CDP and Foundation Center Launch Project to Measure Disaster Giving

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) has partnered with Foundation Center to conduct the most comprehensive data collection and analysis effort to date on disaster-focused charitable giving. The first deliverable will be a research report, available late in 2014.

“Each year, several research studies and reports provide an excellent overview of charitable giving and philanthropy. But very few of them provide detailed and timely information on disaster giving. We are seeking to find out how much is being given to disaster activities and how it is being spent. Our expectation is that this new data collection effort will give us new insights into how to improve disaster philanthropy,” said Robert G. Ottenhoff, President and CEO of CDP.

CDP, through a generous lead gift from The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, is working with Foundation Center to establish baseline data, aggregate multiple data streams, and track disaster giving globally.

An expert advisory committee and consultation with key stakeholders will guide the project, Measuring Disaster Philanthropy. CDP and Foundation Center look forward to broad participation and collaboration across the disaster philanthropy field in creating a new data-gathering network composed of major grantors and grantees in the disaster field. Such a network will contribute to CDP and Foundation Center’s efforts to create useful and relevant tools to assist better decision-making, transparency, and coordination.

“By increasing the information available on disaster giving, philanthropists, government agencies, and NGOs will be better able to insure that those in need get the right resources, for the right purpose, at the right time,” said Bradford K. Smith, President of Foundation Center.

Foundation Center, the leading authority on philanthropy worldwide, maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants. As a knowledge partner for the field, Foundation Center empowers donors with the tools they need to be strategic, connects nonprofits to the resources they need to thrive, and communicates philanthropy’s contribution to making a better world.

The advisory committee members include the following: Nancy Anthony (Oklahoma City Community Foundation), Lori Bertman (Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation), Ed Cain (Conrad N. Hilton Foundation), Sherrie Forrest (National Academies of Science), Helena Frasier (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), Mark Lindberg (Margaret A. Cargill Foundation), David Meltzer (American Red Cross), Apollo Nkwake (Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, Tulane University), Una Osilli (Indiana University), Lawrence T. McGill (Foundation Center), Robert G. Ottenhoff (Center for Disaster Philanthropy), Alexandra Pittman (Foundation Center), Joe Ruiz (UPS Foundation), Seema Shah (Foundation Center), Julie Ann Thompson (UNOCHA), Rudy von Bernuth (Save the Children, retired), Regine A. Webster (Center for Disaster Philanthropy), Sam Worthington (InterAction) and Clay Whybark (University of North Carolina).


The Center for Disaster Philanthropy mobilizes philanthropy to strengthen communities’ ability to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. It provides expert advice and resources while managing domestic and international disaster funds on behalf of corporations, foundations and individuals through targeted, holistic and localized grantmaking. Find out more at and on Twitter @funds4disaster.