North Carolina Community Foundation announces $250,000 in funding available from the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund to support inclusive long-term disaster recovery (July 2019)

The board of directors of the North Carolina Community Foundation recently allocated $250,000 in funding from the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund to be granted to support inclusive long-term disaster recovery in eastern North Carolina communities affected by Hurricane Florence.

The funding was recommended by NCCF’s statewide grants committee and will be administered through a partnership with the North Carolina Inclusive Disaster Recovery Network. Grants will support nonprofit organizations that are led by or focus long-term recovery efforts on minority communities, people of color and other underserved populations in the area.

NCCF is honored to work with NCIDR, a project of our long-standing partners at Rural Forward NC, a program of the Foundation for Health Innovation and Leadership. NCIDR was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in an acknowledgment of the history of communities being overlooked. The group works to ensure avenues exist for community voices in disaster recovery efforts and helps ensure resources are equitably allocated to all.

“This entire endeavor is about collaboration and recognizing how salient disaster recovery issues in North Carolina have been in the past few years and will be in the future,” said Calvin Allen, convener of NCIDR and program director of Rural Forward NC. “We’re honored to have NCCF continue our partnership to support the nonprofits on the ground in communities serving our neighbors.”

Genesis 457 Community Development Corporation, led by Dawn Baldwin Gibson, received a grant of $25,000 this summer as part of this funding initiative. This organization’s work and its leadership are representative of the priorities of this program and the values it upholds.

Formed following Hurricane Irene, Genesis 457 was born out of a local community church and continues to manage relief efforts with hurricane survivors, according to Baldwin Gibson. “Hurricane Florence was devastating to so many marginalized communities and our neighbors who have low wealth,” she said. “We’re seeing that the underlying issues that were in communities before, especially poverty and affordable housing access, have only been amplified by hurricanes.”

The work of NCIDR and this round of funding is critical to help level the playing field, according to Baldwin Gibson. “This helps ensure that the disaster doesn’t heighten economic inequality due to existing poverty and systems of inequity,” she said. “We’re able to combat and work toward dismantling systems of poverty and inequity through recovery and resilience.”

Funding these community centered nonprofits is critical to disaster recovery and philanthropy has a key role to play, according to Allen. “Genesis 457 and numerous other groups have been on the front lines and supporting their reach and impact is the great opportunity behind this effort,” he said. “The North Carolina Community Foundation’s leadership in philanthropy and assistance in helping grantmakers be more organized has been instrumental.”

NCCF’s participation in the NCIDR Network since Hurricane Matthew in 2016 has informed much of the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund’s recovery response, according to Leslie Ann Jackson, NCCF vice president of community investment and engagement. “We know that in order to truly understand unmet needs after a disaster, there is no substitute for hearing from the communities that relief efforts often overlook,” she said. “We simply cannot uphold our values and continue to be a foundation embedded in communities if we are not there for every part and every person in every community when they need us most.”

NCCF believes this funding from the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to supporting all North Carolina communities, according to Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, NCCF CEO and president. “We’ve seen firsthand how critical philanthropic support is to sustainable long-term disaster recovery and building community resilience,” she said. “Our statewide board of directors and grants committee are deeply committed to ensuring disaster recovery dollars and all philanthropic funding is equitably awarded and includes all parts of North Carolina’s diverse communities.”