The Walmart Foundation Digs Deep for Disaster Preparedness

The Walmart Foundation typically doles out disaster relief and recovery funding in one of two ways. The first is through its National Giving program and the second is through its State Giving program. Though the foundation does not have a disaster relief and recovery grantmaking program, it has long supported such efforts, typically through big donations to big organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Related: Walmart Foundation: Fundraising for Disasters and Refugees

Up until now, the Walmart Foundation’s disaster-related funding has been heavily focused on immediate recovery and rebuilding efforts in the United States. But the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has Walmart widening its disaster funding reach.

The Walmart Foundation has announced a five-year, $25 million commitment to disaster preparedness and recovery efforts, with grants toward not only U.S.-based organizations, but international organizations as well.

The foundation announced that $500,000 will go to Gulf Coast-based nonprofits, including $100,000 each to Evacuteer, in support of its evacuation assistance work; St. Bernard Project, in support of its Disaster Resilience and Recovery Labs; and Way Maker Ministries in support of its residential disaster preparedness and survival training.

Receiving a $1.2 million grant, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction came away with the biggest give of the day. The money will go toward the R!SE Initiative, which builds local coalitions to promote disaster preparedness and resiliency both nationally and internationally, with a specific focus on the US Gulf Coast.

Another big donation went to Good360, which received $1 million from Walmart for its DisasterRecovery360 program. This digital platform provides supply tracking support for nonprofit organizations working in disaster areas.

Internationally, the foundation awarded a $457,000 grant to PYXERA Global. The grant will help the organization develop a “global disaster corps model,” as well as support the cost of running three related pilot programs.

The foundation’s decision to fund disaster preparedness efforts was due in part to the anticipated release of new research conducted by Louisiana State University and funded by the Walmart Foundation. The study looked deep into how public-private partnerships can create a more effective and responsive “preparedness culture” in the face of large-scale emergencies.