Disaster Relief Fund

Rapid Response Fund

Foundation for Louisiana’s Equitable Disaster Response Framework undergirds the foundation’s response to community emergencies and disasters, recognizing that they require swift, on-the-ground philanthropic responses and ongoing strategic analysis. The Rapid Response Fund is designed to organize financial and technical resources that strengthens local, on-the-ground groups in high-impact disaster response — now and through the critical long-term disaster recovery and rebuilding phases.


While grants to the Rapid Response Fund are often made in the immediate aftermath of a major disaster, we know from experience that building resilience within the city and state is best achieved through advanced investments to support preparedness. A multi-pronged approach that addresses all stages of the disaster cycle will create more enduring outcomes for Louisiana families. Since we work on community resilience in and out of disaster time, we are acutely aware of opportunities to support Louisiana communities when disaster strikes. Here is an example of our long-term resilience building work that was born out of the foundation’s equitable disaster response framework: https://lasafe.la.gov/2018/04/20/gov-edwards-unveils-major-la-safe-flood-resilience-projects/


What Do We Fund?

To be certain, the government’s response has dramatically improved since Hurricane Katrina. We know that first responders save lives, serve evacuees and assess the recovery landscape. Philanthropic organizations like Foundation for Louisiana, meanwhile, are prepared to focus financial and strategic resources to ensure disaster-impacted families get the attention they need and can have a say in the critical decisions that will dictate the terms of their recovery.


By contributing to FFL’s Rapid Response Fund, you can support the foundation to provide assistance for immediate needs, long-term recovery and ongoing preparedness activities.


Building on our experience and expertise, we will use our capacity to work with organizations that are involved with providing assistance and have sustained prior relationships with individuals and families in the affected areas. As a statewide philanthropic organization whose roots are in disaster response and recovery, we are able to provide responsive assistance and ensure that devastated communities rebuild and become more resilient.


Recent Rapid Response Fund Grantees

Through the generosity of foundations, businesses and individual donors, FFL was able to provide 17 grants to organizations that responded to the Great Flood of 2016, allowing them to expand services and respond to emergent issues in Baton Rouge. For example:

  • STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) – A grant of $40,000 to STAR allowed them to hire an additional counselor to support victims of violence who were also affected by the flood. This completely eliminated the waiting list that had grown dramatically following the flood.
  • Save the Children US – A grant of $50,000 hired a Resilience Coordinator to plan and network the delivery of age appropriate psychosocial support to children affected by the flood.
  • Upbring (Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response) – A grant of $15,000 provided case management and housing support to approximately 20 families still living in hotel rooms nearly six months after the floods.
  • MidCity Redevelopment Alliance – A challenge grant of $12,500 is supporting the completion of a dormitory to support volunteer housing. A partnership between six rebuilding organizations, this Volunteer House will be able to support up to 7,300 single night stays per year.
  • East Baton Rouge Council on Aging – A $25,000 grant provided 254 services hours of counseling and 160 appliances to flood affected seniors.

Our Values

  • Individuals and families have the right to maintain their dignity amidst disaster. Their knowledge of what is right for them and their family is paramount.
  • Investing in preparedness and resilience building activities can reduce inequity and increased sustainability.
  • Improving access to economic resources and opportunity - including building social capital and improving external social ties - in advance of disasters provides the greatest opportunities for resilience and enhances the ability of communities to return and rebuild.
  • Providing financial support to strengthen local, on-the-ground strengthening efforts builds high-impact disaster response — now and through the critical long-term disaster recovery and rebuilding phases.
  • Understanding how to address impacts of climate change and disasters can come from grassroots wisdom as well as technical expertise. 

A multi-pronged approach to recovery creates more enduring outcomes for Louisiana families. Please consider donating to support this important work.

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