156 posts categorized "Disaster Relief"

5 Questions for...Mark Brewer, President and CEO, Central Florida Foundation

October 19, 2017

In September, with the Houston area still wringing itself out after the historic rains dropped by Hurricane Harvey two weeks earlier, parts of the Caribbean and Florida suffered their own disaster, as Hurricane Irma became the first Category 5 storm on record to hit the Leeward Islands and then moved over much of Florida as a Category 3 storm, causing millions of Floridians to evacuate and leaving the Florida Keys cut off from the mainland.

Recently, PND spoke with Mark Brewer, president and CEO of the Orlando-based Central Florida Foundation, about the relief and recovery efforts in his region and what the foundation is doing to help nonprofits in the area get back to normal.

Philanthropy News Digest: What is the extent of the damage in the region served by CFF?

Mark_Brewer_Central Florida FoundationMark Brewer: Finding the answer to that question has been an evolving process. As I'm sure you know, there are three phases to these events: response, recovery, and rebuilding. In some parts of the region we're still in response mode, in part because of the widespread electrical outages and water-related issues in the counties on the coast. But response and recovery is going to look different here than it does in South Florida and the Caribbean, even though we suffered a large amount of unseen damage.

This morning [September 25], for example, more than a hundred daycare centers didn't open because they suffered damage to their buildings or their employees couldn't get into work. That translates into thousands of people who couldn’t get to work because they didn't have child care. So when you look out at the roads, things look like they're clearing up, the tree branches are being removed. But when you start looking at nonprofits in the region, you see that they're struggling to get back to full strength.

PND: What are the most immediate needs, and how do you think things will unfold over the next several months?

MB: The response phase is wrapping up. Most of the power has been restored, and people are starting to get back into their normal routines. Recovery is about getting back to business as usual. It's not just those daycare centers, it's also about making certain that everyone who cares for people with disabilities, children, and the elderly are back in business and the overall "quality-of-life-system" in the region operates as it’s supposed to. For the rest of 2017, we're going to be moving into recovery and making certain that service providers are operational and have what they need. Then for most of 2018, I think it will be a mix of recovery and rebuilding as it becomes clearer who was able to recover from the storm and who wasn't. Remember, while we're happy to have FEMA on the ground, it can sometimes take months  even years  for FEMA to pay the bills. That means you will see a lot of nonprofits that are stressed in terms of their capacity to help people with things that they've been told they'll be reimbursed for later.

PND: What is the role of a community foundation in addressing the needs of nonprofits and people in the community after a disaster?

MB: We operate in two areas. One is around the process of identifying capacity issues for nonprofits in the region. We established the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund, which will focus mostly on recovery. If we see gaps during rebuilding, we'll address them, but the first grants out of the fund will go to things like helping people cover their insurance deductibles and making certain that people who are eligible for FEMA grants understand the process and its requirements.

Right now, the foundation is finishing an assessment of a thousand nonprofits in the region. What the early numbers tell us is that about 7 percent of those nonprofits essentially have been put out of business. They're not able to do anything right now because they don't have the people or the resources. Another 40 percent of nonprofits in the region are operational, but they're doing so at a huge disadvantage, either trying to figure out how they're going to make payroll and what to do about holes in the roof, or how to deal with the IT and technology systems that aren't working. Transportation’s another big issue for some of them. But we're seeing a lot of folks in the region looking for and finding ways to help each other get up and running. As we move into the recovery phase, those kinds of needs will become more apparent. It's not rocket science: You do some surveying, get some data, and do what needs to be done.

PND: How much do you hope to raise to address those needs?

MB: Based on the number of people who have access to insurance and FEMA resources, there could be several million dollars of need over the next year and a half in the seven counties we serve. In terms of making sure services are available, it looks like the need is going to be in the $1 million to $2 million range. To achieve that fundraising goal, we'll be collaborating with the United Ways and other foundations in the region.

But it's important that philanthropy doesn't get too far out in front of public money, because that can sometimes lead to the faucet being turned off. Typically, it takes public money a long time to get to those who need it, and getting sufficient dollars from the right pockets to the right places at the right time is all about coordination and collaboration. We will be convening hundreds of nonprofits over the coming weeks and will continue that process over the next year around specific areas of interest, which we hope will help us make a case to the community for addressing some of the problems in the region in a more strategic way. It's not enough to say we have about four thousand nonprofits in the metro area, and 40 percent of them could be in trouble and need help. That's not really a case for support.

