Center for Nonprofit Leadership

Helping nonprofit leaders do better at doing good

Thomas Fire News & Resources

What is the Thomas Fire Nonprofit Taskforce?

  • The purpose of the Thomas Fire Nonprofit Taskforce is to focus on community recovery efforts by engaging a broad coalition of leaders and organizations serving our region.
  • The Taskforce is ad hoc with participating organizations serving as equal partners.
  • Representatives are from both disaster response agencies and non-emergency responding agencies.

The mission of the Thomas Fire Nonprofit Taskforce is to:

  • Convene across sectors focused on coordination & collaborative practices.
  • Share information about who is doing what, and serve as a clearinghouse of meeting dates and resources.
  • Coordinate fundraising efforts. Aggregate information about charitable funds established, funds collected and places to donate. 
  • Educate community about flow of resources, fostering transparency and accountability for sector and clarity for donors.
  • Serve as resource for best practices, reflection and discussion of how other communities have approached community recovery.
  • Help identify and fill gaps not addressed by other recovery groups.
  • Advocate for and inform a community needs assessment to identify intermediate and long-term community recovery needs.


Community Recovery Events & Deadlines:

  • Thomas Fire Nonprofit Taskforce
    Tuesday, April 17  ·  9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    VCCF Nonprofit Center, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo

    Meeting Agenda - 4/17/18
    Meeting Notes

  • Long Term Recovery Group
    Wednesday, April 18  ·  9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    College Methodist Church - 4300 Telegraph Road, Ventura


sign up for email updates.




Taskforce Meetings

Last Meeting:

Tuesday, April 17  ·  9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
VCCF Nonprofit Center, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo

Meeting Agenda - 4/17/18
Meeting Notes

Previous Meetings:

Latest Updates & Information
  • Updates & Resources

Camp Noah - Ventura (English)
Camp Noah - Ojai (Enlgish)

Camp Noah - Ventura (Spanish)
Camp Noah - Ojai (Spanish)

Ventura County Community Development Corporation & Wells Fargo - Cash Grants

  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region
         Request for Information (RFI)

    Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) for organizations in Southern California working to address recovery needs related to the Thomas Fire. The purpose of the RFI is to address the impact caused by the Thomas Fire with particular emphasis on four key focus areas: 1) vulnerable populations, 2) mental health and wellness, 3) workforce, and 4) organizational capacity.  RFI Deadline is May 15, 2018; Full grant applications are due June 13, 2018.

    CLICK HERE to learn more.


  • Update 3/28/18

From: "Chavez, John" <>
Date: March 28, 2018 at 10:45:55 AM PDT
Subject: DR4353 Final Report

Good day, all, and happy Wednesday.  I am submitting the last update for DR4353.  FEMA has packed up the tents and moved on.  This Gypsy will follow suit and will be heading out on April 5.  It has been a pleasure to work with my fellow Californians – in Northern CA last year and Southern CA this year.  We got six Recovery Groups stood up in both parts of the state.  All those applicants will be given great assistance.  Keep working on those four Cs – Communicate, Collaborate, Cooperate, and Coordinate.  And make sure to take care of yourself.


It was great working with you!

John Chavez, FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison Group Supervisor
75 North Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Archive Updates & Information
  • Update 3/20/18

    Dear Community Partners, Colleagues & Friends,

    Prior burn and adjacent burn areas in Ventura and Ojai have received Mandatory/Voluntary evacuation orders to effective by noon today (3/20).  The areas and an interactive map can be viewed here or in Spanish here
    Anyone needing translation of Ventura County evacuation information can contact Interface Children & Family Services 24/7 by dialing 2-1-1  to get help from a staff person in Spanish, or with the assistance of an interpreter for all other languages.
    2-1-1 Ventura will push texts out to Spanish speaking communities in Ventura & Ojai who have contacted them in the past during disaster who may need evacuation information offering to help review communications with them through a call to 2-1-1 or having them text their zip code to 898211.  They can also assist those located in evacuation zones with no transportation to get to the shelter location.
    Please let our colleagues at 2-1-1 Ventura know how they can be supportive of your efforts and maintain current response and recovery information that is available during this high alert period.
    You can reach Kelly Brown, Director, 2-1-1 Ventura at Interface Children & Family Services - telephone:  805 485-6114, ext. 201 email:
  • Update 2/23/18

    Good day, all, and happy Friday.  I’m passing along some information about your county.  Registration deadline for FEMA is March 16, 2018.  And if a person registered with FEMA and received an SBA Disaster Loan Application, they must return it.  They do not have to accept the loan but return the application if they received one.  It is part of the registration process.  I looked at the amount of Other Needs money that has been distributed and it is low because many people have not returned their SBA application.

    FEMA has given over $3.5 Million in Grant Money and 39 persons have received the Maximum Grant Award of $34,000.

    Minimal Unmet Needs are listed.  This is amount left after Grant Money given is subtracted from the FEMA Verified Loss Amount (what inspector noted as loss – both Residential and Personal Property).  The amount fluctuates daily as registrations are received, applicants update information requested from FEMA, or appeals are processed.  We will have a better handle on this amount after registration closes.

    FEMA has a “Help After A Disaster” Booklet that reviews FEMA process, ineligible reasons, appeals, and FAQs.  It can be found at -  It is available in various languages.

    I thank you for all you are doing and remind you to take care of yourself.


