State of Disaster Philanthropy 2023

In 2021, communities worldwide grappled with the impacts of COVID-19 and numerous other devastating disasters, including Hurricane Ida, winter storms and tornado outbreaks in the U.S., Haiti earthquake, Typhoon Rai in the Philippines, and flooding in India, China, Europe and Afghanistan.

In the wake of these crises, the 10th annual Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy report found that the largest U.S. philanthropic institutions gave less overall in 2021 compared to 2020.

Overall total disaster funding, 2021

The report found that of the $157 billion total philanthropic giving in 2021, only $3 billion, or 2%, was disaster-related.

Of the $3 billion in giving from foundations, corporations and public charities, 82% went toward epidemics, mainly for COVID-19, while the remainder supported storms, earthquakes, wildfires and other disaster efforts.

As in previous years, recovery efforts were underfunded in 2021, with only $141.9 million going toward reconstruction and recovery. Representing just 4.8% of funding, this is not enough to support the recovery from all 2021 disasters.

Other key findings from the report:

  • In the U.S., efforts that explicitly served children and youth received 19% funding, followed by 17% for ethnic and racial groups.
  • Among issue areas that intersect with disasters, health and human services received the most philanthropic funding, followed by education.
  • 2021 giving of the Candid’s Foundation 1000 outpaced 2012-2019.

Download our 2023 Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy infographic

About the data

Candid is a nonprofit that provides the most comprehensive data and insights about the social sector. CDP used Candid’s data, which included information from funders that reported their grantmaking directly; published media, including English-language news and press releases; and publicly available data sources, including grantmaker websites and IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF. 2021 is the latest available complete calendar year reporting from the IRS.

The data set includes cash grants, grants to individuals, program-related investments, and in-kind gifts with a monetary value from private and community foundations, corporations (including corporate giving programs), and public charities in FY 2021. U.S. and non-U.S. donors are included: Of 3,941 donors, 3,785 are based in the United States, representing 83% of dollars in the data set.

Photo: Two children from Haiti observe as the Coast Guard performs a medevac on Aug. 24, 2021 following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti. (Credit: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Dive deeper into the data

Read our latest SODP blog post