Philanthropy & Hurricane Sandy: A Report on the Foundation & Corporate Response

Publication date: 
October, 2014

Two years after the historic storm, Philanthropy & Hurricane Sandy: A Report on the Foundation & Corporate Response breaks down the allocation of dollars contributed thus far and offers perspective on the role of private giving in disaster response and lessons to be taken from this one. The report was published by Foundation Center in cooperation with the funder associations Philanthropy New York and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, and with support from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Philanthropy & Hurricane Sandy goes beyond the numbers to assess the activities of funders in this and past disasters in order to highlight "best practices." For instance, making an effort to share information with other funders and nonprofits is cited as a particularly effective strategy in such situations. The report also identifies opportunities for funders to make a bigger impact with their contributions, such as when they can address funding gaps that remain after the initial short-term response. The observations and advice outlined in the report are designed to help funders be more strategic in their response to disasters.

This report notes that philanthropic donations are a small fraction of the $60 billion in emergency assistance provided by the federal government and $19 billion paid out by insurance companies. Still, the research findings reveal that philanthropy’s response has nonetheless served a critical role in certain types of relief, recovery, and rebuilding work that might otherwise fall through the cracks.