JACKSON, Miss. - The Community Foundation for Mississippi (CFM), working with Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (Volunteer Mississippi), established the Mississippi Community Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund as an initiative to create a state-wide pooled fund to respond to disasters in Mississippi, including COVID-19. “Charitable donations will help our most vulnerable populations, including but not limited to those who have lost their source of income, children, the homeless, first responders, senior citizens and veterans,” said Jane Alexander, President of the Community Foundation. “Funding will be disbursed to cover immediate needs including but not limited to food, medical supplies, basic hygiene needs, temporary housing, and short term economic security.”
These monies will be pooled and deployed to do the most good. An advisory committee appointed by Volunteer Mississippi is responsible for the plan regarding deployment for resources during disasters or public health crises, like COVID-19. The Community Foundation for Mississippi will steward the contributions, and help execute the plan with identified partners who will implement it.
Coalition Partners include Volunteer Mississippi, the Mississippi Hub Network, the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy, members of the Community Foundations Network, United Ways in Mississippi, and Extra Table. These partners bring knowledge and expertise and can help identify the organizations on the front lines that are effectively providing help to those who need it most. These organizations also have rigorous accountability measures in place, so donations will be stewarded appropriately and accounted for correctly.
Today at a press conference, Governor Tate Reeves announced that he has officially designated the Mississippi Community Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi as the official state-wide disaster fund. He said, “In Mississippi, there has been historic flooding, historic tornadoes, historic pandemic, and a historic surge in unemployment. There is a greater need for help in Mississippi than in any time in modern memory. If you have any ability to support your fellow Mississippians, there is great need, and by giving to this fund, Mississippians will know that monies will be pushed to the hardest-hit areas quickly and efficiently.”
“The goal of these pooled contributions is to demonstrate the flexible and nimble nature of charitable dollars, as opposed to state or federal funding,” said Alexander. “The Coalition Partners and the Advisory Committee will identify those organizations doing frontline “boots on the ground” work– that is, those who are feeding, sheltering and meeting basic needs during a disaster, and those providing public health response during pandemics or other disasters.”
“All charitable donations will be allocated equitably and geographically, with emphasis on where it is most needed and where organizations are serving the most vulnerable,” said Monica Ritchie, Executive Director of Volunteer Mississippi. “Coalition Partners know the nonprofits and organizations who are doing the “boots on the ground” work and will submit a list of candidate organizations that qualify for funding. Our goal is to meet funding gaps in Mississippi and to get help in the hands of the people who need it the most.”
“The Community Foundation serves as a convener in the philanthropic space in Mississippi, bringing together public and private donors with nonprofits and other charitable causes to facilitate positive transformational change in cities and towns across Mississippi,” said Jon Turner, chair of the CFM Board of Trustees. “We are proud to be part of the relief effort that is so desperately needed at this time.”
How to Help
For more information about the Community Foundation for Mississippi or how to donate to the Mississippi Community Disaster Relief and Recovery fund, go to www.formississippi.org and click the donate button or text DONATE to (601) 258-6502. Or for more information about Volunteer Mississippi and ways to get involved and make a difference, go to www.volunteermississippi.org.
About the Community Foundation for Mississippi
The Community Foundation for Mississippi is a nonprofit foundation that helps charitable donors establish permanent giving funds that reflect their interests while also making a long-term, positive impact on the community. The foundation also serves the nonprofit community by managing and growing their endowments and offering best practice management advice. CFM has granted more than $57.3 million in its 25-year history. For more information about the Community Foundation or to donate to the Mississippi Community Disaster Relief and Recovery fund, visit www.formississippi.org.