PND: How has the response to Irma been different from the response to other hurricanes that have hit Orlando?

MB: It hasn't been much different. As soon as a storm has passed, corporations and corporate philanthropies around the region come together and try to figure out how can they best allocate resources in the areas that they fund. Typically, if a hurricane hits Orlando, we get calls from companies that have employees in Orlando or do business here looking for ways to put money to work. That didn't happen this time, however, because the hurricane affected the entire state, and I think that confused corporations a little bit. They were looking for the worst-hit areas, almost as if they automatically shifted into response gear instead of recovery gear.

As you might imagine, local companies and local philanthropists are a little more strategic. About half of them have been focused on ensuring that people in the region have what they need to survive, while the other half have been focused helping businesses and nonprofits get back to normal. Remember, we're not just talking about social service and human service nonprofits; we're also talking about arts and cultural groups, many of which have not brought in any significant revenue for almost a month, putting them in pretty dire straits. You also have education and healthcare groups, and they're in the same situation, losing a revenue stream that could put them in jeopardy. Local folks are more likely to think about making sure that every business and nonprofit in the community is operational and that we don't lose anybody along the way.

Another way in which storm response has been different this time is that we have a lot of people who weren’t here in 2004 when hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne all hit Orlando. Literally half the people in Orange County didn't live here in 2004. Recovering from a hurricane requires a lot of social capital — who has good cell phone service, who owns a chainsaw, who knows how to get a tree off a roof or fence. Irma quite possibly created more damage than all three of those earlier hurricanes put together, but we don’t have as many people around with that kind of experience. The social capital is missing a little and needs to be rebuilt. But, hey, hurricane season isn't over until November.

— Matt Sinclair

Weekend Link Roundup (October 7-8, 2017)

October 08, 2017

Tom-pettyOur weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Disaster Relief

ProPublica, no fan of the Red Cross, sent a team of reporters to Texas to see how the organization performed in the days after Hurricane Harvey swamped Houston and the surrounding region. They found a lot of local officials who were not impressed. And here's the official Red Cross response to the criticism.

Giving

In the Baltimore Sun, Aaron Dorfman, president of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, wonders whether elimination of the estate tax, as the Trump administration has proposed, will result in a decline in charitable giving, especially large gifts. That's what happened the last time the tax was effectively zeroed out, in 2010, a year that saw bequests from estates decline by 37 percent from the previous year ($11.9 billion to $7.49 billion). A year later, after the tax had been reinstated (albeit at a lower level), the dollar value of bequests rose some 92 percent (to $14.36 billion). And in an op-ed in the Argus Leader, Dorfman provides some numbers which suggest that the family farm argument for eliminating the tax is overstated.

Inequality

On the Washington Post's Wonkblog, Tracy Jan shares a set of charts from the Urban Institute that help explain why the wealth gap between white families and everyone else is widenening.

International Affairs/Development

In a welcome development, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of disarmament activists, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. Rick Gladstone reports for the New York Times.

Philanthropy

"Social justice organizations in the U.S. and around the world are playing a very long game," writes Kathy Reich, director of the Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD) program at the Ford Foundation. But the way the nonprofit sector is currently financed, she adds, "doesn’t make the fight against inequality any easier." Reich shares five practices outlined in Scaling Solutions Toward Shifting Systems, a report published by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, that, in her judgment, "are key to powering nonprofit innovation and enabling organizations to scale to solve the world’s pressing social and environmental challenges."

In a post on the Forbes site, Michael Etzel, a partner at Bridgespan, and Hilary Pennington, vice president for for Education, Creativity, and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation, introduce something called the Grantmaking Pyramid, a "philanthropic framework [that] rests on a wide base of foundational capabilities, rises through organizational resilience, and is capped by increasing impact."

Be sure to check out the five-part No Moat Philanthropy series featured on our sister Transparency Talk/Glasspockets blog on consecutive days last week. Penned by Jennifer Reedy, president of the St. Paul-based Bush Foundation, the series looks at the strategies and tactics Reedy and her colleagues have adopted to "open up" the foundation's grantmaking. The posts can be read in any order, but we suggest starting with the first one ("No Moat Philanthropy Part 1: Opening Up") and proceeding in the order in which they appeared: "Bringing the Outside In," "Building Your Network," "Beyond the Transactional," and "The Downsides & Why It's Worth It."

