PLATINUM2023

Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Inc.

The Artists Safety Net

aka CERF+ The Artists Safety Net   |   Montpelier, VT   |  www.cerfplus.org

Mission

CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Inc.) serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. CERF+'s core services are education programs, advocacy, network building and emergency relief.
CERF+ accomplishes its mission through these programs and initiatives:
- Emergency Relief
- Emergency Preparedness & Recovery Resources
- Emergency Preparedness Educational Programs
- Artist Preparedness Campaign
- National Coalition for Arts Preparedness & Emergency Response
- Research on the Needs & Status of Working Artists

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Ruby Lopez Harper

Main address

535 Stone Cutters Way Suite 202

Montpelier, VT 05602 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

CERF

CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund + Artists' Emergency Resources)

CERF+ The Artists Safety Net

EIN

13-3273980

NTEE code info

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

To help artists working in craft disciplines prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Emergency Relief

CERF+ defines eligible artists to include those who create work using historically recognized craft materials such as clay, glass, textiles, wood, metal; as well as those whose work expands on these historical definitions through the incorporation of non-traditional materials, new technologies, and experimental approaches. CERF+ is equally committed to the preservation of folk and traditional arts, as rooted in, and reflective of, the cultural life of a community. We recognize and support the ways that information is often passed on from one generation to the next and celebrate practices rooted within a common ethnic heritage, geographic region, religious affiliation or occupation. CERF+ serves artists at all stages of their careers and supports people from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Eligibility is not determined solely by the amount of money an artist generates from their work and we recognize that individuals have careers that rely on multiple sources of income.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers

Where we work

Awards

CERF+ was recognized this year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its preparedness work with artists and arts organizations with two honorable mentions in the categories of "Innovation Training and Education Programs" and "Promising Partnership's" for FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. 2011

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Artists and performers

Related Program

Emergency Relief

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of grants awarded to artists working in craft disciplines after a career-threatening emergency, disaster, or financial emergencies that artists experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of free participants in conferences

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Artists and performers, Emergency responders

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of artists, arts professionals, arts educators, etc. who attended CERF conferences, workshops and presentations.

Number of emergency alerts sent

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of emergency alerts sent via email to artists, arts organizations, and others

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In 2021-2022, these are the priorities for our three major areas of concentration:

Advocacy & Policy: Continue to raise awareness among policy-makers, politicians, and other decision-makers about the needs of artists before, during, and after disasters.

● Strengthen the voice of studio artists at the advocacy table by involving other organizations in the craft field as well as national organizations that represent studio-based artists.
● Continue working on CERF+’s disaster-specific agenda, which includes:
○ A regulatory change at FEMA to enable self-employed workers to access Other Needs Assistance.
● Reforming unemployment assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance to create a better safety net for all workers.
● Developing recommendations for simplified disaster loans

Emergency Relief: There is every indication that changing weather patterns are making storms more powerful and wildfires more frequent. This “new normal” of extreme weather will undoubtedly increase the demand for our programs. In order to be ready, CERF+ must take steps today to be prepared for the needs of tomorrow, including:

● Build capacity in our emergency relief program through improving systems and expanding our response efforts and staffing.
● Strengthen our existing partnerships and add new ones in order to amplify our reach and impact.
● Research and implement strategies that will enable the organization to serve more artists in emergencies and deepen our impact on their recovery

Education & Outreach: In order to provide artists with the tools they need to thrive in a changing landscape, CERF+ must:

● Finetune and package our expertise with that of other organizations, identify the gaps in relevant resources, and share this with our network.
● Pivot CERF+’s existing Get Ready Grant Program to support career resilience.
● Update and strengthen the information and resources on CERF+’s website.

In the coming year, we will continue to build our capacity in these two areas through new and existing initiatives as mapped out in our FY17-21 strategic plan.

We will:

● Build on our efforts and leverage new relationships and partnerships to reach three underserved constituencies in the craft field: folks and traditional artists, BIPOC artists, and artists who do not participate in the national marketplace.
● Ensure that CERF+’s policies and guidelines provide equitable access to our programs and services for all eligible artists.
● Identify, enroll, and activate a network of individuals, organizations, and businesses (the Artist’s Safety Net) that supports and contributes to the health, well-being, and legacies of artists.
● Ensure that artist training and professional development programs include content on emergency readiness, recovery, and career protection
● Conduct an internal program audit of our emergency relief assistance programs to strengthen and streamline our processes.
● Research and implement strategies that will enable the organization to serve more artists in emergencies and deepen our impact on their recovery.
● Educate ourselves, develop strategies, set goals and implement plans that will ensure that we are a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.
● Complete overhaul of our emergency assistance program, based on staff, board, stakeholder, and consultant feedback, to reflect both changes in the field and in artists’ careers and to the needs of underserved constituencies (including non-English speakers and artists of color)

In 2021-2022, we will undertake efforts to build upon existing programs, develop new programs, and establish new partnerships in order to provide artists with the knowledge and resources they need to protect their careers and create safer studio practices.

