Giving Tuesday: Advancing Equitable Disaster Philanthropy

In the wake of hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy leverages localized expertise to make informed, equity-driven, and intentional grants for disaster relief.

Natural disasters in a changing climate

On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida tore through Southeastern Louisiana leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Over a million people in the region are left without power; flooding, high winds, downed power lines and trees left it unsafe for residents to leave their homes.

As hurricane season continues, so too do the wildfires that rage across the Western United States. California wildfires have impacted over 1.66 million acres this year. Most recently, South Lake Tahoe faces evacuation orders due to the Caldor Fire.

In the wake of hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters, one organization leverages localized expertise to make informed, equity-driven, and intentional grants for disaster relief.

The when, where and how of informed disaster giving.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) mobilizes a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur.

While everyone is vulnerable to disaster, some groups and communities face disproportionate risk and subsequent harm. CDP centers its disaster funding on equity and justice to support specialized programs that target services to marginalized populations. Its strategic vision centers those who are most vulnerable and embraces an intersectionality approach to reimagine disaster response philanthropy.

With an emphasis on medium- to long-term recovery, CDP’s work:

  • Increases the effectiveness of contributions given to disasters.
  • Brings greater attention to the life cycle of disasters — from preparedness, mitigation and planning to rebuilding, resilience and recovery.
  • Provides timely and relevant advice from experts with deep knowledge of disaster philanthropy.
  • Conducts due diligence so donors can give with confidence.
  • Creates plans for informed giving for individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Supports targeted, localized and holistic grantmaking.

CDP collaborates with and is informed by the expertise of local organizations in impacted communities to most effectively support efforts to recover from disaster. By developing strategic partnerships, CDP leverages the expertise of nonprofits and other institutions to effectively minimize the impact of disasters on vulnerable populations and communities around the world.

CDP has funds that are specific to the following crises, including:

  • Haiti Earthquake Recovery Fund which has responded to the M7.2 earthquake that struck southwest Haiti on August 14, 2021;
  • Colorado Wildfires Recovery Fund which served Colorado as it joined the wildfire season in 2020 with the Cameron Peak Fire, East Troublesome Fire, and Calwood Fire, two of which became the state’s two largest fires in history;
  • California Wildfires Recovery Fund which has distributed $3.8 million in grants to nonprofits and community groups in Northern and Southern California to help families and entire communities recover, particularly among vulnerable populations;
  • Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund which identifies unmet recovery needs and funding gaps in communities across geographic areas affected by this season’s Atlantic hurricanes;
  • COVID-19 Response Fund which has distributed over $27.6 million to 134 organizations working in the U.S. and abroad;
  • Global Recovery Fund which serves international disasters and emergencies as they arise, including major floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and humanitarian and refugee crises;
  • Disaster Recovery Fund which serves as a permanent resource for the U.S. disaster philanthropy community to support medium- to long-term recovery work.

Among other signature projects and funds, CDR provides management and administrative support to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance, a consortium of Louisiana-based private, community, and corporate foundations and donors that addresses issues of disaster recovery and resilience and reduces risk and vulnerability across the state.

This post is part of a series that highlights the non-profit organizations that members of our team support. Read more about's GivingTuesday initiative here.