Did you know a new website called GrantAdvisor allows "grant applicants, grantees, and others to share their first-hand experiences working with funders through authentic, real-time reviews and comments"? An initiative of the California Association of Nonprofits, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, and Great Nonprofits, in partnership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Social Media for Nonprofits, the site bills itself as a sort of TripAdvisor for grantseekers and looks to be off to a great start. For more info, check out this FAQ.

Poverty

Some much-needed good news: The child poverty rate in America has hit a record low. Annie Lowrey reports for The Atlantic.

You're not alone if you think government and philanthropy could be doing more to reduce poverty. So does Warren Buffett.

Women and Girls

And Michelle Milford Morse,  a senior advisor to the United Nations Foundation and currently its acting vice president for girls and women strategy, checks in with a week's worth of highlights from the 72nd United Nations General Assembly, which was focused on gender equality and women's rights and empowerment.

(Photo credit: Eric Gruneisen)

That's it for this week. Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org.

Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (September 2017)

October 03, 2017

September 2017. A month most of us would like to forget. But while folks in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands were being pounded by Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, our colleagues here at the Foundation Center were doing yeoman's work tracking the hundreds and millions of dollars (more than $300 million at last count) in corporate, foundation, and individual commitments for relief and recovery efforts. For folks interested interested in doing a deeper dive into who gave what, we posted (and regularly updated) some great tables during the month (see below) — as well as great posts by Michael Seltzer, Surina Khan, Tracey Durning, and Chris Kabel (Kresge Foundation), Amy Kenyon (Ford Foundation), and Sharon Z. Roerty (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Check it out...and RIP Tom Petty — our hearts are broken.

What have you read/watched/heard lately that got your attention, made you think, or charged you up? Feel free to share in the comments section below. Or drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org.

Commitments for Hurricane Irma Relief

September 20, 2017

In the nearly two weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated wide swaths of the Caribbean and Florida, corporations, foundations, and public charities have pledged support for relief and recovery efforts. Here are the commitments of at least $25,000 tracked by our Foundation Center colleagues Andrew Grabois and Grace Sato as of September 20.

For commitments designated for both Harvey and Irma relief, please see our updates to the Harvey relief commitments announced by corporate foundations and corporate giving programs, foundations, public charities, and individuals. See also Foundation Center's Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy site for Harvey-related grants. We're also posting commitments designated for Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake.

[We're continuing to update the tables as commitments are announced. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for ongoing updates.]

