This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law reviews how U.S. public charities, private foundations, and corporations can provide hardship relief funding to communities and individuals, including to employees of a particular company, in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.
Foundations often play an essential role in disaster relief and recovery. In addition to funding, grantmakers can offer support in other ways by leveraging their experience and expertise to help organizations and civic leaders in all three stages of the post disaster environment:
- Immediate Relief: In the initial aftermath of a disaster, foundations, government agencies, nonprofit service organizations and volunteers rally to provide food, shelter, water, medical care, and clothing to survivors, and to account for the deceased.
- Short-term Recovery: Press coverage and donations peak during the immediate relief stage. However, just when public attention begins to wane, critical recovery work begins. Philanthropic investments help provide continued health and social services, including provision of safe drinking water, temporary or transitional shelter, sanitation facilities, and other services for survivors and their dependents.
- Long-term Rebuilding: In many communities hit by disaster, it takes several years to rebuild physical infrastructure, restore the natural environment, and rehabilitate the lives of those who are among the hardest hit. In this stage, funders play a key role by making strategic investments that can address chronic social and environmental challenges in the impacted community.
The Council provides resources to help members effectively respond to domestic and international disasters.
In-Depth knowledge on Disaster Grantmaking
You may wonder whether you can make grants to GoFundMe campaigns that are supporting localized efforts during disasters. Proceed cautiously: GoFundMe and many similar crowdfunding platforms are not registered 501(c)3 public charities, and therefore you need to examine carefully whether the campaigns hosted on these sites are charitable in nature.
This web based tool is a central location for State/Local/Tribal governments, emergency managers, and planners to view programs from Federal, State, For-Profit, Non-Profit, and Charitable entities.
Options for private foundations for disaster grantmaking
Options for community foundations, public foundations, and other charities for disaster grantmaking.
Direct Corporate Giving options for disaster grantmaking
Outlines how employer-connected disaster relief and emergency hardship funds are eligible for exemption.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, corporate grantmakers often wish to address the needs of employees and the community at large. Grantmakers must understand the legal rules that govern disaster grantmaking. This article provides answers to many common questions on providing disaster relief.