The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross each receive $40 Million in historic grants

Oct 19, 2022 | by Brad Rowland

The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross each receive $40 Million in historic grants

The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross announced today that Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded each organization $40 million to increase response capacity in light of the more frequent and devastating impacts of climate change affecting families across the country. These grants are the largest gifts that either organization has received to help them prepare for future disasters.

The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, two of the nation’s largest nonprofits, recognize that these historic grants will better position each organization to help people struggling to cope with record-breaking hurricanes, other extreme storms, and massive wildfires. Both organizations are often among the first on the ground during a crisis, and together they serve millions of people in need every year — especially the most vulnerable who are often disproportionately affected by climate disasters.

The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army will use the grants to significantly increase their capacity to respond to large concurrent disasters, especially in communities that face recurring threats. The organizations will improve facilities and the use of technology to better engage with national and local partners, increase the diversity of their staffs and volunteers to better serve individuals in need, and strengthen the ways they train and deploy staff and volunteers to improve effectiveness and curb worker burnout.

“The profound generosity of Lilly Endowment will enable The Salvation Army to expand its capacity to serve people in need all across the country at moments of profound crisis,” said Kenneth G. Hodder, the National Commander of The Salvation Army. “The generous grant to The Salvation Army represents hope for vulnerable Americans, and we are committed to investing the funds in the most efficient and effective ways possible. The Salvation Army is delighted to partner with an organization as venerable as the American Red Cross, and I am certain that these grants will help strengthen our ability to bring much-needed relief to those who are directly affected by disasters.”

“Heartbreaking disasters, driven by increasing extreme weather, are repeatedly striking communities across the country and threatening to hamper our capacity to provide critical disaster relief,” said Gail McGovern, the President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “This incredibly generous grant from Lilly Endowment will greatly help us, alongside our valued partner The Salvation Army, to grow essential capacity and adapt our services to ensure we can continue to be there for families in their darkest hours.”

While serving on the frontlines of disasters, The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross work as close partners, often providing complementary services based on the size and scope of the disaster.

“With their national reach and immense networks of dedicated staff and volunteers, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army have for generations stepped up to provide aid and leadership in times of crisis. In virtually every natural and man-made disaster, they provide direct assistance and help coordinate efforts with governmental agencies, faith-based organizations, other nonprofits and countless individual volunteers,” said N. Clay Robbins, chairman and CEO of Lilly Endowment. “These grants are intended to bolster the long-term capacity and effectiveness of these essential organizations and not to support the needs arising from a specific disaster,” added Robbins.

For The Salvation Army, plans for this grant include:

  • Increasing warehousing capacity by at least 200,000 square feet in strategic locations to improve mobilization to areas frequently impacted by disasters
  • Building warehouse infrastructure to receive, sort and distribute disaster supplies
  • Recruiting and training 20,000 volunteers that represent the communities served by The Salvation Army by developing accessible and engaging disaster training courses
  • Improving the emergency disaster services fleet to respond with greater agility to disasters and improving response to marginalized or under-resourced communities

For the American Red Cross, investments will focus on:

  • Innovations in the Red Cross case management system to deliver new and more equitable disaster relief and recovery programs, facilitate greater partner collaboration, accelerate outreach to disaster survivors, and better support longer-term needs of survivors
  • Upgrades to RC View — the Red Cross disaster event management and geographical information system — to optimize collaboration with disaster response partners and increase scalability of our disaster response capabilities
  • Improvements in our operational readiness and capacity through investments in our vital warehousing network, ensuring that we can quickly and efficiently deliver more aid when and where it is needed
  • Enhancements to the response capacity of Red Cross regions and chapters, including new disaster workforce hires with portfolios dedicated to volunteer engagement and convening/supporting local partners like food banks, health and mental health clinics, and other human services partners to join us in disaster response and recovery activities

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