Table 1: Company-Sponsored Foundations, Corporate Giving Programs

Grantmaker Type Recipient Amount Notes
Abbvie Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 Also employee match
Allergan Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $150,000 $100,000 to American Red Cross for relief efforts in Florida; $50,000 for relief efforts in Caribbean
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program MusiCares $25,000
Amgen Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Direct Relief, American Kidney Fund $100,000 Also employee match
Amway Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $200,000 Employee match
Anthem Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Americares $75,000 Also employee match
AT&T Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Team Rubicon, Telecoms Sans Frontieres, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,400,000 $1,000,000 to Team Rubicon; $150,000 to Telecoms Sans Frontieres
Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,250,000 $1,000,000 to be allocated when an assessment is completed
BankUnited, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000 For impacted areas of Florida
BB&T Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $500,000 Includes $250,000 in donated supplies
BBVA Compass Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $825,000 $75,000 for employee match
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For relief and recovery efforts in Florida
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000
Charter Communications, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Rebuilding Together $1,350,000 Includes $1,000,000 in donated public service announcements
Charter Communications, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Rebuilding Together $1,350,000 Includes $1,000,000 in donated public service announcements
Chevron Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program DonorsChoose.org $400,000 For local public school classroom projects in south Florida
Chevron Global Fund Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $600,000 Also employee match
Citi Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $1,000,000
Coach Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Direct Relief $33,000
Coca-Cola Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $1,000,000 Immediate relief and long-term rebuilding
CUNA Mutual Group Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation CUAid $50,000 For affected credit union partners and employees
CVS Health Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Florida Disaster Fund, CVS Health Employee Relief Fund $75,000
Duke Energy Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Volunteer Florida Foundation – Florida Disaster Fund, United Way, Energy Neighbor Fund, local community agencies $1,000,000
eBay Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000 For impacted areas of Gulf Coast
Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Multiple Recipients $250,000 Also product donations from company
Enterprise Holdings Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Americares $1,000,000 $750,000 to American Red Cross; $250,000 to Americares
EVERTEC, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program United for Puerto Rico – Together Changing Trajectories, Unknown Recipients $150,000 For relief efforts in Puerto Rico; $50,000 for social media match
FedEx Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Cash and value of transportation support
Fifth Third Bank Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $500,000 $250,000 for employee match
Ford Motor Company Fund Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $150,000 Employee match.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $500,000 For relief and recovery efforts in Florida and the Caribbean. Also employee match
Google.org Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,250,000 For impacted areas in southeastern United States and Caribbean; $250,000 for employee match
Humana Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $1,000,000 Also employee match
IBM Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 Shelter and call center management. Also donations of Cloud and consulting, and technologies for large-scale volunteer management for Government and NGO partners
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 For impacted areas in United States and Caribbean
Kohl's Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $1,000,000 Also employee volunteerism
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Cash and in-kind donations. Also customer donations
MAXIMUS Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Volunteer Florida $100,000
McKesson Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Americares $185,000 Value of donated product
Mckesson Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $125,000 Employee match
Merck & Co., Inc. Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund, Multiple Recipients 1,250,000 Also product donations
Microsoft Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $750,000 Also donation of tech services
New York Life Insurance Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Save the Children, Feeding America, UNICEF, NYLIC Family Disaster Assistance Fund $450,000 Also employee match; $100,000 for impacted agents and employees
NextEra Energy Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Florida Disaster Fund $1,000,000 Also employee match
Norfolk Southern Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Feeding Tampa Bay, Feeding South Florida $100,000
Paypal Holdings, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Save the Children $200,000 Also customer donations
PepsiCo Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Feeding America, American Red Cross $1,750,000 For assistance in Florida and the Southeast U.S., Mexico, Caribbean
Prudential Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $500,000 Also employee match
Royal Bank of Canada Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $300,000 For relief and recovery efforts in Florida and the Caribbean
Scotiabank Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Canadian Red Cross $500,000 $250,000 for relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean; young people in affected communities
Sealed Air Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program World Food Program USA, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity $225,000 $100,000 each for emergency aid for the Caribbean and mainland U.S.; $25,000 for employee match; also product donations
StorageMart Partners, L.P. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program GlobalGiving $25,000 Employee match
SunTrust Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $500,000 $250,000 to American Red Cross
Target Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, UNICEF, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Cash and in-kind donations
United Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $50,000 Customer match
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For impacted Florida communities. Also employee match
UPS Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For recovery efforts in the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Includes cash grants, in-kind transportation movements and technical expertise
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $200,000 Employee match.
Verizon Communications Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Hand in Hand $2,500,000
VS Health Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $25,000 Value of donated water
Walgreens Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $200,000 For relief efforts in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Also donating food and water.
Wal-Mart Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $10,000,000 Customer match
Walt Disney Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Multiple Recipients 2,500,000 For Florida, the Caribbean, and other impacted areas
Wells Fargo & Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,100,000 $500,000 to American Red Cross; $100,000 for relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean
Xerox Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $75,000 $75,000 for employee match
Total: $50,243,000

 

Table 2: Foundations

Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Inc. Independent Foundation All Faiths Food Bank, Pines of Sarasota Foundation $374,000 $172,000 for two weeks of food; $202,000 for air conditioning
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. Independent Foundation Senior Resources Alliance, Feeding South Florida, Feeding Northeast Florida, Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County, Jewish Community Services of South Florida $500,000 For the immediate needs of older adults in areas most affected; for emergency food, water, supplies, and repairs throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties; for crisis case management, including counseling and financial assistance to low-income older adults for home repairs and other needs related to the hurricane
Total: $874,000

 

Table 3: Public Charities

American Kidney Fund, Inc. Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $120,000 Emergency disaster relief assistance to 500 dialysis patients
Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Public Charity Unknown Recipient $500,000 For rebuilding school libraries that have been damaged during this year's hurricane season
Our Family Foundation, Inc. Public Charity American Red Cross $250,000 For hardest hit areas in Florida
PetSmart Charities, Inc. Public Charity Miami-Dade Animal Services, Atlanta Humane Society, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,115,000 For animal welfare organizations. Also product donations
Total: $1,985,000


September 22, 2017

The CUNA Mutual Group Foundation announces a $50,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The MAXIMUS Foundation, Inc. announces a $100,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

The New York Life Insurance Company Contributions Program announces a $450,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The Norfolk Southern Foundation announces a $100,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

Updated corporate total: $50,194,000


September 25, 2017

The United Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program announces a $150,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The BBVA Compass Corporate Giving Program announces a $825,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

Updated corporate total: $51,069,000


September 27, 2017

The Coach Foundation, Inc. announces a $33,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries announces a $500,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announces a $500,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

Updated total: $52,102,000


September 28, 2017

The Duke Energy Foundation announces a $1 million commitment for Irma relief efforts.

