Fifteen area nonprofits representing a wide range of services, sizes and disaster-planning experience participated in the first session today of the CFO’s new “Resilient Community” program to help agency partners prepare for internal or community-wide crisis situations.
Today was the first of four classroom-style sessions scheduled every other month for these agencies to focus on areas such as facility, financial and technological back-up plans, as well as internal and external communications and succession plans. Each agency will receive customized coaching between the full class sessions. The goal is to ensure these agencies maintain as much continuity of operations under crisis circumstances so they can continue to serve their own clients, as well as participate in community-wide crisis response.
The Resilient Community was designed to create stronger networks of nonprofit “next responders” who would provide important services like basic needs, counseling, children’s services and more to the community as a whole, as well as the vulnerable populations like the elderly or people with disabilities.
The program is made possible through a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., which includes an emphasis on encouraging disaster resiliency. The project is supported by the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management, which intends to engage this group of next responders in its disaster planning. It is being facilitated by Nonprofit Services Center, a St. Louis-based training agency.
The participants in this first program are: Boys & Girls Club of Springfield; Care to Learn; Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri; Community Partnership of the Ozarks; Community Partnership of Rolla; Harmony House; The Kitchen, Inc., Lost & Found; the Meramec Regional Planning Commission; Ozarks Counseling Center; Ozarks Food Harvest; Southwest Center for Independent Living; Springfield-Greene County Library District; the Taney County Long-Term Recovery Committee, and the CFO.
A second program is scheduled for the Joplin-Carthage area beginning this fall.