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Nonprofit Response and Recovery in Disaster

Tuesday, December 11, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matt Mullenix
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LANO staff commentary was recently featured in two national online publications.

The stories, released by The Nonprofit Times and The Kresge Foundation, highlight the importance of the nonprofit sector in disaster response and how to measure and address the organizational impact of that response on individual nonprofits.  

As the US East Coast struggled with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts late in 2012, LANO President & CEO, Ann S. Williamson, was asked to share with The Nonprofit Times readership details of Louisiana's government and nonprofit partnerships following the Gulf storms of 2005.

Williamson writes, "When disaster strikes, the challenge for nonprofits is multi-faceted and spread over a much larger population than the organizations might be ready to serve. How those groups respond will largely determine the success of the relief effort as well as the future viability of the nonprofits themselves."

In the editorial, Williamson expands on five key lessons for effective nonprofit action: 

  • Stick to the mission
  • Use all means of communication
  • Form partnerships early and often
  • Take care of your service providers
  • Maintain strong systems of accountability

A new study by LANO partner The Urban Institute finds New Orleans nonprofits, years after regional disasters including Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, remain in critical need of technical assistance, training in fund development, and lacking in demographic diversity among the leadership.

In a feature published by study funder The Kresge Foundation, LANO's VP for Public Relations, Matt Mullenix, makes the case for continued support of nonprofits after initial disaster response has ended:  

"Many small, local groups are run by people who draw on their personal and organizational resources and time to stand in the breach during a crisis...This makes these nonprofits incredibly vulnerable, because they quickly exhaust their immediate resources and leverage to the hilt to continue and expand their missions.”

LANO is proud of its members' collective response to recent regional crises and works to improve the sustainability of the sector in anticipation of future calls to action.  Through key multi-sector partnerships, LANO provides statewide organizational development training, a board leadership program focused on increasing diversity in nonprofit governance, and a year-round online networking space where nonprofit employees and volunteers can obtain professional development and share resources.

For more information, see www.lano.org.


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