Relief for Disasters

Find general and specific disaster relief information and resources for funders or individuals who want to support organizations in regional, national or world wide responses. You can find resources specific to Connecticut >>; general disaster response publications >>; and information and materials for ongoing and past disasters >>   

Ongoing and Past Disasters

California Wildfires

NOVEMBER 13: 1:00 - 2:00 PM: California Fires Webinar Briefing with Local Responders and Funders >>
Philanthropy California
 is offering funders an up-to-the-minute briefing on the fires, local and state agency responses, and how to aid local efforts and avoid fraud. Fires in Northern and Southern California are causing deaths and mass evacuations. The Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in modern California history is only 25 percent contained in the north. 6,500 homes are destroyed and 31 people have died (as of the morning of November 12th). The Woolsey and Hill Fires in Los Angeles and Ventura have sent 265,000 people from their homes and is only five percent contained. In addition to the destruction of 180 homes in Malibu, residents in Thousand Oaks are facing dual tragedies—a massacre at the country music bar, followed immediately by the Woolsey fire.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Ventura County Community Foundation has up two funds to support the double tragedies in its community:


United Way of Northern California is accepting donations to assist relief and recovery operations in the wake of devastating wildfires in 2018 this year in Shasta and Butte counties. UWNC is providing emergency cash grants to those who lost their homes; assisting non-profit partners in their provision of direct services to survivors, and providing help for survivors through other United Way activities and programs. Learn more >>

Supporting Tree of Life Synagogue Victims

From Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania: The GWP community is grieving for the injuries and loss of life at Tree of Life on October 27. It is hard to fathom that our beloved home has become another terrible instance of lethal violence, fueled by hate. Together with others in the community, we offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded. With the resources below, we hope to make a contribution to the process of healing and recovery. Thousands of people gathered on Sunday for a vigil to remember those who were victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and numerous other dignitaries spoke at the event and called for unity over hatred. The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum vigil featured a video message from the president of Israel and an in-person message from an Israeli cabinet minister.  

Many community leaders have issued statements about the tragedy.

In response to the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, GWP is compiling resources for those interested in providing support:

  • The Pittsburgh Foundation launched the #LoveIsStronger crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to support eight organizations engaged in meeting the needs of those killed and wounded during the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The Foundation is contributing a dollar-for-dollar match up to $150,000 now through 11:59 p.m., Nov. 4. Full details are available at
  • Jewish FederationVictims of Terror Fund: If you would like to help, you can contribute to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh's "Our Victims of Terror Fund." The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania will match donations, doubling the impact of your contribution up to $100,000. 100% of donations collected for the "Our Victims of Terror" fund will support psychological services, support for families, general services, reconstruction, additional security throughout the community, medical bills for all those involved, as well as counseling and other services that may prove necessary in the future.  
  • GoFundMe: GoFundMe has established a page using its Certified Charity Campaign.  Funds raised will go to the Tree of Life Congregation to help cover damage to the building as well as supporting survivors and victims' families.
  • Islamic Center of Pittsburgh: The Muslim community is raising funds for the victims and their families, including funeral expenses and medical bills.Over $100,000 has been raised through the Launch Good campaign, Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue.
  • The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is compiling information and resources related to Saturday’s tragic events and the grief and healing that will follow.
  • Please note: while the American Red Cross of Southwestern PA has been providing assistance, it is not fundraising for its work with victims and families at this time.   

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm Wednesday, October 10, 2018, northwest of Mexico Beach, Florida and is the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Florida Panhandle. Along with massive power outages and damage to personal and public property resulting from the storm, the death toll now stands at 13 individuals. Below is a list of resources for those who want to know how to provide relief for affected communities:

  • Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), in collaboration with the Council on Foundations, Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Southeastern Council on Foundations and the Funder's Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, hosted a webinar on Monday, October 15. The conversation focused on tracking what we know to date about Hurricane Michael while also looking ahead to future needs and how the philanthropic community can support full recovery.
  • CDP maintains a disaster profile live on their website. This page will have updates on the storm's impact as well as how funders can be most thoughtful through their grantmaking.
  • United Way created the United Way Hurricane Michael Recovery Fund to support communities in Florida, Alabama and Georgia impacted by the storm. United Ways in the affected areas will raise money locally and respond to emerging needs as appropriate, while the national fund will complement their efforts and provide a single clearinghouse for individual and corporate donors who want to impact all affected areas.
  • The Florida Disaster Fund administered by the Volunteer Florida Foundation, is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities in times of disaster. 
  • The CDP 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund is accepting donations to meet the medium- and long-term recovery needs following Hurricanes Florence and Michael.  

Hurricane Florence

Early on September 14, 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Hurricane Florence powerful, long-lived, and caused catastrophic damage in the Carolinas, primarily as a result of freshwater flooding. The United Philanthropy Forum and the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers have begun compiling information and resources concerning philanthropy and disaster relief in the state: 

OCTOBER 10: 2:00 - 3:00 PM: Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livanle Communities - Fire & Flood: How High-Risk Communities are Becoming More Resilient >>

SEPTEMBER 18: 3:00 - 4:00 PM: Center for Disaster Philanthropy Webinar - Hurricane Florence: What's Next? >>

  • The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago has opened a Hurricane Florence Relief Fund . Donations can be made at
  • The North Carolina Community Foundation has reactivated its Disaster Relief Fund.
  • The Outer Banks Community Foundation is accepting contributions to its Disaster Relief Fund.
  • Foundation For The Carolinas has activated a Hurricane Florence Response Fund.
  • The Community Foundation of Henderson County is accepting donations to its Disaster Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding Fund (DR3). For more information, visit, or email

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund >>
In response to the needs that will arise following Hurricane Florence and other storms that may hit throughout the Atlantic hurricane season, such as Isaac, Helene and Gordon, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy's 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund will focus on medium- and long-term recovery needs, including rebuilding homes and businesses; meeting the needs of young children; and supporting mental health (among other needs). Specific locations and funding gaps to address unmet needs will be determined by a grant committee that will be established to guide CDP’s staff and board.

