Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on September 10 as a Category 3 storm after leaving a trail of destruction through the Caribbean, including significant devastation throughout the Leeward, U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Haiti. Deaths have been attributed to the storm all along its path and many islands remain without power and with little shelter.

Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released).
Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

Right now, attention is rightly focused on providing immediate relief to survivors – temporary shelter, food, water, and other basic needs – and watching how the impact of the storm unfolds over the course of the next few weeks. We know from past disasters, especially through our experiences with hurricanes and floods, that full recovery will take many years. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) is uniquely focused on highlighting the long view of disaster recovery.

In response to the needs that will arise following this devastating storm, the CDP Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund will focus on medium and long-term rebuilding needs. We expect the long-term needs to be rebuilding homes, businesses, infrastructure, meeting the needs of young children, and supporting mental health needs. Geographically, the fund will focus on the entirety of the storm’s impact area. Specific location and need-focus will be determined by the grant oversight committee.


The CDP Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund allows donors to give now to support recovery needs that continue long after the TV cameras and news teams rollup coverage and turn the eye of the world away from this disaster. Through CDP’s unparalleled expertise in disaster management and grantmaking, we will invest in projects and initiatives that:

  • Support vulnerable populations whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated;
  • Emphasize funding that is medium- and long-term in nature and based upon prevailing needs that emerge in the weeks and months to come;
  • Fill in gaps where public resources are unavailable or scarce;
  • Foster collaborative relationships among donors – including the sharing of information with funders and nonprofit organizations; and,
  • Promote cross-sector coordination with academics, donors, think tanks, and public/private humanitarian actors.

The programmatic expertise of CDP’s board, staff, and advisory council – paired with an extensive network of disaster management actors and academics – guides our grantmaking strategy. Emphasis is placed on investing well rather than investing quickly, addressing the greatest needs and gaps in funding that may be yet to emerge. CDP will provide due diligence so donors can give to the fund with confidence and ensured accountability.

About the Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Disaster philanthropy has become an all-too-necessary practice in recent years. Yet donors still are challenged to determine how, when, and to whom to give to have the greatest impact. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy helps individual, family, corporate, and institutional donors answer the question, “How can I help?” more easily and quickly in the wake of a disaster. The Center provides a platform of learning and connection with leading disaster experts and other disaster philanthropists that brings more private money to disaster response efforts.

For more information, please contact:

Regine A. Webster
Vice President
(206) 972-0187

Robert G. Ottenhoff
President & CEO
(202) 595-1026