How Do We Respond?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Connecticut Council for Philanthropy leaders, David Davison, interim president, and Judith Meyers, board chair, comment on responding to the recent multiple tragedies around the country and globe.

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is fundamentally a voice for the field, and a place where funders learn from each other and work together. Last week at a national meeting of associations of funders, there was intense discussion about how to respond to the violent events unfolding around the country and the globe. We all agreed on one thing: any consideration of a structured, professional response was being affected by our own personal emotional reactions. Before anyone could get a handle on one shocking news report, another had taken its place. It was difficult for any one of us to find our voice.

As the communities of Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, and elsewhere persevere to come together to grieve and to heal, philanthropy is playing a variety of roles, such as supporting nonprofit service providers to help victims and their families. Funders are also at the table to help support the long-term, difficult community-building work that is underway.

CCP’s response for now is to find practical ways to serve our individual members and the field as a whole. As we did last month in the wake of the tragic shooting in the Orlando, Florida nightclub, CCP is providing guidance for funders wanting to connect to networks and resources. Our website has several relevant links, including the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Florida Philanthropic Network, and Funders for LGBTQ Issues.

At CCP we will stay connected and keep track of the involvement of philanthropy across the country to see what more needs to be done now, and what can be done in the future. In addition to providing resources, CCP could facilitate a discussion of how philanthropy in Connecticut can do more, not just to help prevent violence in our communities, but to use our individual and collective influence to  foster understanding of what underlies our problems and help communities find lasting solutions. As our 2016 Annual Luncheon speaker, Ambassador James Joseph reminded us, "while charity is good, justice is better."  Access Ambassador Joseph's keynote speech here >>

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by these tragedies as we strive to do our part to help.

If you are a funder considering or taking action, please let us know by emailing

-- David Davison, Interim President, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy

-- Judith Meyers, Board Chair, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy