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Philanthropic Response to the Gulf Oil Spill

May 07, 2010

(The following post was written by Stephen Sherman, reference librarian at the Foundation Center-Atlanta, and originally appeared on the Philanthropy Front and Center - Atlanta blog.)

NOAA_rig_on_fire_540x405 The environmental disaster resulting from the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the subsequent sinking of the offshore oil rig will have long-lasting effects for marine life and communities in the Gulf states. As with other natural and man-made disasters, nonprofits and foundations stand to play a large part in the region's short- and long-term recovery. How are funders responding to the crisis so far? (Last updated: Thursday, June 3.)

The Southeastern Council of Foundations has created a resource page with links to information on how foundations in the Southeast are responding to the disaster.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation has created the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund to make emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the spill and to address the long-term economic, environmental, and cultural effects of the disaster. The foundation also provides links to spill-related resources and news coverage. Marco Cocito-Monoc, director of Regional Initiatives at GNOF, offers his thoughts on philanthropy's response to the crisis at the Council on Foundations RE:Philanthropy blog here.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County in Florida has activated its Disaster Relief Fund to provide future support for nonprofits engaged in first-response work and help communities affected by the oil spill.

The Greater Escambia Community Foundation has formed the Pensacola Environmental Relief Fund to support nonprofit organizations engaged in response and cleanup efforts in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida. The fund will support efforts to assess, protect, and clean fragile coastal habitats and save wildlife in harm's way.

The Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health (GCF), a project managed by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is currently providing emergency grants to organizations participating in first-responder efforts and will work to coordinate communication among coastal organizations, government agencies, and affected communities. Read this Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the Gulf Coast Fund's response to the oil spill.

The Florida Philanthropic Network is tracking the response of funders and nonprofit organizations in that state. The Network's Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Relief & Response page lists regional grantmakers that have opened funds for disaster response, nonprofit organizations that are accepting donations or providing immediate assistance in the wake of the spill, and links to government resources.

The Environmental Grantmakers Association and many partners are organizing a series of webinars about the role and response of philanthropy to the disaster. The first of these was presented yesterday, May 6, but other sessions will be held in the near future. Further information can be found at the COF blog. Please note that these programs are geared toward foundation trustees and staff and are not intended to provide funding information for grantseekers.

Information on the federal response to the disaster, along with links to state resources and volunteer information, can be found at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.

Lenny Kravitz headlined a benefit concert, called Gulf Aid, to raise funds for wetland recovery efforts and for Louisiana fishermen who were affected by the disaster. The event took place Sunday, May 16, in New Orleans, and featured a range of artists, including Ani DiFranco, Mos Def, John Legend, and Allen Toussaint. The concert is reported to have raised over $300,000 for relief efforts in the region. Further details on the event can be found here.

As reported by the Chronicle, BP America recently made a $1 million contribution to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana. These funds will go towards emergency food assistance and financial counseling for local fishermen and their families who have been directly impacted by the disaster.

Additional resources:

Know of other resources not included here? Use the comments section below and we'll add them to the list.

(Photo credit: CNET News)

-- Stephen Sherman

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Posted by Jessica McKelvie Kemp  |   June 02, 2010 at 05:19 PM

The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation has established a BP Drilling Disaster Fund and has already provided more $100k in immediate relief for independent fishers and their families who have been deeply impacted by the disaster. Learn more at www.louisianahelp.org

Posted by Kate Wynne  |   June 18, 2010 at 02:28 PM


LAFAYETTE, La. —Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) announces the establishment of three funds in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster (Oil Spill). CFA will act as a conduit to direct charitable dollars to those agencies providing relief and recovery in the south Louisiana communities directly affected by the Oil Spill. Donations can be made immediately through CFA.

Donors are encouraged to establish a fund of their own through CFA, in addition to these three funds, to address their specific objectives in relation to the Oil Spill or any other philanthropic objective. CFA’s goal is to organize the giving process so that donors can connect with the causes they care about and to provide leadership in response to community needs, especially in times of natural or man-made disaster.

CFA services the 8-parish region of Acadiana including: Acadia, Evangeline, Lafayette, Iberia, St. Landry, Vermillion, St. Mary and St. Martin. Many of which are already seeing direct effects of the Oil Spill pertaining to their wetlands, fishing industry and wildlife.

The following three funds will make emergency grants in the short-term and address the long-term economic, environmental and cultural effects of the Oil Spill:

1. Gulf Aid Acadiana Fund – Fund founders and local leaders including musician and author Zachary Richard, avid kayak fisherman Valerie Gonsoulin, and community organizer and producer Todd Mouton established this fund with CFA to direct charitable dollars to help fishermen, women and their families affected by the spill in the short-term. It will assist in restoration of the ecological vitality of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands in the long-term. Zachary Richard is also promoting this fund while on tour in Canada; the founders will pull together concerts and other events to raise money. The fund is advised and supported by local leaders: Bradley Black, Jen Mouton, Cathi Pavy, Francis Pavy, Mark Davis, Susan Norris and Tyrone Foreman.

2. South Louisiana Recovery Fund – CFA will strategically grant dollars to organizations throughout south Louisiana that are working to clean the coast and help those families affected by the Oil Spill.

3. Iberia Parish Oil Spill Relief Fund – Advisory Board of Directors for Iberia Parish Enhancement Fund (IPEF), a geographic affiliate of CFA, elected to establish this fund to address the specific needs in the recovery effort to the Oil Spill in Iberia Parish. Charitable grants from this fund will remain exclusively in Iberia Parish.

“Community Foundation of Acadiana will act as a conduit for local, national, and international donors,” says Raymond Hebert, executive director at CFA, “in order to connect them in making a difference in the Oil Spill recovery in the most effective manner including the best use of their charitable gifts.”

Todd Mouton, co-founder of the Gulf Aid Acadiana Fund stated, “Community Foundation of Acadiana is an amazing resource, their work after the 2005 hurricanes demonstrated the organization's sensitivity and effectiveness, and we're proud to partner with them. We know there's some good we can do here at home."

There are two ways to donate to one or more of these funds. To donate online visit www.cfacadiana.org, click “Donate Now” and access the fund of your choice in the drop down menu. Donations can also be mailed to Community Foundation of Acadiana, 1035 Camellia Blvd., Ste. 100, Lafayette, LA 70508 with the specific fund name on the memo line. For questions or to start your own fund, call Raymond Hebert at 337.769.4840. More information can be found on the CFA website at www.cfacadiana.org. Find CFA on Facebook.

About Community Foundation of Acadiana:
Community Foundation of Acadiana’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our region by increasing giving, connecting donors to what they care about, and providing leadership on community needs and opportunities. CFA’s goal is to make giving more effective and organized. Currently CFA has made donor-initiated grants totaling almost $20 million. CFA represents an 8-parish region including: Acadia, Evangeline, Lafayette, Iberia, St. Landry, Vermillion, St. Mary and St. Martin. CFA is a tax-exempt, non-profit, non-sectarian public charity and, as a ‘public’ foundation it provides maximum tax benefits for donors. There are over 650 successful foundations in the U.S. with CFA situated as the premier philanthropic organization for south central Louisiana. Location: 1035 Camellia Boulevard, Suite 100, River Ranch, Lafayette, LA 70508.

Posted by Paul  |   August 13, 2010 at 03:05 AM

I've been looking for this post. And my colleague refer it to me. Very interesting content indeed.

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