Communities are increasingly challenged by natural disasters including floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Every time a disaster strikes, community members are forced to figure out how to respond, often with little preparation. With support from individuals, nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, funders and government agencies at the local, state and federal levels, incredible work gets done — but perhaps not as effectively or as efficiently as it could. PPREP, which stands for Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership, was created to provide resources for community foundations to build their skills and leadership capacity in order to be better informed and prepared should a natural disaster strike their community.


At its core, PPREP is about strengthening the relationships between community members and organizations to maximize their impact in preparing for and recovering from disasters. Given the disproportionate health, economic and social impacts of disasters on low-income communities and other vulnerable populations, PPREP works to embed an equity lens into the cohort’s learning about preparedness, response and recovery practices and policies.

Working with and through community foundations in a community leadership model, these place-based grantmakers are developing relationships across the disaster preparedness and response spectrum in their communities and helping to weave together networks that are positioned to act along the disaster continuum. This work is fundamentally about strengthening social and human capital through coordination and collaboration —and ultimately strengthening community resilience.

Now entering its third phase, PPREP is focused on these objectives:

  • To support a Midwest community foundation cohort model that features information, tools, and resources to help participants better understand, prepare for, and recover from disasters in their communities, enhance resilience, and play a community leadership role.
  • To provide resources for participating community foundations to address critical disaster preparedness, response, and recovery needs (internal or community).
  • To apply an equitable preparedness and recovery lens, given the disparate impacts of natural disasters on vulnerable populations.
  • To strengthen a philanthropic network across a ten-state Midwest region, using a network health and stewardship frame and tools.
  • To help formalize the ad hoc peer support provided by cohort members to provide support should a natural disaster strike a PPREP community.

Connect & Engage

The community-based funders that take part in the PPREP cohort have the opportunity to:

  • Deepen their learning about critical issues related to disaster preparedness and equitable recovery through two in-person and two virtual convenings each year.
  • Expand and improve their abilities to prepare and respond to disasters with relevant tools and technical assistance (including a Community Foundation Disaster Preparedness Workbook).
  • Access to grant resources to invest in community and organizational preparedness and recovery needs.
  • Participate in regular training and an annual survey designed to increase network health and stewardship.

TFN works with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) to provide curriculum, facilitation and technical assistance, as well as with Network Impact as a partner on network health, stewardship and assessment.

PPREP Cohort

Community foundations engaged in the PPREP cohort are drawn from a 10-state Midwestern region:

  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • Kansas

  • Nebraska
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota

  • North Dakota
  • Montana

PPREP cohort participants include:

“Our training marries very real experience and insight from natural disasters within our cohort’s regions with knowledge from experts in planning, nonprofit, government, natural resource and related fields. We are all better off for being brought together by an inspired idea of preparing us to help our communities find their way back from disaster.”

Louise Knauer
Chief Operating Officer for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and member of the PPREP Steering Committee

15 Years of Disaster Recovery

Blog | Louise Knauer, Community Foundation of the Ozarks

“PPREParing” Foundations for Disaster Response and Recovery Post: Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Blog | Kimberlee Maphis Early, Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Strong partnerships and flexible resources can save lives

Blog | Dr. Judith Monroe, CDC Foundation

State of Disaster Philanthropy

CDP Resource

Disaster Philanthropy Playbook

CDP Resource

Learn More

For more information about the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership, please contact Maureen Lawless, executive vice president, at  or (305) 667-6350 ext. 205.