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Center for Disaster Philanthropy Arrives Just In Time for Isaac

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The new Center for Disaster Philanthropy hung out its shingle in Washington, D.C., last week, just as Tropical Storm Isaac was battering the Caribbean and approaching the Gulf Coast and the nation was about to note the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

CDP has as its mission to help individual, family, corporate and institutional donors leverage and coordinate their resources throughout the life cycle of domestic and international disasters, according to an announcement.  

It is set up to provide insights and strategies from experienced disaster philanthropy specialists, and offers mechanisms for pooling resources for maximum effect.

Robert Ottenhoff, until this past March the president and CEO of nonprofit information provider GuideStar, has joined CDP as president and CEO.

CDP offers donors several distinct services:

  • Experienced professionals will help philanthropists craft strategies around their disaster giving, develop disaster-specific response programs and conduct due diligence to identify effective grantees.
  • The center will host a community of like-minded philanthropists in order to inspire greater collaboration and effectiveness.
  • The Disaster Recovery Fund is a full-service, multi-funder grantmaking tool that focuses on the entire landscape of disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

CDP’s website provides expert information, disaster management primers, issue insights and recent disaster updates, and will continue to produce and distribute original content, according to the announcement.

The new foundation was co-founded bythe Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation president and CEO, Lori Bertman, who serves as CDP’s inaugural board chairwoman; Arabella Advisors managing director Eric Kessler; and Baton Rouge Area Foundation president and CEO John Davies.


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