By Kristin Laird, Foundant Technologies, an Exponent Philanthropy Sustaining Partner
Everyone wants to help during a crisis, and, for many, that means giving money. But few understand what it takes to distribute funds to the people, businesses, or nonprofits that will create the greatest impact and fulfill the most need—especially if the money lives in different funds at different organizations.
Enter community foundations, which are inherently good at sharing information and resources. In fact, they do it all the time. Community foundations exist to help others do more with less and find ways to strengthen a community through common resources, ingenuity, and communication.
In the community foundation world, you should never have to ‘reinvent the wheel,’ especially with things like disaster preparedness and recovery. Our community of community foundations is amazing and collaborative.
—Bridget Wilkinson, Executive Director, Bozeman Area Community Foundation
When Disaster Strikes
ELLICOTT CITY, MARYLAND
On the evening of July 30,  a severe thunderstorm moved into the area of Ellicott City where it dumped an estimated 6 inches (15 cm) of rain in two hours. The flash flood that resulted inflicted severe damage to the area primarily on Main Street. Many homes, businesses, sidewalks, and landmarks were damaged by the flooding, with the city’s landmark clock being one of those impacted. A state of emergency was declared… [read more]
The flooding in Ellicott City spurred a downtown business group to raise funds, but left them with the (not unusual) conundrum of how best to distribute the money. The dilemma is remembered by Foundant’s Client Success Manager Aaron Spevacek: