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Some Non-Profits Look At How To Coordinate Thomas Fire, Flood Relief Efforts

One of the many homes hit by the 1/9 debris flow in Montecito

The Thomas Fire, and flood have caused tragedy, and heartache. We’ve also seen some of the best in people, as communities have rallied to help victims. Events from concerts, to art shows have been planned to raise money. And, a number of relief funds have been created. If you want to help, it can almost be a confusing about figuring out the best way to give.

Andy Robinson is a consultant who worked with non-profits in the wake of 9-11. He says with events like this, as more groups become involved there is blurring. California Lutheran University’s Center for Non-Profit Leadership brought Robinson to the South Coast for a forum on how local agencies can work together on relief efforts.

Dena Jensen is Director of the CLU Center for Nonprofit Leadership. She says she realized that it was important to try to coordinate efforts, so you don’t have competing or duplicative efforts.

There’s also concern in the non-profit community about how they might be impacted by people giving to help in Thomas Fire relief efforts. After the fires in Northern California, charities experienced a 30% drop in funding. But, fundraising consultant Andy Robinson says just because people step up to help Thomas Fire victims doesn’t mean they’ll stop giving to their favorite non-profits. He says after 9/11, they saw a widening of charitable donations.

While there are a growing number of groups involved in Thomas Fire and Flood relief efforts, experts on non-profits say if you aren’t sure where to give, ask questions about how the money will be used, and who will decide how it is allocated.

The Ventura County Community Foundation provided funding to make the event in Oxnard possible.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.