated communities in at least six states. With that in mind, I will ask you to do something that might sound surprising: Please do not do anything yet. Instead, let’s PAUSE for a moment.

At the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), we know that 80% of all philanthropic giving ceases within the first two months following an event. And, we know that upwards of 55% of philanthropic giving is directed toward relief and response (our annual Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy report outlines these figures further).

We know that the needs of those affected by the tornadoes are so front and center, our hearts, minds and wallets tend to go immediately to response. I implore you, however, to also focus on supporting tornado-affected communities’ recovery.

So what does PAUSE mean? And what does focusing on recovery mean? Here are some examples:

  • Learn what the community wants/needs.
  • Take the long view.
  • Recognize there are places private philanthropy can help that government agencies might not.
  • Support existing grantee partners in the region.
  • Look to community foundations for partnership.
  • Ask the experts.

Read the full article about long-term recovery in tornado-hit communities by Regine A. Webster at The Center for Disaster Philanthropy.