About Colorado VOAD

COVOAD’s Organizational Profile/Mandate

COVOAD falls under the umbrella of NVOAD. NVOAD was formed in 1970 when it was acknowledged that the voluntary agencies’ response following Hurricane Camille (1969) was fragmented and uncoordinated. Thereafter, particularly in response to Hurricane Andrew in the early 1990s, state VOADs began forming throughout the U.S. to support state and regional needs.

In 2010 COVOAD underwent a strategic planning process which resulted in a three-year strategic plan that was finalized in January of 2011.

Download the Strategic Plan Document

Dowload COVOAD By Laws Document

COVOAD works to support its membership by facilitating planning and coordination efforts among response and recovery voluntary agencies. By working together before disasters strike, COVOAD member agencies are better positioned to provide more effective services and minimize duplication.

The core of COVOAD’s success is its commitment to facilitate and enhance what is known as the ‘4 Cs’: communication, coordination, cooperation, and collaboration (see Appendix A for more on ‘The Four Cs’).

The key activities of COVOAD, as with all VOADs, can be categorized into the following:

1. Planning: COVOAD should strive to have a comprehensive understanding of the key resources and capabilities of its members as well as a clear idea of the roles members will fill when a disaster strikes. COVOAD should also clearly articulate what its role is in an event. Planning activities include regular and annual meetings, outreach, and communication (updates, newsletters, website…).

2. Convening: In the event of a disaster, COVOAD should convene its members and other key stakeholders to share information, assess resources, identify needs, and develop a strategy to collectively respond to the disaster. COVOAD should coordinate with regional VOADs when appropriate.

3. Partnering: COVOAD should strive to develop partnerships with key entities to facilitate effective service delivery to those affected by disasters. This may include, but is not limited to, government emergency management agencies, other key government agencies (human services, health, elected officials), the private sector, and voluntary agencies.

4. Training: COVOADs should encourage participation in trainings and exercises among its membership through information sharing of training/exercise opportunities and facilitating engagement when appropriate.

It is important to note that COVOAD itself is not a provider of disaster and recovery services. Its role is to support its members so that they may be more effective in their efforts. Further, COVOAD has no authority over its membership and does not speak on behalf of individual members. While COVOAD may make requests of its membership in an effort to address needs, COVOAD does not have the authority to instruct members on how to utilize their resources or execute their operations. Participation in COVOAD and its collaborative efforts is strictly at the discretion of member agencies.


NVOAD’s mission is based on four core values known as the ‘4 Cs’. The importance of these core values and why they are central to all VOADs is outlined below.
1. Cooperation
Voluntary agencies need and rely on each other.  No single member organization of NVOAD has all the answers for all the challenges that arise during disasters.  Voluntary agencies need to treat each other as partners.
2. Communication
NVOAD member organizations must regularly share information regarding their capacities, accomplishments, limitations, and commitments.  Members must develop and maintain effective channels for information sharing, listen carefully to each other, and deal openly with concerns.
3. Coordination
Member organizations must commit to working together, in a non-competitive manner, toward the goal of effective service delivery to disaster victims.  Through careful planning and preparation, NVOAD can help its member organizations work in a coordinated fashion when a disaster strikes.
4. Collaboration
Member organizations must actively work together to achieve specific goals and undertake specific projects at disaster sites.  They must form effective partnerships during the disaster response.