Nearly five years ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused unprecedented devastation in and around New Orleans, and in towns and rural areas throughout the Gulf Coast region of the US. The storms laid bare a long list of grievous problems, from inadequate infrastructure to government incompetence and social inequity. They also stirred a stunning outpouring of philanthropic support – desperately needed, tremendously helpful, but not without missteps.
The experience has taught many lessons, both positive and negative. From 22 to 24 March, more than 300 people from the philanthropy, non-profit, government and private sectors gathered in New Orleans for the Katrina @ 5: Partners in Philanthropy conference to discuss what worked and what didn’t, and how disaster philanthropy can do better – not just along the Gulf Coast but in communities everywhere.