The following email below from our partners at National VOAD is regarding an issue that will affect any non-profit that would potentially provide disaster response and recovery services. The non-profit sector plays a major role in disaster assistance by providing resources and services for unmet needs, but many of the efforts that offset recovery costs are not “counted” when the government tallies the cost of donated goods and services. FEMA is currently accepting comments on a proposed revision to the existing policy that would allow “allow the value of mass care and sheltering activities provided by a voluntary agency to be applied to the non-Federal share as a donated resource even when those activities are part of the organization’s mission.” This could include services such as providing volunteers, donating materials or equipment, and other spontaneous support services. This is critical for the non-profit community because so many agencies that typically respond after a disaster do not have “disaster services” as a part of their mission statement, which prevents them from credit or reimbursement opportunities.
In order to help make the potential changes to this policy go into effect, your organization may want to post a comment in support of this revision. Please follow the instructions from the email below in order to comment and provide support for this measure.
Good afternoon National VOAD Advocacy Committee and Stakeholders,
Advocacy alert below, with a proposed policy change with FEMA’s donated resources policy that has been three + years in the making. Huge positive implications for local and state economic recovery, due to the donated hours and materials of voluntary agencies.
This is a critical policy change and there are no comments on the Register and hoping we can mobilize your help in validating the positive nature of the proposed changes. A few comments can make a big difference!
Below is a link to an open comment period in the Federal Register for the revised Donated Resources Policy 9525.2. The proposed policy establishes the criteria by which public assistance applicants (local, state, tribal government) will be credited for volunteer labor, donated equipment and donated materials used in the performance of eligible emergency work (Categories A – debris removal – and B – emergency protective measure). A proposed change to the policy will allow the value of mass care and sheltering activities, as well as other eligible activities provided by a voluntary agency to be applied to the non-Federal share as a donated resource even when those activities are part of the organization’s mission.
The economic recovery implementations for communities impacted by this policy are huge, noting that the City of Joplin and State Missouri captured greater than a $17million offset in cost share thanks to the amazing contribution of voluntary agencies!
The comment period closes December 2, 2013. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/01/2013-26018/recovery-policy-rp95252-donated-resources
Please feel free to forward this to partners as well as provide public comment – 5-10 minutes of your time could result in a policy change that impacts communities abilities to recovery!
Jono Anzalone, CEM®
National VOAD Advocacy Chair