According to Robert Ottenhoff, CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, millions of dollars are given by donors every year for disaster-related activities – but more often than not, it’s not well-planned or well coordinated. A recent example can be seen in the response to the Nepal Earthquake, in which donated emergency supplies were subjected to huge delays, aggravating the situation further. According to Ottenhoff, despite the funds that pour in when disaster strikes, the field of disaster philanthropy is woefully inefficient. The CDP aims to aid private foundations to become more strategic in their response to disasters.
Part of the issue addressed in ‘The Center for Disaster Philanthropy Aids Donors When Crisis Strikes‘ is the element of donor perception. According to Professor Luk Van Wassenhove of the INSEAD Business School, donors often do not want their money to fund what experts say is really needed for effective response to disasters, like transport infrastructure, training and IT systems. The reality, he noted, is that to become more efficient at delivering relief, organizations need to spend money on logistics, equipment, training, staff with the right expertise and upgrading their IT systems.
The CDP works with private foundations and corporate donors to educate philanthropists about the realities on the ground during a crisis to help support efforts. According to Mr. Ottenhoff, a longer-term strategic is approach is needed in the field. “There just isn’t enough money in the philanthropic world to keep responding to disasters only after they have occurred.”
To find out more about the CDP and the impact of their work, be sure to check out the original article first published on the Observer.