CDP 2018 California Wildfires Recovery Fund

Lives, houses, vehicles and entire towns were lost in the ravaging fires that swept through California in November 2018.

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 2018 California Wildfires Recovery Fund.

This fund supported these disasters:

Funding focus

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 – guided our grantmaking strategy. Emphasis was placed on investing well rather than investing quickly – addressing the greatest needs and gaps in funding that may yet to emerge.

Grant committee

The grant committee for the CDP 2018 California Wildfires Recovery Fund included:

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 former 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, Former President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Generous donors stepped up and helped us raise more than $1.6 million for the CDP 2018 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.

See all our grantee partners

North Valley Community Foundation

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Thank you to the following donors for their generous support of the CDP 2018 California Wildfires Recovery Fund:

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

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Fund updates

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Fund resources

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