    John Chavez, FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison
    DR4353-CA San Diego, Ventura, Los Angeles Counties
    75 North Fair Oaks Ave.
    Pasadena, CA 91103

  • Update 2/22/18

  • Update 1/25/18

    • Interface Children & Family Services

    Interface has been reaching out to all who are involved with services supportive of Thomas Fire Recovery for updated/verifiable information, so this document will be update continually.  If agencies want to be included in the TFD Resource application form as a reference , it is important that 2-1-1 has complete and accurate information before it is added to our site.  A Spanish version of the fact sheet will be available by the end of this week and Interface plans to have a comprehensive text response resource available soon for Thomas Fire recovery questions.

    • Disaster Relief Clinic at Pepperdine University School of Law and Ventura County Legal Aid

    The Disaster Relief Clinic at Pepperdine University School of Law and Ventura County Legal Aid are offering a FEMA Application Clinic on Tuesday, January 30, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Ventura College of Law.   

    Please see the attached flyers below, and please spread the word widely in the community to folks affected the fires and their aftermath. Many of you are hubs for other organizations in the community, so please consider forwarding this onto them as well.   They will havel have lawyers and law students available with English and Spanish capacity.  FEMA has reported that the deadline to apply for Individual Assistance is March 16, and the funds are capped.  Applying early is better than waiting, and we will be available to assist at this clinic. 

    Please email Jeff Baker ( with any questions, and feel free to forward this information widely. 

    • California Rural Legal Assistance - CRLA

    Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits now available for victims of Southern California wildfires and mudslides.
    Disaster Unemployment Assistance

  • Update 1/24/18

    Special thanks to Vanessa at VCCF for forwarding two additional disaster philanthropy resources to our network.  Below, please find:

  1. Email from Bob Ottendorf, President & CEO of the National Center for Disaster Philanthropy (1/22)
  2. FEMA Update including a webinar scheduled for today, Wednesday, Jan 25 from 1pm – 5pm, for nonprofits interested in applying for federal reimbursement for emergency work or facility damage.  The deadline to apply is January 30.
  • Sent: Monday, January 22, 2018 8:40 AM
    To: Vanessa Bechtel
    Subject: New Year updates: Harvey Fund and disaster philanthropy resources

    Dear Vanessa, 

    Hello & Happy New Year to you! I hope this email finds you well. The disaster season that we faced in 2017 looks to be unceasing as we enter 2018. Our hearts are heavy thinking about the lives lost and devastation being faced in Southern California right now.

    And, we hope that the resources we prepare for philanthropic professionals and their respective organizations are useful to navigate the needs that precede and follow natural and manmade disasters.

    We wanted to highlight several Hurricane Harvey-related resources that may be helpful to you:

    Regine authored this blog giving both a window into our CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund efforts as well as an overview of the needs assessment undertaken by our Fund Director, Sally Ray.

    In close collaboration with The Simmons Foundation, CDP will be hosting biweekly funder briefings for funders seeking to share information or learn of opportunities as the state of Texas continues its recovery. The briefings will be held every other week on Mondays at 2:00 pm central time.

    Housing is a huge issue as multiple states and territories begin to rebuild after the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Please take a moment to review our Disaster Philanthropy Playbook Strategy on Housing to learn about the issue and innovative strategies that funders are taking to address unmet need.

    As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if there is any way that we can continue to support your work!

    My best,


    Bob Ottenhoff| President and CEO

    1201 Connecticut Avenue NW | Suite 300 | Washington, DC 20036
    P: (202) 595-1026 | | | @funds4disaster

    Help communities worldwide rebuild better
    Maximize your disaster giving impact with our consulting services


    Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 4:40 PM
    To: Kern, Michael
    Subject: FEMA Update

    Hello voluntary agency partners.  It has been a week since Individual Assistance was added to the presidential disaster declaration and wow what a busy week!  Disaster Recovery Centers and Local Assistance Centers are open.  FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are canvassing impacted areas and community events and have personally met with more than 650 disaster survivors.  The word has gotten out and more than 1,400 households have already registered for FEMA assistance.  FEMA contractors have completed more than 425 home inspections and more than $1 Million has already been awarded to survivors!

    Here is the breakdown by county based on yesterday’s data.


    For nonprofits interested in applying for federal reimbursement for emergency work or facility damage, a second webinar (which will be recorded) has been scheduled for Wednesday, 1:00 – 5:00

    Join the webinar at:

    The deadline to apply is January 30.  For additional questions contact:

    Michael Kern, CEM
    FEMA, Voluntary Agency Liaison
    808-212-6698 cell

    From: Bonnie Atmore []
    Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 8:22 AM
    To: Jenson, Dena <>
    Subject: County of Ventura AG Commissioner delivers report to County Board of Supervisors - Thomas Fire Impact to AG Industry

    Good morning friends,

    Many of you have asked about the financial implications of the Thomas Fire to our VC AG industry. At yesterday’s County Board of Supervisors meeting the VC Agriculture Commissioner presented a report about the impacts to AG and our community from the Thomas Fire. Several ranchers also presented comments to CBOS about the impacts of the fire.  The fire has cost our VC AG industry $171 million plus in losses to date. Attached is the official letter that details these losses.  Below is a link to the other reports/information VC AG Commissioner shared:

    We were back yesterday afternoon at County Board of Supervisors chambers for an update on our County’s General Plan as well. The room was packed.  Lots to do here yet with the development of the plan.  

    Below is a link to all of the reports and summaries from the general plan as of today.  It is worth setting aside time to review the different updates and summaries as the data and information is relevant to our businesses that support our organizations as well in our role as leaders and representatives in the not-for-profit space.

Sample Documents & Resources