View a full list of disaster relief resources >>

Hurricane Maria

The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain and the American Savings Foundation, with leadership by State Representative Bobby Sanchez of New Britain, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, and Marlo Greponne of HRA of New Britain, collaborated in late September 2017 to establish the Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund in the wake of the storm. The fund aims to serve as a central and local charitable hub for those in New Britain and surrounding communities who wish to support, through charitable donations, the more than 3.4 million Puerto Rican citizens ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Learn more >>

Hispanics in Philanthropy - Puerto Rico One Year After Maria: Our work continues >>

SEPTEMBER 20: 3:00 - 4:00 PM: Center for Disaster Philanthropy Webinar - Hurricanes Irma and Maria: State of Recovery >>

View news of many CCP member responses in the Disaster Relief News >>

Find Resources for responding to Hurricane Maria, including a list of funds >>

Hurricane Irma

From United Philanthropy Forum: After taking a destructive path through the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys on September 10. It will continue to wreak havoc as it moves through the state of Florida. States of Emergency has also been issued in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. An incredibly powerful storm, its full impact has yet to be realized.

Find Resources for responding to Hurricane Irma, including a list of funds and a webinar >> 


Mexico Earthquakes and Hurricane Katia

From Center fort Disaster Philanthropy: An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the richter scale occurred on September 19 in central Mexico, as the country still reeled from an 8.1 earthquake on September 8, just off the country’s southern coast. The epicenters of the two earthquakes were roughly 400 miles apart. More than 250 people died in the Sept. 19 earthquake, and the number is expected to rise as search and rescue teams sort through the piles of rubble and buildings. The second earthquake effected areas of Mexico City and southward. Hurricane Katia has caused additional damage to the eastern coast.

Find Resources for responding to the Mexico Earthquakes and Hurricane Katia >>

    Hurricane Harvey

    Hurricane HarveyFrom United Philanthropy Forum: Areas in Texas between Corpus Christi and Houston are experiencing extreme flooding due to Hurricane Harvey, a record-breaking storm. More rain on the way is expected to make matters even worse. The Red Cross has already established 21 shelters and is prepared to offer 30+ more. Other organizations besides the Red Cross have established shelters. The President signed a federal disaster declaration for coastal communities.

    Find Resources for responding to Hurricane Harvey, including a list of funds, webinars and recordings >>


    In its statement on the rioting in Charlottesville, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy includes resources to support philanthropy deepening its understanding and work on diversity, equity, and inclusion >>

    Find updated resources in the August Connecticut Philanthropy Digest >>

    The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook includes a Communities in Crisis Strategy webpage with resources including innovative practices, key takeaways, and a tip sheet. 

    Connecticut Resources

    In the wake of a disaster, people are often deeply moved to find a way to aid their fellow citizens. Giving to charities is one of the most common ways of offering help, but finding an appropriate charity in the aftermath of a disaster can be difficult or even confusing. Others may want to establish new charities, and existing charities will receive and seek donations to aid in the response to a disaster. The State of Connecticut Disaster Relief Guide offers some suggestions and advice both for those who wish to make charitable donations as well as for those new or existing charities involved in raising funds for disaster relief.


    Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein released the Sandy Hook Report on the overwhelming charitable response to the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. The report evaluates information provided voluntarily by organizations engaged in fundraising related to the tragedy, provides a quantitative analysis of survey responses and identifies ways that state regulators and the nonprofit community can partner and collaborate to provide transparency, bolster donor confidence, consolidate resources and increase coordination.

    Philanthropy Resources

    The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is an online compilation of philanthropic strategies, best practices and lessons learned that have saved and galvanized local economies, nonprofits, and vulnerable populations from entering into a permanent downward spiral in the wake of a disaster. The Playbook is a joint project of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers in association with the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. The strategies, lessons learned, and impact stories contained throughout the site will be of maximum benefit to the national social sector, funders, individual philanthropists, and nonprofit organizations.

    Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy: Data to Drive Decisions
    The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has partnered with Foundation Center on an interactive dashboard, which provides an analysis of disaster-related funding by foundations, governments, corporations and individuals. The data presented illuminates funding trends, exposes some of the imbalances in where and when contributions are made to help donors make more strategic decisions about their investments in the full life cycle of disasters, including preparedness and recovery efforts.


    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.


    Creating Order From Chaos: Roles for Philanthropy in Disaster Planning and Response
    The Jessie Ball duPont Fund published this guide in 2015 to outline the best roles for funders in a disaster, culled from its many decades of experience in responding to the needs of communities and nonprofits beset by disasters, human and natural alike. 

    Disaster, Older Adults and Philanthropy
    This article from Grantmakers in Aging details why disaster-related death rates are so much higher older adults and how philanthropy can help. 

    Disaster Planning and Recovery for Nonprofits, Charities, and Libraries
    The Resilient Organization, developed with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, is a holistic guide to IT disaster planning and recovery. This e-book is intended for organizations that are preparing for a disaster, as well as those that need to rebuild and maintain operations after a disaster.