Dear Vincentian Friends,
At our National Business meeting held during National Assembly in Houston, I was asked to provide our local leaders with more information on the current Disaster fundraising campaign and how such funds are utilized during the year. Our members have been very generous in funding disaster relief and recovery efforts for years, and especially so this year. Our National Council subsidiary Disaster Services Corporation – SVDP USA (DSC) is a central, but not the only, part of our disaster presence in the United States and internationally.
In the last fiscal year which closed on September 30, the National Council provided Rapid Response Grants and Long Term Response Grants to local Councils and Conferences to use for direct relief in their communities. These grants are requested and managed through DSC, and funded with monies raised by the National Council and deposited into a donor restricted fund called the Domestic Disaster Fund (DDF). Over the past fiscal year, 16 such grants were provided totaling approximately $155,000. These grants provided local support in communities stricken by floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
Many Vincentians tell us that they know how such disasters can strike anywhere, how they feel blessed not to be one of the communities affected – at least this year – and how their Vincentians want to reach out to help these other members in these times of need. In fact, many of our donations come from Conferences and Councils that were victims of past disasters and understand the challenges!
The Domestic Disaster Fund also provided funds as directed by the National Council board of directors to provide administrative support to DSC. While DSC attracts major grants for its work, often these grants do not provide for the administrative needs during, and especially between, such large disasters. The disaster organization can’t re-start for each disaster; it needs as constant presence to be ready when the need arises. Our DSC volunteers and staff can also be on location for months after the initial event providing long-term recovery efforts, and some of these costs are not covered by FEMA and other grant funds. This past year, DSC was provided with an annualized allotment of $150,000 by the National Council for its administrative overhead support.
Finally for domestic operations, the National Council provides fundraising support for DSC. The annual campaign such as the one just completed on September 30 provides general operating support for DSC use. The campaign focuses on our own SVdP members. Last year this campaign raised $414,233, with $246,755 allocated to DSC. These funds were sent to DSC in installments, with $105,000 during the 19-20 FY and the balance of $141,755 was sent directly to DSC last fall for its use in addition to the funds discussed above.
When all the funds and supports are added up, last fiscal year the National Council through our generosity provided DSC with $453,625 to support its great work. Thank you!
None of these funds are related to the campaign just completed. I am happy to report to everyone that this year we raised $926,818 to be used for a variety of disaster-related purposes. The Disaster Services Corporation will receive $494,199 directly from the proceeds for general unrestricted use. The National Council Domestic Disaster Fund will receive $164,733 to provide local and national disaster support as outlined above for current and future needs. Again, we don’t wait for the disaster to occur to raise funds and otherwise be prepared; the DDF allows us to provide immediate support within hours of a disaster event.
We are a worldwide network of charity. Our efforts to fund disaster relief and recovery also extends to providing support to councils of our Society throughout the world. This process is organized and overseen through our international member committee called CIAD – Commission for International Assistance and Development. Bill Brazier and I are members on this Commission. In the campaign just completed, we have dedicated $219,644 for future international requests of disaster support around the world. Most member countries do not have the resources we have in the United States, so our shared blessings are appreciated greatly for these outstanding needs! All of these funds never leave Vincentian hands from our donors through the direct relief in far-away communities.
The campaign is largely conducted in-house utilizing our National Council development and accounting staff, with some outside resources for writing and tech support. We are proud to keep our fundraising and management expenses to only five percent of the collected proceeds that will provide disaster resources flowing around our country and around the world.
Serviens in Spe,