The Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) has a blog posting that nicely summarizes and comments on this articlein the Washington Post about how smaller nonprofits may be left holding the bag if bigger groups pull out of Haiti once the immediate relief efforts wind down. (One of my reasons for starting this website was to find ways to make sure that this does not happen.)
Worth noting (quote from NPQ):
Alan Abramson of George Mason University reminds us of the response after Hurricane Katrina. While the larger groups such as the Red Cross received the bulk of the charitable dollars, the smaller groups in the area shouldered more of the burden with fewer resources. “Often, they are the ones who know the neighborhood and are connected with the people in need,” Abramson said. “They’re the ones who are there before, during and after.” Abramson suggests connecting small and large organizations so they can approach the work as a team.
Should the large organizations that are raising tens of millions begin a regranting process to help local groups? The funds would help these local efforts and smaller NGOs expand on what they already do as extra burdens or placed on them. In other words: can funds be used to provide smaller groups with the technical assistance and cash they will need to increase the scale of their operations? Increasing the scale of a good program is a very tricky thing; many good groups crash in the attempt. Using some money to have advanced trainers ride a circuit of communities to help local groups grow, could be key, I think, to rebuilding Haiti by Haitians.
Also, given the talent and training many Haitians have for developing associations and cooperatives, I can see significant amounts of funds being used almost like emergency community foundations for some of the tent cities and outlying areas that are receiving the exodus from Port-au-Prince. People in these areas could form committees that work with the donor group(s) to draw up and execute plans for addressing immediate and felt needs as well as more complex problems like public health programs to prevent outbreaks in the camps, and the construction of temporary schools and community kitchens.