sdp2015-coverWe are pleased to announce that the second annual Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy report has just been released! The report, a joint effort of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Foundation Center represents a global effort to track, document, and record philanthropic giving to disasters.

Why do this? We want to more accurately capture how philanthropy currently responds to disasters and encourage philanthropy to support the full arc of a disaster, not just the immediate relief needs. This second report represents the most comprehensive analysis to date on disaster philanthropy

This year’s report benefits from several enhancements:

  1. The data are drawn from seven different sources – Foundation Center, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECF) Credit Reporting System, FEMA, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Financial Tracking Service, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center Disaster Corporate Aid Tracker, GlobalGiving, and Network for Good.
  2. The Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy Dashboard allows funders, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders to interact with the data and hone in on their specific areas of interest. When visiting the dashboard, you can filter the information by disaster type, disaster assistance strategy, geographic area, and data source

Key findings from the report include:

  • The seven data sources documented $27.6 billion for disasters and humanitarian crises awarded in 2013.
  • Government dollars provided the largest sources of aid. FEMA alone distributed more than $11 billion in grants and assistance in 2013.
  • Aid from the 29 members of OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) totaled $13.6 billion. Non-DAC donors and multilateral organizations accounted for at least another $2.4 billion.
  • Grants awarded by the top 1,000 U.S. foundations totaled $116.9 million. Foundation Center was able to identify an additional $60.1 million in funding by smaller foundations, public charities, and international foundations.
  • Storms drew the most investments from U.S. foundations (46 percent of all funding) and the largest proportion of giving was for response and relief (42 percent), while 19 percent of funding targeted reconstruction and recovery efforts.
  • Across data sources, the majority of funding targets relief efforts.

We have three specific hopes for this report and its use by all stakeholders:

  1. That the private funder community takes notice of the Dashboard and uses the tool to understand funding flows to disasters globally.
  2. That the report and Dashboard compel the funder community to increase their investments to disasters. Regrettably, the need for humanitarian assistance in response to complex humanitarian emergencies, rapid-onset natural disasters, and slow-onset natural disasters will not decrease in years to come.
  3. That the funding community reflects on where and when it allocates disaster dollars and recognizes the need to fund beyond the immediate relief time horizon. Disaster-affected communities require financial investments that take them to long-term recovery.

When the Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2014 report launched, I said this:

“With the knowledge we are gaining from this year’s report, and will gain from future reports, we have the power to truly change our collective behavior – directing more funds in more strategic ways to ensure the needs of disaster-affected communities both domestically and globally are well taken care of.”

While we are excited about the progress we have made over the past year, the sentiment expressed above still stands. We must encourage disaster dollars to be channeled in a manner that best meets the needs of those affected.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy will host a webinar on the report in early December. Keep watching our site for the date and time. We hope that you will join us for a robust discussion around the report findings.