The Center for Disaster Philanthropy focuses on effective giving before, during, and after disasters.

Effective disaster philanthropy is complex. While the need for action is urgent, the time for planning and research is limited. For many, disaster giving falls outside typical grantmaking processes or organizational priorities.

Our staff, board, and advisory council bring more than one hundred years of combined experience in various aspects of philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and disaster management to you through strategic one-on-one guidance. Our mission is to help you make your disaster-related giving more effective and intentional.

To learn more about the following advisory services, please contact us.

Before Disaster Strikes

The best time to think about disaster philanthropy is now—before disaster strikes.

CDP works with you to design custom strategies that align with your organization’s priorities, grantmaking experience, and values. We take the time to get to know what really matters to you and your organization.

Develop new strategies. We helped a large, nationally-recognized foundation develop a strategy for connecting its episodic disaster-related giving to its rigorous strategic grant-making program.

Implement innovative programs. We helped a foundation achieve its disaster-related goals by designing and implementing a $1 million annual grantmaking program for low-attention disasters in ten states in the Midwest.

Respond globally. We helped a corporate foundation develop a strategy and an approach for how they think about responding to disasters globally.

Become a community leader. We are working with the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and seventeen community foundations to help them become leaders in planning and preparing for their communities for disasters.

When Disaster Strikes

As disasters increase in frequency and intensity, we are helping more donors develop disaster-giving strategies for the first time. Overwhelmed with urgent and challenging needs, you need expert, prompt guidance on new approaches and proven strategies.

Pool resources with recovery funds. In times of disaster, CDP helps pool contributions in order to increase impact and effectiveness. After launching a fund, CDP creates an advisory committee of experts, conducts due diligence, and ultimately awards grants in a mid- to long-term recovery period. For example, more than 360 donors participated in our Nepal Recovery Fund in 2015.

Do good in unfamiliar territory. Both a corporate and a family foundation with local giving strategies participated in CDP’s Haiyan Fund, thereby accomplishing their humanitarian goals in a faraway country.

Help important clients. A community foundation referred its DAF client with family in Nepal to CDP’s Nepal Fund as part of its commitment to service.

Address immediate needs. Designed to advise donors right after a disaster strikes, our 24/7 Disaster Philanthropy Hotline at 206-972-0187 is available any time you need due diligence and recommendations on how to take action. For several clients, we monitor the world for disasters, provide timely content when disaster does strike and make recommendations within 48 hours of potential nonprofits to consider for contributions.

After Disaster Strikes

After the media attention has faded and fundraising has stopped, the public tends to forget about the after effects of a disaster. But it takes years, sometimes decades, to recover from disasters. We often don’t even know what all the unmet needs will be. Thorough follow-up and program evaluation provide ongoing updates on ways donors can help truly rebuild.

Evaluate impact. Through site visits and program evaluation, we provided 300+ donors a series of updates on the impact their funds had one year after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

Increase engagement. To deepen your awareness to the important work your funding supports, we provide regular updates and engagement opportunities in our newsletter, webinars, workshops, site visits, and more.