The Patterson Foundation (TPF) looks to its values as its own North Star to strengthen people, organizations, and communities. Their values resonated with ours, and we were honored when TPF chose to invest in NetHope. TPF has played important roles, including catalytic funder, providing unrestricted funding to catalyze other donations during disaster response; capacity builder, aiding in communications; and connector, strategically linking us with other stakeholders.
Since 2010, TPF has provided more than $1.4 million to strengthen NetHope’s operations around the world. The funds have gone toward response efforts for disasters like the Ebola crisis, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, the Nepalese earthquake, NetHope’s Caribbean Preparedness Initiative, and others.
“With NetHope’s on-the-ground efforts combined with member organizations and partner contributions, those faced with devastation receive the information communications technology (ICT) to accelerate recovery. While food, water, and shelter are basic needs in this modern age, ICT has become just as vital,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “NetHope continues to effectively work with global government partners, their NGO members, and for-profit technology firms as well as deliver on all of our previous investments in their emergency response work.”
NetHope’s alignment with a consortium of nearly 60 leading global nonprofits and 60 technology companies and funding partners creates new opportunities for progress. These relationships give NetHope the ability to conduct a thorough assessment of the needs of its members and international government disaster agencies to discern what, if any, information communications technology assistance is warranted.
Debra Jacobs noted that because of NetHope’s model of raising funds on a disaster-demand cycle, catalytic funding is sometimes critical to jumpstart fundraising efforts. “TPF is trusted, so when it acts as the go-first funder for a NetHope response initiative, other partners recognize how they can invest and feel confident contributing. Additionally, TPF appreciates NetHope’s ability to clearly and quickly see where ICT funding is needed during the distress of a disaster.”
Similar to NetHopes consortium, TPF’s approach is to work with people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media to accelerate progress toward shared aspirations. This is achieved through five key actions: connecting, learning, sharing, evolving, and strengthening.
TPF has also provided resources and expertise beyond the gift as capacity builders. By connecting NetHope with MagnifyGood, TPF’s lead consultants for strategy and communication, our organization is heightening its impact. MagnifyGood introduced us to the Connective Impact methodology, which brings together our internal stakeholders—management, communications, and donor development—to uncover needs and find solutions together. Through our learnings, NetHope has begun leveraging data from its communications to drive digital transformation within NetHope, among our members, and across the sector. Debra Jacobs stressed that the process is less about the physical technology and more about helping organizations transform how they approach change management to be the best at advancing their missions, especially when their work is time-sensitive, such as during disasters.
TPF has a strong desire to bring other tech and funding partners to the table. In 2017 and 2018, TPF hosted dinners at NetHope’s Global Summit where current and potential partners could “build connective tissue” in an informal relationship-building setting.
TPF continues to value its opportunity to work with NetHope, an organization Debra Jacobs characterizes as true innovators with purpose. TPF distinguishes itself as a reliable, unconventional funding partner and recognizes the value that NetHope brings to its member organizations, a value that strengthens communities around the world.