Latest Report Details How Disaster Funding Is Distributed

Free Webinar on Thursday, November 17, Will Discuss Key Findings and Demonstrate the State of Disaster Philanthropy Dashboard and Mapping Platform

New York, NY — Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide, and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), the only full-time resource devoted to disaster philanthropy, announce the third edition of their annual research report, Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2016: Data to Drive Decisions.

sodp2016_coverWith data gathered from eight sources worldwide, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this new report documents $22.5 billion in 2014 disaster-related giving and analyzes the allocation of funds from a broad range of donors, including foundations, governments, multilateral donors, corporate giving programs, online giving platforms, donor-advised funds, and more.

“Now the world can see how private foundations give in relation to disasters and global crises, and how their funding fits in the ecosystem of global humanitarian aid,” said Bradford K. Smith, president of Foundation Center. “Ultimately, if we can provide knowledge that leads to strategic decision making, it will increase the effectiveness of disaster-related giving.”

On Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm ET, CDP President and CEO Robert G. Ottenhoff and Foundation Center Vice President for Knowledge Services Lawrence T. McGill will host a free webinar to discuss key findings of the report. They will also demonstrate how the data on the Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy Dashboard and Mapping Platform, available for free at, can lead to more informed, strategic disaster-related giving worldwide. Journalists, donors, foundations, corporations, NGOs, and government agencies are encouraged to participate.

Among its many findings, the report shows that large U.S. foundations devoted $225.7 million to disaster-related funding in 2014, with 70 percent, or $157.6 million, dedicated to fighting the Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa. It also reveals that for these foundations:

  • 73 percent of total funding targeted immediate response and relief efforts
  • Only 11 percent focused on disaster preparedness and risk reduction
  • Donations for disasters increased by 93 percent, from $116.9 million in 2013 to $225.7 million in 2014
  • At the same time, fewer grants were distributed by fewer funders than in prior years

Looking at the data, Ottenhoff concluded, “Our current funding patterns are unsustainable and insufficient. We need to do better.” He added, “We hope the data will motivate and inspire organizations to think about how to make disaster philanthropy more effective. When we act strategically by funding recovery and preparation, everyone ultimately benefits from resilient, stronger communities.”

This project was made possible by a generous gift from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, with additional funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center’s website each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230..

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy‘s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters. For more, please visit:

With an emphasis on recovery and disaster risk reduction, CDP aims to:

  • Increase the effectiveness of contributions given to disasters;
  • Bring greater attention to the life cycle of disasters, from preparedness and planning, to relief, to rebuilding and recovery efforts;
  • Provide timely and relevant advice from experts with deep knowledge of disaster philanthropy;
  • Conduct due diligence so donors can give with confidence; and,
  • Create plans for informed giving for individuals, corporations and foundations.


Lizz Carroll
Community Content Manager
Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701

Kathy Gutowsky
Director, Marketing & Communications
Center for Disaster Philanthropy
(812) 679-9353

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.