After Hurricane Harvey hit at the end of August, we pulled together a list of nonprofits helping with relief and recovery efforts. We included Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF), which is administering the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund created by Houston mayor Sylvester Turner and county judge Ed Emmett. In a later post, we recommended giving to expert-sponsored funds in response to natural disasters. Once again, we listed the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at GHCF.
On October 3, Mayor Turner, Judge Emmett, and fund advisory board chairman Tony Chase announced the fund’s first round of grants. A total of $7.55 million was awarded to 28 “experienced, local” nonprofits. Chase noted, “We placed a particular focus on the critical need for temporary housing throughout the region and I am pleased that we were able to help people in every zip code across the county.” GHCF published a list of the organizations, how much each received, and the purpose of each grant.
Mayor Turner and Judge Emmett announced the second round of grants on November 15. Some 90 “trusted, experienced groups with the proven ability to identify clients and their needs and then assist them directly” received a total of $28.9. Turner emphasized these grants were allocated based on data collected by the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the region’s 2-1-1 system.
The fund will continue collecting donations through December 31, 2017. A third round of grants is planned for January 2018.
Two of the reasons we recommended giving through expert-sponsored funds were “the sponsors carefully vet their nonprofit partners” and “the sponsors look at the total picture for an affected community, addressing needs that may not be readily apparent to outsiders.” The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at GHCF illustrates these qualities in action.
Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar’s editorial director.