Photo courtesy of © Conexión Américas.

The increasing frequency and intensity of disasters worldwide create a critical need for knowing when to respond and how to do so effectively. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) takes out the guesswork by helping donors to fully leverage philanthropy to strengthen communities’ ability to withstand disasters and recover when they occur.

“The power of giving has more impact than ever before,” said Patricia McIlreavy, chief executive of CDP.

CDP uses innovative strategies to help donors maximize the impact of their contributions, meet the needs of vulnerable populations, and ultimately strengthen their communities.

Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic started, CDP supported the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI) COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund. AWBI was one of the first COVID funds in Atlanta to couple awards with assistance to help businesses with scenario planning, cash flow analysis, marketing, and more. Among the more than 65 Black-owned businesses supported through the Fund was Brown Toy Box, a small business that was able to pivot its operations and business development activities to focus on selling its culturally-minded STEAM boxes to schools. This model has helped sustain the business and expand the reach of its curriculum.

CDP’s grant to Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative helped provide much-needed capital and technical assistance to small businesses like Brown Toy Box to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

“AWBI was the first capital I received when COVID hit. That funding was a lifeline, and because of that timely infusion of capital, Brown Toy Box is not only surviving the pandemic we are thriving!” —Terri-Nichelle Bradley, Founder & Principal of Play, Brown Toy Box

Ruth Rico, the owner of the company Delicias Colombianas RR, is a food entrepreneur and member of Conexión Américas’ Mesa Komal culinary incubator. For years, Ruth has brought delicious Colombian arepas to Tennessee, and her business was incredibly successful at local festivals. Last year, she purchased a brand-new food truck with her savings—something she had been dreaming about for years. Then the pandemic hit, canceling all the festivals. Realizing the community needed support, Conexión Américas, with the help of a CDP grant, acted quickly to help entrepreneurs like Ruth reduce and eliminate rental fees and connect them to COVID-19 related relief funding and business opportunities.

“Without Conexión Américas, my business may not have survived. I’m looking forward to expanding my business in the near future with my new food truck.”—Ruth Rico, Owner, Delicias Colombianas RR

About the Center for Disaster Philanthropy

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy provides expert advice and resources while also managing domestic and international disaster funds on behalf of corporations, foundations, and individuals through targeted, holistic, and localized grantmaking. CDP brings greater attention to the life cycle of disasters—from preparedness, mitigation, and planning to rebuilding, resilience, and recovery. Donors can give with confidence, knowing that their support rebuilds stronger communities affected by wildfires, hurricanes, COVID-19, and other disasters.

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CDP aims to leverage the power of philanthropy to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur.

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The Center for Disaster Philanthropy envisions a world where the impact of disasters is minimized by thoughtful, equitable and responsible recovery for all.

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