What is CDP?
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) is a nonprofit 501c3 organization formed after the 2004 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina by several funders committed to making disaster-related contributions more effective and strategic. Learn more about our mission and vision and about our work.

What is our purpose?
Our research shows that most disaster giving is made within a few days after a disaster, primarily by donors without ongoing disaster experience. At CDP, we focus on disasters full-time, 365 days a year and support the full cycle of disasters including planning, preparation, mitigation, recovery, and resilience, as well as short-term relief. You can learn more about our philosophy in our annual Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy report which we produce with Foundation Center with generous support from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, along with additional support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

What do you do?
We have three areas of activity:

  • We provide a variety of educational and informational services to help donors better understand what to do with their disaster-giving. In addition to the State of Disaster report, we also developed and manage the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook to help donors before, during and after disasters. The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is a joint project of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers in association with the United Philanthropy Forum.
  • We bring donors together so they can collaborate, coordinate, and leverage their giving to increase its impact. In times of disaster, we will occasionally launch and implement a disaster fund. We also manage the Midwest Early Recovery Fund and the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance.
  • We consult directly with foundations and corporations on such things as strategic plans and disaster giving strategies.

How big is CDP?
CDP is a small, hard-working team of passionate experts with extensive disaster and nonprofit experience. We bring on additional experts on a case-by-case basis.

We also have a board or directors and advisory committee composed of domestic and international experts with extensive disaster, humanitarian, and nonprofit experience. Our board and council includes top experts from several leading funders, humanitarian, and nonprofit organizations.

What is the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund?
Often in times of disaster, donors don’t know what to do or when to do it. CDP knows from past disasters, especially through our experiences with hurricanes and floods, that full recovery will take many years. The CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund allows donors to give now to support recovery needs that continue long after the TV cameras and news teams rollup coverage and turn the eye of the world away from this disaster.

What will you do with the funds?
In response to the needs that will arise following this devastating storm, the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund will focus on medium and long-term rebuilding needs. We expect the long-term needs to be rebuilding homes, businesses, infrastructure, meeting the needs of young children, supporting mental health needs, and boosting damaged agricultural sectors. CDP will distribute the funds 2-9 months from now to appropriate nonprofit organizations working on mid-term and long-term recovery efforts.

For more details on the process of how we disburse funds raised, please see: Four Keys to Strategic Disaster Grantmaking.

Why wait for recovery? Don’t people need support now?

A contribution now would certainly help first responder organizations and we would encourage your support. However, our experience shows that donations drop significantly within a few days after a disaster, even though most of the efforts to recover from serious flooding and rebuild homes, lives and a community can stretch out for months or even years.

Will CDP be doing the recovery work?

No, all of the money in the Fund will be distributed to vetted nonprofit organizations with the capacity and capabilities to help Texas recover.

Does CDP charge fees?

Yes, we recover direct costs, as well as retain 5 percent to manage all of the expenses CDP will incur as a nonprofit organization, including forming an advisory committee of subject matter experts, researching other donors and nonprofits, conducting due diligence on prospective grant recipients, awarding grants and following up to make sure contributions are well spent.