Disaster Giving & Grantmaking
Wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes have caused devastation both on our shores and beyond. We stand with those affected and have compiled selected resources to help inform effective giving. As we know from past local experience with the Soberanes Fire and Big Sur Relief Funds, effective areas of support include relief, recovery and rebuilding.
How to Give: 4 Areas of Support
When giving in response to a disaster, its important to keep in mind there are several ways to provide assistance.
1. Respond to immediate need
2. Fund recovery
3. Invest in mitigation or reform
4. Get ready for the next one
(Excerpted from: 4 Tips for Donors Responding to Hurricane Harvey by Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Contributor, Forbes 8/28/17)
What to Give
- Money Monetary donations are preferred over material items, which can often go to waste and create difficulties for recovery groups.
- Look for trusted organizations, like community foundations worldwide, in the affected area, who know the landscape of local nonprofits.
- Give to organizations with a proven track record and Investigate those you are unfamiliar with to avoid scams. You can visit sites like www.guidestar.org for information.
- Time Research the websites of local organizations who have experience in the area to see where help may be needed most, as needs may change over time.
- You can also search general volunteer opportunities for non-emergency volunteer opportunities
Where to Give
Ventura County & Southern California Wild Fires
- Ventura County Community Foundation Ventura County Sudden and Urgent Needs Fund (SUN) provides short term relief for those in urgent need and the Community Disaster Relief Fund will provide mid to long term assistance.
- California Community Foundation has links to give, resources, and information about the December 2017 fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Their Wildfire Relief Fund, which opened in 2003 and has granted $3.5 million, is mobilized and accepting donations.
Northern California Wild Fires
- Northern California Fire Fund Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties’ community foundations have jointly mobilized the Northern California Fire Fund, held at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
- Napa County Community Foundation Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund
- Sonoma County Community Foundation Sonoma County Resilience Fund
- Community Foundation of Mendocino Community Disaster Fund
- Greater Houston Community Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
- Supplies or volunteering (from Greater Houston Community Foundation)
- Short term relief: American Red Cross
- United Way Harvey Recovery Fund (see also Irma) includes links to local United Way funds
- Broward Cares (Community Foundation collaboration)
- Community Foundation of Collier County
- Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Marlin Counties Hurricane Assistance Fund
- Community Foundation of Sarasota Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
- The Miami Foundation (Relief, Recovery and Caribbean funds)
- Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund
To help those affected in Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands:
- Hurricanes Irma & Maria Response and Recovery Fund (Silicon Valley Community Foundation – 100% for relief)
- Unidos A fund for Puerto Rico supported by NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, managed by nonprofit Hispanic Federation
- Fund for the Virgin Islands Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands fund for hurricane relief and recovery
Where to Give: Mexico Earthquake Relief
- Direct Relief a humanitarian aid organization with staff members in Mexico City, has pledged that 100% of its donations will go directly to relief efforts
- Mexico Earthquake Response and Recovery Fund (Silicon Valley Community Foundation -1 00% for relief)
- Oxfam US 100% of donation will go towards relief
If you have a donor advised fund with the Community Foundation for Monterey County, you can direct a grant to any qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit. You can log on to Donor Central, call 831.375.9712 or email our Philanthropic Services staff with any questions.
Rebuilding After Disaster
In a recent Washington Monthly article, Community Foundation for Monterey County CEO Dan Baldwin teamed up with colleagues from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and Arizona Community Foundation to dive into how their organizations responded to disasters, ensuring confidence in relief and recovery grantmaking through the unique abilities of community foundations.