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News & Press: National Philanthropy News

The Philanthropic Response to Oklahoma & How You Can Help

Tuesday, May 21, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
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UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Monday, May 20, 2013, devastating tornadoes ravaged Moore, OK and surrounding areas throughout the region. As we do during times of disaster, ABAG will serve as a clearinghouse for resources and information about relief efforts, and we will be listing efforts by ABAG members. Our website will be updated as new information is received, so please check it regularly.

Members, please let us know how you are engaged in relief efforts. Grant amounts, assisted organizations, and any other relief work that your organization undertakes will serve as valuable resources as your grantmaking colleagues craft response strategies.

Please contact Elisabeth Hyleck, ABAG Special Initiatives Director, with any information:


A joint study of the European Foundation Centre and the Council on Foundations determined that grantmakers can be more effective and strategic in addressing disasters by following eight principles of good disaster management.

  1. Do no harm.
  2. Stop, look and listen before taking action.
  3. Don't act in isolation.
  4. Think beyond the immediate crisis to the long term.
  5. Bear in mind the expertise of local organizations.
  6. Find out how prospective grantees operate.
  7. Be accountable to those you are trying to help.
  8. Communicate your work widely and use it as an educational tool.

A number of practical suggestions for good disaster grantmaking flow from these principles and are highlighted in this free guide. Click here to read more and download "Disaster Grantmaking: A Practical Guide for Foundations and Corporations" as well as Guide to Giving After a Disaster.

Our colleagues at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) are actively monitoring the situation, and keeping abreast of what local and national funders - including ABAG members - are doing in response, as well as how various organizations will meet human needs. They will be sharing information that they collect and offering unique analysis of the impact of the devastating tornadoes on their website,

The best way to support survivors of disasters is to make a financial contribution to the voluntary organization of your choice.

For a list of major nonprofits that provide assistance to communities impacted by disaster, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website. Donations of items such as clothing and supplies are not encouraged. 


This is a developing list how to help victims in the area impacted by the deadly tornadoes:

The Red Cross

The Red Cross of Oklahoma has activated its safe and well website for those who are trying to reconnect with loved ones. Red Cross officials and volunteers are also beginning to open shelters. The first is at St. Andrews Church. You can help their efforts by donating to the Red Cross online or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

Oklahoma City Community Foundation - Tornado Recovery Fund

To assist with intermediate and long-term recovery efforts, you can make a gift to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund. Established at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in May 1999, the fund will direct 100 percent of gifts to assist with the needs of those impacted by the storms. Contributions to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund may be sent to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1146, Oklahoma City, OK, 73101-1146.

Tulsa Community Foundation - Moore & Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund

A special fund geared to provide on-going support has been established at the Tulsa Community Foundation and is accepting on-line donations.
7030 S.Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136

United Way of Central Oklahoma

The United Way of Central Oklahoma advises that monetary donations are the best way to assist. The organization has activated its disaster relief fund effective Tuesday, May 21, 2013, so individuals may contribute specifically to the May tornadoes relief and recovery efforts.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has also jumped into action. It's in multiple locations throughout cities in Oklahoma providing food, hydration and emotional support to first responders and storm survivors. You can contribute to the Salvation Army by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769), online on their website, by texting "STORM" to 80888 to make an automatic $10 donation or by mail: The Salvation Army PO Box 12600 Oklahoma City, OK 73157

Feeding America

Feeding America is responding by providing food, water and supplies to the residents of the devastated towns in Oklahoma. The group will continue to assess the need on the ground for more assistance as recovery efforts continue.

Samaritan's Purse

Samaritan's Purse deployed a group of staff members to travel from its North Carolina headquarters to head to Oklahoma with a Disaster Relief Unit. The unit is a tractor trailer stocked with emergency supplies and equipment.


Global health and disaster relief nonprofit AmeriCares is also mobilizing a team to help in Oklahoma. Its emergency response team is headed to the region to coordinate deliveries of relief supplies and medical aid for survivors. The team is expected to arrive by morning.

Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon, a group of military veterans who respond to disaster, have issued the call to members and is heading to the region. By Tuesday morning, initial assessment teams will be on the ground, and they will then mobilize a full response to help the people affected by these storms.

Operation USA:

The program is helping clinics and hospitals replace equipment and supplies. Click here for more information. 

Sources: The Huffington Post, NBC News, Community Foundation of Oklahoma City, The America Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma Region, The United Way of Central Oklahoma

Photo: Courtesy of


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