The idea for the Playbook was born in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, when the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and its philanthropic members were navigating the uncharted waters of the devastation of this hurricane. The Council reached out to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) and many colleagues nationwide to learn how best to respond and to benefit from the knowledge of experts in this field. Philanthropic leaders from throughout the country freely shared their lessons learned in the wake of their own communities’ disasters and these discussions gave way to the development of the Playbook—a joint project between the CDP and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, in association with the United Philanthropy Forum (formerly the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers).

Council of New Jersey Grantmakers

The Council of New Jersey Grantmakers exists to strengthen and promote effective philanthropy throughout New Jersey. The leading resource for networking and information for New Jersey’s philanthropic community, CNJG provides representatives of all types of grantmaking organizations with access to valuable services and meaningful activities to advance their work. CNJG was created based on the principle that philanthropy is more effective when grantmakers have the opportunity for communication, information exchange and continuing education.

Over the years, CNJG has engaged in a number of landmark initiatives including commissioning the first study of giving in the Garden State, NJ Gives; the first study of nonprofit health insurance provider conversions to for profit corporations, New Jersey Together (a major funder collaborative centered on youth development); a landmark effort looking at the systemic, long-term fiscal challenges facing all levels of government in New Jersey entitled Facing Our Future; the creation of the Community Foundation of South Jersey; and creation of the Newark Philanthropic Liaison position within our state’s largest city administration.


United Philanthropy Forum

As the largest and most diverse network in American philanthropy, United Philanthropy Forum (The Forum) holds a unique position in the social sector to help increase philanthropy’s impact in communities across the country. A membership organization of more than 75 philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs), representing 7,000 foundations and other funders, working to make philanthropy better. The Forum envisions a courageous philanthropic sector that catalyzes a just and equitable society where all can participate and prosper.

The Forum has created a new kind of philanthropic network that brings together regional PSOs’ deep regional roots and connections with national PSOs’ deep content knowledge and reach. Given the Forum’s network’s scale and scope, their work leads change and increases impact in philanthropy.

The original Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, written in 2016, was co-conceived by
Elizabeth A. Murphy, The Murphy Group, Inc.,
Nina Stack, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, and
Robert G. Ottenhoff and Regine A. Webster, Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Researched, written and compiled by
Elizabeth A. Murphy

Research, writing and editing associates:
Jennifer Sancton, Anna Hurt, Kacy O’Brien, and Dawn M. Lorenzo

Development Director
Cecilia Calvo

Site design by
ondesign, new york city,

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Council of New Jersey Grantmakers gratefully thank the many national grantmakers and regional associations who contributed their knowledge, expertise, lessons learned and resources guides in order to create this national Disaster Philanthropy Playbook.  For a listing of knowledge-base contributors, please click here.