No disaster affected community should begin at the beginning.

Rebuild NorthBay supports and mentors newly disaster survivor communities in a variety of ways; Advocacy, Mentorship, Survivor Networks and Partnerships. We understand the challenges of undergoing the trauma of experiencing a major disaster and then searching for answers on how to recover, rebuild, and reimagine. We are not prescriptive; we are adaptive.

We don’t have all of the answers, but we do have a number of strategies, tools, and resources to help other communities affected by any type of disaster, from wildfires to pandemics to wind and rain events. Our goal is to shorten the “pain period” between disaster and recovery. We know from expertise and experience that our work in this area is effective and fills a significant gap in disaster relief and recovery. We #PayItForward in partnership with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Together we can.

Our work would not be possible without the support of Fannie Mae: Disaster Resiliency & Relief.

To view examples of our work in wildfire disaster affected communities on the west coast, please visit our YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe to our podcast debuting in January 2021: “HOW TO DISASTER: RECOVER. REBUILD. REIMAGINE.”

Pay it Forward
C2C: Community to Community Program 2020-21

Amidst a global pandemic, the west coast experienced a devasting fire season. In California alone, over one million acres burned while Oregon, Washington, and Colorado suffered through mega wildfires that devasted towns across the American west. Rebuild traveled to fire affected regions in a COVID safe manner and performed community outreach and support while also listening to the particular challenges and needs of each area. During this time, we have remained mindful that post-disaster recovery is different under the constraints of COVID-19 and we have pivoted to meet the need during this difficult time.

Rebuild NorthBay has committed to a number of measures to assist these areas in their recovery, including virtual convenings of fire survivors who are 1-3 years post disaster in order to share their strategies and experiences as well as answer questions. With the support of Fannie Mae, we have ensured this effort is long term, ongoing, and responsive. We are deeply appreciative of our large network of leaders, both emergent and organizational, who have given their time and expertise to these communities.

We do not charge communities for this work. The only thing we ask is they step up into our survivor network in years to come to offer their help to newly disaster affected communities. We are confident that we can recover if we support one another, community to community. One thing is clear: disasters are a predictable factor in our lives for the foreseeable future. Each of us has a role to play in how we collectively recover, rebuild and reimagine.


Charles Brooks

Photo Collage#PayItForward: C2C: Community to Community Program 2020-21 (Almeda Fire, Talent, Oregon)

Megan Barber Allende, CEO of Mendocino Community Foundation stands with Evelin Weber, Malibu Foundation and Kyla Awalt, Paradise Zone Captains.

Mexico Beach, Florida Panhandle Public Safety OfficialsMexico Beach, Florida Panhandle Public Safety Officials

Sonoma County Nonprofit and Public Leadership Learning Together: New Orleans, January 2019, Impact Experience

Impact Experience, New Orleans, January 2019Impact Experience, New Orleans, January 2019

Panama City, Florida Panhandle, Post-Hurricane Michael panel on Recovery & Relief, FEMA

January 2020, Henry Hansel, of Hansel Auto Group & Executive Board of RNBF addresses the Santa Rosa Rotary Club to talk about Rebuild NorthBay Foundation



On November 8, 2018 we looked up into the sky and saw a huge plume of smoke coming from the northern area of Butte County. It was the Camp Fire and at that moment, people were running for their lives to escape what is the most deadly and destructive wildfire in California history.

At the same time, the Woolsey Fire erupted in the Malibu area, resulting in devastating destruction. Until this date, Rebuild did not anticipate developing a Pay it Forward program, however the prospect of watching these communities begin at the beginning was unthinkable from a humanitarian point of view.

We recognized the gap of service between the local, state, and federal relief: community to community; survivor to survivor counsel, advice, and navigational mentorship. Our Pay it Forward Program was born of this need.

Within 12 days of the Camp Fire, Rebuild’s executive director Jennifer Gray Thompson met with the public leadership in Butte and Paradise. At that time, Jennifer was introduced to Charles Brooks who would go onto create Rebuild Paradise Foundation which is an adapted model of Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, but with their programs, mission, and funding are entirely independent. Jennifer provided that critical mentorship in Year One and since then Charles has emerged as a leader and mentor on his own. Under his leadership, RPF created new programs that fit their community needs and reduced the barriers to rebuilding. In 2020, RPF earned the distinguished “Nonprofit of the Year” for California State Senate District 4 (Jim Nielson).

Rebuild NorthBay provided mentorship to the Malibu Foundation for the first year of their existence coming out of the Woolsey Fire. As part of our service, Rebuild hosted a convening in March of 2019 in Santa Rosa, California that brought together leaders from Paradise and Malibu to meet with people who set up systems of care here in the north bay. With the support and participation of Fannie Mae, we spent two days together listening and sharing strategies, mistakes, lessons, and ideas from Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, and Napa organizations and emergent leaders. Stakeholders and leaders from both Paradise and Malibu left this convening with tools and relationships to help move their recoveries forward better, faster, smarter, stronger.


Since 2018, Rebuild has been recognized as a new model for recovery that facilitates the roles of the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. RNBF’s Executive Director Jennifer Gray Thompson has shared this model across the country with leaders in the recovery space, from FEMA to local OES, to national recovery nonprofits in Washington DC, Florida Panhandle, Texas, and across the state of California. The message has been clear and incredibly well received: the space of disaster is in dire need of innovative models that include long term organizations solely dedicated to disaster. And these organizations must help communities recover through peer-to-peer mentorship; facilitation of public private and nonprofit partnerships; citizen advocacy for changes to the federal relief structure and application process; and most importantly, listening to the new challenges and opportunities brought by climate change.

We do not aspire to substitute any current structures of relief; we do aim to fill the gap to ensure that every community has an equal opportunity to recover, rebuild and reimagine.