New Tools for Exploring Disaster Funding From Foundations and Other Sources

Foundation Center and Center for Disaster Philanthropy Launch Updated Research With New Interactive Dashboard and Map

New York, NY, and Washington, DC — November 12, 2015. 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, have jointly launched a new online dashboard and interactive funding map, along with the second edition of their annual research report, Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2015: Data to Drive Decisions. The online tools combine information from six global sources and allow users to view and interact with multiple streams of data simultaneously. These resources provide a detailed picture of how institutional philanthropy is situated within the broader disaster and humanitarian crises funding landscape and help donors, NGOs, government agencies, and media understand the true scale of global disaster-related philanthropy.

The new Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy Dashboard gives online visitors the ability to interact with aggregated 2013 funding data so they can hone in on specific areas of interest by filtering chart results by disaster type, disaster assistance strategy, and geographic area. With the Mapping Platform, users can generate custom maps and lists of funders and recipients, view organizational profiles, and drill down to individual grant and project details. The report examines funding for disasters by U.S. foundations and, for the first time, bilateral and multilateral aid, corporate giving, and online giving. In all, the report documents $27.6 billion from seven sources of data on funding for disasters and humanitarian crises in 2013, the majority of which was directed to immediate response and relief efforts.

“Preparing and responding to disasters is an enormously challenging task that no single organization or sector can accomplish on its own,” said Robert G. Ottenhoff, president and CEO of CDP. “These resources help foundations understand where their contributions fit within the mosaic of funding in order to maximize impact and avoid duplication and imbalances. This knowledge is invaluable to those giving to disaster-related activities, which require close consultation and cooperation among the various parties to ensure the greatest impact among those most in need of help.”

The report examines disaster-related grants totaling $116.9 million awarded by the largest 1,000 U.S. foundations and an additional $60.1 million that was provided by smaller foundations, public charities, and international foundations. Overall, the $27.6 billion in giving documented in the report was dominated — not surprisingly — by government donors, and FEMA alone accounted for $11 billion in 2013. Outside of the U.S., aid from the 29 members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) totaled $13.6 billion, and another $2.4 billion came from non-DAC donors and multilateral organizations. Data on corporate and online giving, which is harder to come by, included giving by corporations (at least $179 million) and money raised online from individuals and organizations ($31.1 million).

“The importance of this data in learning about the practices of funders cannot be underestimated,” 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.”

The Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy tools integrate data from Foundation Center, OECD, UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service, FEMA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Disaster Corporate Aid Tracker, and GlobalGiving. Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s joint efforts to track philanthropic funding flows to disasters, cultivate an online data gathering network, and equip the field with strategic resources for improving disaster preparedness, response, and recovery will be ongoing, and they expect the quantity and quality of the data to improve over time.

This project was made possible by a generous gift from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. An expert advisory committee comprised of foundations, humanitarian organizations, and philanthropic support organizations is also providing ongoing guidance and insight for the project.

The Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2015: Data to Drive Decisions report and the Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy Dashboard and Mapping Platform can be accessed for free at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s website.

About Foundation Center

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.

About Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Disaster philanthropy has become an all-too-necessary practice in recent years. Yet donors still are challenged to determine how, when, and to whom to give to have the greatest impact. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy helps individual, family, corporate, and institutional donors answer the question, “How can I help?” more easily and quickly in the wake of a disaster. The Center provides a platform of learning and connection with leading disaster experts and other disaster philanthropists that brings more private money to disaster response efforts. The organization was named one of five “nonprofit highpoints of 2012” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. For more information, please visit

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.