We will:

● Launch additional cycles of our expanded "Get Ready + COVID Career Resilience" Grant Program, which provides $500 grants for artists to safeguard their careers and artistic practices and support their efforts to adapt to changes in the marketplace.
● Maintain CERF+’s website as a dynamic, interactive, and informative resource for studio-based artists of all disciplines, with a particular focus on the Studio Protector.
● Act as a clearinghouse, sharing information and resources about relief/recovery with artists.
● Continue to participate and host educational workshops, webinars, and trainings, taking advantage of the new acceptance of virtual gatherings to maximize our reach and conserve resources.
● With major funding from the Mellon Foundation, further develop our two pilot projects to build networks of artist responders through partnerships with Artists Trust in Seattle, WA, and the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and implement a pilot program that supports readiness and resilience for Black artists.

CERF+ -- the Artist Safety Net is a national arts service organization whose mission is to help craft artists build strong and sustainable careers. CERF+ has grown from a modest, grassroots mutual aid organization into a leader in the emerging field of arts emergency management. Active in both emergency and non-emergency periods, CERF+ provides resources, educational programs, advocacy, and emergency relief and recovery funding. With 36 years responding to artists facing myriad natural disasters, a global pandemic, and personal crises such as illness, injury, and home/studio fires, CERF+:

● Rapidly responds and provides support for artists from the onset of an emergency to recovery;
● Works with state, regional, and national arts organizations and agencies and the emergency management community to highlight the important roles artists play in disaster recovery and to address artists’ unique needs and challenges in crises;
● Promotes and supports proactive protection of creative careers through workshops, presentations, “Get Ready” Grants, and the development of educational resources;
● Encourages professional associations, art schools, and educational institutions to adopt new professional practices around readiness for artists;
● and connects businesses, manufacturers, suppliers, show promoters, publishers, and others to artists experiencing career-threatening emergencies.

Over the last 15 years, CERF+ has firmly established itself as the go-to national “artist responder,” providing relief and recovery services to artists facing setbacks due to emergencies and as an artist service organization specializing in emergency readiness and career safeguards.

Throughout 2021, the pandemic continued to roil lives worldwide. In addition to COVID-19, CERF+ responded to artists experiencing weather-related emergencies such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and a variety of "everyday" emergencies, including illness, injury, and home/studio fires. In total, CERF+ provided $482,462 in emergency assistance to 357 artists in 41 states and 2 U.S. Territories.


In the first two decades of the 21st century, CERF+’s safety net of services gradually expanded to better meet artists’ needs in response to a series of unprecedented natural disasters. Despite the challenges of the prolonged pandemic, devastating fires, and severe weather-related events, we - along with the artists we serve - persevered. We strategized and exercised flexibility to achieve positive outcomes, offering hope and solidarity to help artists through their most stressful times.

Supporting artists who face career-threatening setbacks remains central to our mission. We recognize the compound difficulties that artists have faced as a result of the pandemic, and we continue to respond to those who have been most affected. We also recognize that Black, Indigenous, People of Color have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and climate-related disasters. In response, we expanded our safety net of programs and modified eligibility requirements to be more inclusive. Among the highlights of 2021 was the creation of the Folk and Traditional Arts Fund at CERF+ to address the emergency and preparedness needs of the culture-bearers who preserve the craft skills and traditions of their communities and who contribute so much to the rich heritage of our country. In addition, we retrofitted our Get Ready Grant program to address career skills and business assets required in a post-pandemic economy.

CERF+ has gained new visibility too, both within and beyond the craft community. Growth in demand for our specialized services and expertise has attracted new national attention from the media, funders, and non-profit organizations. Just as important, we are centering our work on the needs of all artists. In particular, we are investing in our own ongoing journey toward being a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. In 2021, we engaged external consultants to provide training and expertise and build our knowledge and capacity to implement our path forward.

As we continue to adapt to new challenges and respond to new opportunities, we are so grateful to our community for supporting our efforts. Together, we are helping more artists than ever forge new pathways toward brighter, more resilient careers.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jono Anzalone

No Affiliation

Term: 2023 - 2024

Marjorie Hunt

Folklife Curator and Education Specialist with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Jaime Surez

Ceramist, Sculptor, Architect, Set Designer, and Professor

Cinda Holt

Nonprofit Board Development Consultant

Jaydan Moore

Metalsmith, Printmaker

Pati Young

Psychotherapist (Retired), Collector/Craft Advocate, Former JRA and ACC Board Member

Deb Dormody

Strategist, Arts Leader, Grantmaker

Vivian Beer

Furniture Designer/Maker/Sculpture

Dr. Allison Druin

Associate Provost for Research & Strategic Partnerships, Pratt Institute

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/14/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data