Disaster Grantmaking Guide
27 January 2005 at 12:01 pm
An international disaster grantmaking guide coincidently published in November 2004 for foundations and corporations has found a ready readership in the light of the Tsunami relief efforts.
The Disaster Grantmaking: A Practical Guide for Foundations and Corporate Donors is a joint product of the European Foundation Centre and the Council on Foundations.
This booklet suggests eight principles of disaster grantmaking, plus practical tips for grantmakers to consider when responding to emergency situations. It also includes examples of good and bad practices, facts and figures, and a list of useful web sites.
As the guide points out, grantmakers have a distinct role to play in disasters because of their ongoing relationships with grantees, long-term perspectives, flexibility and convening capacity.
It says foundations and corporate grantmakers can make a significant contribution, for instance, by filling critical gaps in under-funded areas like disaster rehabilitation, prevention, research and education activities.
Based on lessons learned from a year-long study by a joint working group of the European Foundation Centre and the Council on Foundations, grantmakers can be more effective and strategic in addressing disasters by following eight principles of good disaster management such as:
1. First, do no harm.
2. Stop, look and listen before taking action.
3. Don’t act in isolation.
4. Think beyond the immediate crisis to the long-term.
5. Bear in mind the expertise of local organisations.
6. Find out how prospective grantees operate.
7. Be accountable to those you are trying to help.
8. Communicate your work widely, and use it as an educational tool.
A number of practical suggestions for good disaster grantmaking flow from these principles and are highlighted in this guide.
While discussions leading to this guide began well before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, and of course the recent Tsunami in Asia, those events serve to underscore the initiative’s timeliness and relevance.
For the purposes of this guide, the concept of a disaster encompasses natural events such as earthquakes, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, fires and floods, but also more complex emergencies that result in widespread human suffering like famine, civil conflict and acts of terrorism.
A joint working group, comprising members of the Council on Foundations and the European Foundation Centre compiled the information at the request of their respective memberships.
If you would like an electronic version of this guide just send us an email with the words ‘Disaster Grantmaking’ in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.