New Guide to Preparing Fundraising Organizations for the Next Pandemic

There are many learnings from the coronavirus pandemic for individuals and families, companies, government and for nonprofit organizations. Like everyone, the CDC Foundation was alarmed by the proportions of the pandemic, but our organization was certainly not unprepared. Emergency response is an integral part of public health, and the CDC Foundation based on experiences with Ebola, Zika and other emergency responses had experience that could be drawn upon to address the critical health and safety needs that arose from the beginning of the response in January 2020.

To support other organizations in preparing for emergencies, the CDC Foundation has created an Emergency Response Activation Instructional Handbook for Fundraising Organizations. This new handbook provides instruction and recommendations on how an organization can effectively mobilize resources in preparation for and during long-term emergency response and recovery. The document targets entities that engage in fundraising for operations and outreach, such as nonprofits and foundations.

The handbook includes a detailed instructional overview of the key phases for an emergency response: Preparedness, Activation, In-progress, and Close-out. It also addresses key staffing positions essential in a Cross-departmental Emergency Response Team (communications, internal operations, fundraising and programmatic unit), board members and a liaison for any large partnerships.

“The key for any fundraising organization is having your plan ready before an emergency occurs,” said Laura Croft, vice president for Advancement at the CDC Foundation. “When you are equipped with a plan as well as what key roles will help create a smooth transition, you are setting yourself up for success.”

You can read the Emergency Response Activation, Instructional Handbook for Fundraising Organizations and also access the overview one-pager.

Hailey Bednar is part of the Advancement Emergency Response Team for the CDC Foundation.