The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Honored Nationally for Innovative Public-Private Partnership Enacted During 2010 Flood
HUD Announces Nationwide Recipients of Inaugural Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations, has recognized The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee as one of 10 recipients of the inaugural Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations. The award honors community foundations for their innovative public-philanthropic collaborations designed to address housing and community development challenges.
Pictured: Maurice Jones, HUD Deputy Secretary; Rebecca Finley, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Communications Director; Vikki Spruill, Council on Foundations, President and CEO
The awards were announced today during the Council’s Fall Conference for Community Foundations in New Orleans. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, a charitable organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in 40 Middle Tennessee counties, received the award for a partnership that created the systems used for its disaster response after the May 2010 flood.
“We are most honored to be recognized by HUD and the Council as one of this national group of community foundations working creatively to improve lives in the communities they serve,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “When a devastating flood struck Middle Tennessee in 2010, we stepped up to help our region face its greatest disaster with confidence in the key partnerships we had already created among local public and private responders. We are particularly grateful for our partnership with the Office of the Mayor of Nashville and its Office of Emergency Management which helped our Disaster Response Funds secure more than $15 million in flood relief contributions and strategically deploy these resources to rebuild lives and the 40-county community we serve.”
HUD and the Council on Foundations’ Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative developed the award to recognize community foundations for enhancing the quality of life for low-income and moderate-income families. The award-winning projects addressed issues concerning housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability and economic development. An expert panel selected one award recipient from each of HUD’s 10 regions.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee was honored for its successful partnership with the Nashville Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, and the creation of The Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund, which enabled The Community Foundation to respond to historic flooding in the region over the past two years. Through the partnership, an agreement acknowledged The Community Foundation as the central repository for charitable contributions during the time of a natural disaster, with the ability to make decisions about grantmaking for relief and recovery.
With the goal of streamlining response to disaster, the system created from this partnership was put to the test on May 1, 2010, when Middle Tennessee experienced the worst flooding in more than 1,000 years. As charitable contributions were given from around the world to The Community Foundation, it worked with Metro Government on a coordinated response to immediately address needs of the city and its residents, and also, to plan for and support long-term flood-related needs.
The Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund raised nearly $4 million during the historic disaster, and helped leverage gifts to additional Community Foundation flood relief funds for response throughout Middle Tennessee, totaling $15 million. Grants from The Community Foundation's flood relief funds have allowed nonprofit grantees to rebuild 500 homes; handle ongoing case management of flood victims; provide more than 3,000 pieces of furniture and bedding; provide mortgage and rental assistance to flood victims; remove more than 143 tons of debris from waterways, and more. More information is available at www.cfmtfloodresponse.org.
“The disaster of the May 2010 floods will forever be a part of Nashville’s history, but the incredible recovery our city made is what gives me great pride and hope for the future, and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee played an integral role in our city’s response,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. “The Community Foundation has helped propel Nashville forward in the recovery and healing process – and on a timeline unmatched by any other city that has dealt with a disaster of this magnitude. Our public-private partnership with The Community Foundation has been extremely effective, and I’m pleased to see this worthy organization earn national recognition.”
“The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the other honorees are shining examples of foundations at their best, demonstrating leadership, vision, partnership, and investment,” said Vikki N. Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “While leaders will continue facing challenges in years to come, we should be heartened by the philanthropic spirit community foundations exemplify as they innovate, take risks, and make a positive impact for the people they serve.”
The other award-winning community foundation initiatives ranged from The Oregon Community Foundation offering free dental care to public school students, to The Boston Foundation turning foreclosed homes into affordable housing. Other foundations receiving the Secretary's Award include: Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (N.Y.), Hampton Roads Community Foundation (Norfolk, Va.), Cleveland Foundation (Ohio), Greater New Orleans Foundation (La.), Lincoln Community Foundation (Neb.), Telluride Foundation (Colo.), and The San Diego Foundation (Calif.).
Community foundations in America administer more than $49 billion in charitable funds in more than 725 communities and regions throughout the country.
Learn more about the award recipients and the HUD Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations.
About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee oversees more than 840 charitable funds, providing customized philanthropic solutions with flexibility for donors, nonprofit organizations and the community. In the past 21 years, The Community Foundation has distributed more than $600 million to community programs and institutions. It is located at 3833 Cleghorn Avenue, #400, Nashville, Tennessee 37215. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit www.cfmt.org.
About The Council on Foundations
The Council on Foundations is a national nonprofit association of more than 1,800 grantmaking foundations and corporations. As the leading advocate for philanthropy, we strive to increase the effectiveness, stewardship, and accountability of our sector while providing our members with the services and support they need to advance the common good. More information is available on Twitter at @COF and Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilonfoundations.
About The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers, meet the need for quality affordable rental homes, utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life, build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of discrimination should contact HUD at 800-669-9777 (voice) or 800-927-9275 (TTY). More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.