Statement to Donors

Statement to Donors


"The Gulf Coast Fund is special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA). As fiscal sponsor, RPA provides the Fund with its 501(c)3 charitable status and facilitates the charitable purposes of the Fund by providing programmatic and operational services to the Fund...

"At the Fund’s core is an “Advisory Group” of leading policy advocates, community activists and grassroots organizers from Louisiana , Mississippi , Alabama and
Texas representing a broad swath of constituencies, geographies and issues...

"
The Gulf Coast Fund is committed to an open and transparent decision-making process that is led by the communities most affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike."


BACKGROUND

"The Gulf Coast Fund was founded after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by funders active in the Health and Environmental Funders Network (HEFN) and the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA). The Fund is a collaborative pooled fund where those at the epicenter of the disasters have been effectively organized to inform and direct the use of philanthropic resources.

The Fund is dedicated to empowering historically disenfranchised communities, approaching recovery in a holistic manner and remaining focused on a multiplicity of issues and constituencies across the entire affected region.

The Fund was created during an emergency conference call convened by HEFN to discuss the philanthropic response... At the same time, funders understood that while immediate direct relief was necessary, philanthropy’s appropriate response would be to provide long-term, sustainable support for rebuilding.

Funders recognized that one “silver lining” was that this human and environmental disaster presented an opportunity for the Gulf Coast to rebuild and recover in a way that could model greater democracy and justice, improved governance, restored wetlands and coastlines, state-of-the-art urban planning, sustainable green rebuilding, regional energy-efficient transportation, and improved non-profit infrastructures for social services, health and education.

The Fund is a collaborative grantmaking fund supporting community, state and regional efforts that engage, empower and benefit displaced and returning residents, and that promote human rights and the sustainable and just rebuilding of neighborhoods, cities and ecosystems throughout the Gulf Coast.

Since its inception in September 2005, the Fund has disbursed over $2.6 million to over 145 grassroots and community-based organizations working on a wide range of issues and created a vital network of individuals and communities working for a just and sustainable future for the Gulf Coast.  

Recognizing that the region suffered philanthropic neglect pre-Katrina and Rita and that reconstruction is a long-term process, the Gulf Coast Fund plans to continue to exist in perpetuity.

The Fund has been supported by a number of foundations and donors. Click here for a list of donors and supporters."
--from the Gulf Coast Fund website (please see links below)

An example of the work they are doing now in response to the catastrophic oil 'leak' in that region:

      
Portersville Revival Group's response to the BP Oil Drilling Disaster:
  1. Continued monitoring of the contamination of local waters in Bayou La Batre
  2. Water Chemistry and Bacteriological Monitoring Certification Workshops

http://www.gulfcoastfund.org/featured-grantees.html


Based on my work with non-profits, experience as a trained conflict resolution facilitator, and tenure as Chairperson for the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club, I think this group is worthy of our support because its focus is on community-driven recovery and empowering those who have been displaced and disenfranchised to rebuild in a way that makes sense to them, not the government or a conglomeration of interests.

This is the kind of work I want to 'transition' into over the next few years and, for now, while my "bread and butter" are still somewhat tenuous, all I can do is spread the word about anything good people are doing (to counteract the bad news that bludgeons our senses each and every day).



http://www.gulfcoastfund.org/
http://gulfcoastfund.tumblr.com/archive
http://twitter.com/GulfCoastFund