Disaster Recovery Fund Announces Initial Investments to Local Nonprofits

Apr. 2, 2020 null

An initial $100,000 of investments have been made from the Disaster Recovery Fund. At this time, investments are supporting surges in service and capacity for local nonprofits who are continuing to provide critical safety net services to keep individuals from vulnerable populations in their homes, healthy and safe.

Disaster Recovery Fund investments include the following:

Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC): funding to support additional food acquisition and distribution needs to ensure effective and safe delivery to vulnerable populations.

Food Bank of Iowa: funding to support additional food acquisition and distribution needs to ensure effective and safe delivery to vulnerable populations in Greater Des Moines.

Iowa Legal Aid: funding to support increased capacity needs to provide free, legal services to vulnerable populations in Greater Des Moines who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Primary Health Care: funding to support prevention, diversion and rapid rehousing for individuals and families who are homeless or may be imminently homeless due to the impact of COVID-19.

Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa (RACI): funding to support increased capacity needs of the RACI network to provide critical COVID-19 information for non-English speaking members of Greater Des Moines.

To date, the Disaster Recovery Fund has raised over $625,000 thanks to the generous support of the people, businesses and funders of Greater Des Moines. To give to the Disaster Recovery Fund or learn more visit www.desmoinesfoundation.org/disasterfund.

As supporting the most vulnerable populations is the top priority in this unprecedented time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the fund. The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines is covering the cost of the staff leading and facilitating this effort. In addition, donors making a credit card contribution can increase their gift amount to cover the credit card processing fee.  

Dollars received will first focus on disproportionately affected communities by addressing economic needs and the health impact on vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19 related closures and other impacts of the outbreak. The long-term application of the fund will focus on additional needs that will inevitably arise. This long-term recovery work will be ongoing and it is the intent that this fund continues to grow and serve as a source that can be activated quickly in the face of whatever the next disaster may be.

The Disaster Recovery Fund extends beyond a single disaster and is a key part of the community’s coordinated disaster response. Preparedness work will be continuous and ongoing. The fund is activated in times of local disaster as informed by local Emergency Management authorities.

“We may not know what tomorrow will bring, but thanks to support of the Disaster Recovery Fund we have the confidence that we stand ready to meet the challenge,” shares Kristi Knous, Community Foundation president. “Our community has proven time and time again that we are better together and this collaborative spirit will once again prevail as we support our neighbors in need.”

The Disaster Recovery Fund Grantmaking Committee works closely and collaboratively with local nonprofits and other emergency management initiatives to understand the critical needs in our community to provide resources where they are most needed and to supplement, not replace, existing resources and services provided by nonprofits and local, state and federal agencies. The Committee’s considerations for investments are informed by the voices of our community through understanding inquiries received through 211 outreach, information gathered from grantmakers, intelligence garnered through the Polk County Emergency Management Incident Command Center, data provided through the COVID-19 Nonprofit Update Portal, and additional research.    

The Disaster Recovery Fund was created in recent months as a critical component of the community’s collaborative Disaster Recovery Plan. The Disaster Recovery Coordination Team consists of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, United Way of Central Iowa, Polk County Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross- Central Iowa Chapter, IMPACT, Polk County and Community Family and Youth Services- Polk County.