Like a lot of smaller funders, the 20-year-old McCarthy Family Foundation operated out of Treasurer Tim McCarthy's home office. He learned a lot of important lessons about disasters the hard way after his home was among the hundreds of properties destroyed in the October 2007 San Diego wildfires.
The foundation had no disaster evacuation or recovery plan. And it is in good company, according to Kris Putnam-Walkerly, president of Putnam Community Investment Consulting, who has helped San Francisco Bay Area funders develop a plan to prepare for a major local disaster. Many organizations large and small have no plan. She said the barrier to disaster preparedness is summed up in a quote from Michael Selves, a director of emergency management in Kansas:
"Our job is to tell you things you don't want to hear, asking you to spend money you don't have for something you don't believe will ever happen."
On the National Center's September teleconference, Putnam-Walkerly outlined basic measures any funder can take to "get your foundation up and running in the event of a disaster." And it's not just about protecting records but also about how to be able to continue to support grantees at a time when they may be suffering from the same emergency and have more demand for their services...
To read more go to the National Center for Family Philanthropy