Paradise, California four months after the Camp Fire.


Lives, houses, vehicles and entire towns were lost in the ravaging fires that swept through California in November. In the north, the Camp Fire in Butte County burned 153,336 acres, destroyed 18,733 structures, killed at least including 88 people, making it the most destructive and deadliest fire in California history. In the south, the Woolsey Fire claimed three lives, burned 96,949 acres and destroyed 1,500 structures, while the Hill Fire burned more than 4,531 acres and destroyed four structures.

In response to these wildfires in 2018, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy launched the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund.

With your support, CDP experts on staff worked with local NGOs and other agencies to assess the long-term needs, with an emphasis on:

  • Support vulnerable populations, especially the elderly whose lives and livelihoods will have been devastated.
  • 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.
  • Promote cross-sector coordination with government agencies, 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 yet to emerge.


Generous donors stepped up and helped us raise more than $1.6 million for the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund. As a result, we awarded seven grants to support local long-term recovery groups, housing recovery programs, and mental health outreach and assistance in communities devastated by the Camp, Woolsey and Hill wildfires.

Major Donors

Thank you to the following donors for their generous support of the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund:

  • The Wallace Foundation
  • The Crown Family
  • 21st Century Fox
  • The John & Marcia Goldman Foundation
  • Fallon Family Foundation
  • The Theda and Tamblin Clark Smith Family
  • The Illinois Foundation
  • The William J. J. Gordon Family Foundation
  • The Ho Chen Family Foundation
  • Nion McEvoy
  • Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund
  • The Victor and Christine Anthony Family Foundation
  • Flocco Foundation
  • The Clark R. Smith Family Foundation
  • BlueMountain Capital Management
  • Entertainment Industry Fund

Grant Committee

The grant committee for the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund includes:

Committee Chair: Lori J. Bertman, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge-based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. Lori is the co-founder and chairman of the board of CDP.

Jono Anzalone, Global Disaster Response & Relief Partnerships and Special Projects, Airbnb

Vanessa Bechtel, President & CEO, Ventura County Community Foundation

Alexa Benson-Valavanis, President & CEO, North Valley Community Foundation

Harold Brooks, Former Vice President, American Red Cross

Denise Gilliam, Senior Advisor, Recovery, California Office of Emergency Services

Alan H. Kwok, Director of Disaster Resilience, Northern California Grantmakers

Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy


Butte County Office of Education’s Response and Recovery Project received $500,000 to support expanded mental health outreach, assistance and services for school-aged children and their families across Butte County.

Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group was awarded $114,656 to support their Camp Fire Resource Center which will become the “storefront” for community recovery resources, services and assistance for the entire county.

Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) received $250,000 to support the reconstruction of affordable multi-family housing in Paradise destroyed by the Camp Fire.

Disaster Leadership Team was awarded $30,000 to continue providing direct mentorship support to the Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group and Los Angeles Region Long Term Recovery Group.

The Workforce Housing Project (a project of the North Valley Community Foundationreceived $250,000. This partnership of funders and stakeholders is working to provide solutions for more stable temporary housing among Camp Fire displaced residents.

United Policyholders received $143,140 to scale-up their Roadmap to Recovery program in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in addition to increasing available resources for wildfire recovery in the housing sector in southern California.

Ventura County Community Foundation was awarded $250,000 to support local nonprofits providing housing and/or mental health support or services in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Take Action

For more information or for additional assistance, please contact:

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