Disaster Philanthropy


Webinar - Disaster Philanthropy: Data to Drive Decisions
We have seen disasters all across the world and in our own backyard in recent years. Powerful hurricanes, devastating tornados, and prolonged drought have all affected our area in the last decade. Disaster philanthropy is a vital part of helping our communities recover from such events and be prepared for them in advance. Still, donors often find it hard to determine how, when, and to whom to give to have the greatest impact. 

In partnership with The Foundation Center, The Center for Disaster Philanthropy recently published Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2014: Data to Drive Decisions. The report outlines who gives to disasters, where the money goes, and how it is being spent.

In this special webinar for members of SECF, Robert Ottenhoff (President and CEO of The Center for Disaster Philanthropy) Larry McGill (Vice President for Research at the Foundation Center) discuss the findings of this report and its implications for resources and best practices specifically for institutional donors. 


Hurricanes in the Southeast and the 2013 Hurricane Season Forecast
The Southeastern Council of Foundations, in close collaboration with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), hosted this informational webinar on June 27, 2013. Moderated by CDP President & CEO Robert G. Ottenhoff, the 60-minute webinar features panelists Lori J. Bertman, President & CEO of the Irene W. and CB Pennington Foundation and Mark Brewer, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Central Florida. Also on the panel is Gerry Bell, a hurricane climate specialist and research meteorologist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Together they explore the fundamentals of hurricanes and how seasoned foundation leaders have prepared, planned, and responded to hurricanes.


Creating Order from Chaos: Roles for Philanthropy in Disaster Planning and Response
Creating Order from Chaos was developed by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in the wake of a series of tornadoes which ravaged Alabama in April of 2011. This resource is intended to be a guidebook for those responding to a natural disaster, from preparation for the storm to the process of rebuilding.


Center for Disaster Philanthropy
An affinity group of foundations committed to responding to natural disasters. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy seeks to increase the impact of each dollar given by private donors to address disasters, working for the good of affected communities worldwide. They do this by providing: insights and strategies from seasoned disaster philanthropy specialists; updates and briefs on recent disasters for journalists, philanthropists, and others seeking to use their resources to reduce human suffering; a permanent clearinghouse of information on best practices in disaster management and issues related to disaster response; and an opportunity to pool resources for maximum impact in disaster philanthropy through the Disaster Recovery Fund. Their motto is to be the "when, where, and how of informed disaster giving."


Disaster Grantmaking: A Practical Guide for Foundations and Corporations
Based on lessons learned from a year-long, joint study of the European Foundation Centre and the Council on Foundations, this report concludes that grantmakers can be more effective and strategic in addressing disasters by following eight principles of good disaster management:

  • Do no harm.
  • Stop, look and listen before taking action.
  • Don’t act in isolation.
  • Think beyond the immediate crisis to the long term.
  • Bear in mind the expertise of local organizations.
  • Find out how prospective grantees operate.
  • Be accountable to those you are trying to help.
  • Communicate your work widely and use it as an educational tool.

A number of practical suggestions for good disaster grantmaking flow from these principles and are highlighted in this guide.


Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan, for Community Foundations
Community foundations have proven themselves to be cornerstones of support to the community, especially in times of need and disaster. When emergencies or disasters strike, the Foundation must be well-prepared to quickly and effectively help itself in order to be able to help others. This plan outlines the organization's strategy for responding to emergency or disaster, provides information essential to continuity of critical business functions, and identifies the resources needed. 


Council on Foundations Disaster Grantmaking Forum
Council on Foundation members post their disaster response activities to this online forum so you can keep track of what kinds of actions are being taken. 


After the Disaster: Rebuilding Communities
This report draws from the dialogue and seminar papers shared at an April 2011 meeting co-hosted by the Wilson Center and the Fetzer Institute to explore how best to respond to disasters. Highlighting the complex nature of disaster response and exploring ways to overcome the inherent tension between those responding to disasters and the local community, the discussion centered on how to identify the strengths of a community and use technology to better engage the local community and provide effective, sustainable relief.