PLATINUM2023

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Solidarity not Charity

Mission

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is a grassroots network whose mission is to provide disaster relief based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action. By working with, listening to, and supporting impacted communities, especially their most vulnerable members, to lead their own recovery, we build long-term, sustainable and resilient communities.

Ruling year info

2017

Cofounder

James Dunson

Main address

503 E. Jackson Street #318

Tampa, FL 33602 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-3606763

NTEE code info

Disaster Preparedness and Relief Services (M20)

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 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are other organizations doing disaster relief. However, these organizations are generally top-down, bureaucratic, and charity-based. At best, they give what is needed physically, but still don’t offer meaningful participation and empowerment through respect of survivor’s agency following a disaster. There is a need for flexible, grassroots help that doesn’t assume everybody’s needs are the same or that they know best what a community needs, but instead acts humbly, asking, listening, and responding. Disaster victims and survivors need to be part of a communal recovery. Survivors and victims of disasters need to have a say in what their needs are and how best others can assist them. There is a need for quick, effective and efficient distribution of aid without bureaucratic barriers following disasters.

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?

Supplies Distribution Program

With our Supplies Distribution Program, we distribute water, food, diapers, toilet paper, clothes, cleaning and other supplies directly to survivors of disaster, and set up distribution hubs where community members can acquire needed goods without paternalistic or stigmatizing rules, regulations, bureaucracy or red tape.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

As part of our Rebuilding a Better World program, we engage in activities such as debris clean up, tarping roofs, the cleaning, repair and rebuilding of individual’s homes and community buildings such as schools and churches, and educating about and providing the necessary materials for disaster survivors to safely clean up and rebuild.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

As part of our Wellness Program, we set up wellness centers and community clinics in the wake of disasters, sending mobile teams of street medics, herbal medics, massage therapists, acupuncturists, doctors, and other medical professionals to disaster zones to provide medical aid to disaster survivors and relief workers. This includes providing psychological first aid, trauma counseling, harm reduction, peer mental health, access to life-saving medication, and other services to promote immediate survival and long-term emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

Let’s face it. We cannot rely on Nestle to donate water or private electric utilities to provide life-saving electricity after a disaster. With this program, we are informed by a respect for the intersectionality of all living systems, as well as community norms and practices. Here is where permaculture meets disaster response. We spread the knowledge of and access to ecologically-sound and economically viable systems designs which provide for community’s survival needs and do not exploit or pollute. We empower individuals and communities to create or regenerate diverse, resilient communities that meet immediate ecological, economic, and social needs while increasing the health of human bodies, relationships, and the ecosystems in which they are embedded. In practice, this takes the form of sustainable and autonomous infrastructure development, creating water purification systems, building photovoltaic solar arrays, and other ecologically sound response and rebuilding efforts.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

We also are engaged in a constant learning process with communities wherein we are all teachers and all learners. As part of our Popular Education Program, we explore together subjects such as mutual aid, community organizing as disaster preparedness, how to break down barriers so people can access what they need to survive, and what does it mean to come in a good way. We also brainstorm potential disasters and cascading effects and share lessons learned, as well as share practical skills. This helps us all skill up and build community to prepare for future disasters.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

Just because the major disasters stop doesn't mean we do. There are always ongoing disasters of social and economic inequality. When we are not responding to people's self-determined needs in the context of hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires, we are applying the same Mutual Aid Disaster Relief principles to respond to the ongoing disasters of colonialism and capitalism, creating survival programs to strengthen our community's resilience, raise people's consciousness, and increase people's empowerment. These survival programs have included a free laundry program, free haircuts, free breakfast program, free groceries, heating assistance on indigenous reservations during the winter, and a lot more.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

From distributing groceries to mobile community kitchens, to providing culturally appropriate food, with our Feed the People Program, we share delicious, nutritious food to people impacted by disasters.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

Staying connected to loved ones after a disaster is a necessity for survivors. Through our Connection Lifeline Program, we help impacted individuals and communities stay connected to each other, and essential services. From mesh networks and wifi to emergency radios to utility assistance, we help survivors stay connected.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

Dogs, cats, and other animals are also impacted by disasters. Through our animal survivor program we distribute essential supplies for animals, and assist with rescue and rehousing of animal companions.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

In this program, we assist disaster survivors with moving assistance, home furnishings, and rental assistance.

Population(s) Served
Victims of disaster

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of programs documented

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

Victims of disaster

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of clients served

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

Victims of disaster

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

% spent on program expenses vs general/admin

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

Victims of disaster

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

% spent on program expenses vs general/admin

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Goal 1: For victims and survivors of disasters to feel empowered by being part of a communal
recovery.

Goal 2: For victims and survivors of disaster to have their basic survival needs met.

Goal 3: For victims and survivors of disaster to have places that are livable, safe to occupy and
more resilient.

A network of volunteers will be established and maintained. The volunteers will go through
orientation and training. Following a disaster, volunteers will go door to door, asking questions
and listening to people at their homes and in the streets, discovering what the community
members’ needs and priorities are. When possible, these needs will be met immediately,
overcoming bureaucracy and red tape.

Purchase or rent trucks, map out affected area, get supplies donated.
Distribute the supplies.

Have supplies distribution coordinators, establish connections with larger,
wholesale relief groups and other suppliers. Locate places to set up distribution centers. Distribute supplies.

Investigate who the community organizations and local churches are.
Contact them, offering to repair their buildings in exchange for their temporary use. Repair
buildings. Set up community centers in those places where community members can help
themselves. Inform the community about this (their) resource.

Establish and maintain a network of volunteers. The volunteers will go through extensive training and orientation. Families with
houses in need of repair will be contacted. Volunteers will repair and restore these houses. Churches and
schools in need of assistance will be located. Volunteers will repair and restore these needed
community spaces.

Contribute to resiliency by pioneering the use of sustainable design in the relief
and recovery efforts involving five different eco-friendly initiatives in the first six months
following a disaster.

We have a large and growing network of activists, organizers, and concerned individuals who are fed up with the top-down, charity model, and ready and willing to put in to contribute to disaster survivor's survival and self-determination.

As part of our Sustainable & Ecological Resilience Program, we've installed a 16 ½ kw solar array with battery backup & generator in an area in Puerto Rico that at the time still didn't have electricity due to Hurricane Maria, facilitated other solar infrastructure projects and distributed solar cell phone chargers, positively impacting over 9,200 people.

With our Supplies Distribution Program, we've distributed 100s of tons of food, water, diapers, personal protective equipment, and other needed supplies to people impacted by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, Dorian, the California Fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other disasters, positively impacting over 25,000 people.

With our Popular Education Program, we have educated people about disaster preparedness, cultural sensitivity, vicarious trauma, self-care strategies, the importance of listening to survivor's self-determined needs, & other topics vital to our "solidarity not charity" approach, positively impacting over 2,500 people in over 50 different cities all across the country.

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?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief
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.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Board of directors
as of 04/03/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

James Dunson

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Yes