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

Southern California Fires

From Southern California Grantmakers (12/5/17): Wildfires in Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties are forcing thousands of people from their homes and destroying millions of dollars in property.

Find Resources for responding to Southern California Fires >>

Northern California Fires

From Center for Disaster Philanthropy: Fires began Oct. 8 in Northern California, and have engulfed more than 115,000 acres across eight counties. As many as 18 fires have notably burned through parts of California this month, including in the cities of Santa Rosa and Anaheim. At least 17 people have died and more than 100 injuries have been reported, and those numbers are expected to rise. More than 45,000 people are under mandatory evacuations, many with little notice. Emergency official report that at least 2,000 structures have been destroyed.

Find Resources for responding to Northern California Fires >>

Hurricane Maria

The devastating effects of hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico are still unfolding, but one thing is certain—the island's most vulnerable communities are likely to be pummeled the hardest and face the longest road to recovery.

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.