Updated total: $53,102,000


Harvey Relief: Individual Pledges/Commitments (Table 1.4)

September 09, 2017

Biblical. That's the word that best describes the rainfall visited on Houston and southeastern Texas by Harvey, the Category 4 hurricane that slammed into Texas on August 25. The storm meandered over the region for four days, dumping up to forty inches of rain in many places and over fifty in some, becoming the wettest tropical storm ever to hit the contiguous United States.

The catastrophic flooding that followed displaced nearly 40,000 people, prompted more than 17,000 rescues, and damaged over 200,000 homes (of which 12,700 were destroyed). The storm also caused at least 70 deaths and as much as $180 billion in damage, making it one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

Support for relief and recovery efforts began to pour in within forty-eight hours and continued at an impressive clip for the next ten days. Here at the Foundation Center, our colleagues Andrew Grabois and Grace Sato have been tracking the corporate response, and thanks to their efforts, we're able to provide some good detail on more than $28 million from celebrities, sports figures, and wealthy individuals (see Table 1.4 below). We've also tracked nearly $189 million in corporate pledges/commitments of cash and product donations (Table 1.1), more than $58 million in foundation contributions (including $10 million from the United Arab Emirates) (Table 1.2), and over $9 million in public charity pledges/commitments (Table 1.3) — for a total, as of September 9, of almost $285 million ($284,911,000) pledged or committed to Harvey relief and recovery by private individuals and the private sector. Impressive.

We realize we haven't captured every dollar committed to relief and recovery efforts — and are aware that a lot of individual contributions have flowed into J.J. Watt's Houston Flood Relief Fund that may not be represented in our tables — but we do think this is as comprehensive accounting as you're likely to find. We encourage you to send us additional information as you encounter it and/or corrections to the information posted below. You can email that info (and any questions you might have) to Mitch at mfn@foundationcenter.org.)

As we're posting this, powerful Hurricane Irma, which has already flattened Barbuda and caused serious damage to Antigua, St. Martin/St. Maarten, and parts of the British Virgin Islands, has the Florida Keys and south Florida in its sights. Our thoughts are with everyone in the region who was not able to evacuate (or chose to ride the storm out in place). We'll be back on Monday with updates as the damage reports start to roll in.

[We're continuing to update the table as commitments are announced. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for ongoing updates; see also Foundation Center's Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy site for Harvey-related grants. We're also posting commitments designated specifically for Hurricane Irma relief and for Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake].

Table 1.1 (Corp.) | Table 1.2 (Fdns) | Table 1.3 (PCs) | Table 1.4 (Inds)

Table 1.4: Individuals

Grantmaker Type Recipient Amount Notes
Leslie Alexander NBA owner Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund $4,000,000  
Odell Beckham, Jr.  Pro football player Americares, Samaritan's Purse $100,000  
Chris Brown Musician American Red Cross $100,000  
Sandra Bullock Actor American Red Cross $1,000,000  
Charles Butt Businessman Houston Flood Relief Fund $5,000,000  
Jim Crane (Houston Astros) Businessman Houston Flood Relief Fund $4,000,000  
Ellen DeGeneres, Ellen DeGeneres Show Entertainer American Red Cross, SPCA Texas, Unknown Recipient(s) $75,000 American Red Cross ($25,000), SPCA Texas ($25,000)
Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show Entertainer Houston Flood Relief Fund $1,000,000  
James Harden Pro basketball player Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund $1,000,000  
Kevin Hart Actor American Red Cross $25,000  
Kieu Hoang Businessman Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund $5,000,000  
Huntsman Family Business Beaumont Foundation $1,000,000 To launch Huntsman Flood Fund
Kardashian-Jenner Family Family Reality TV personalities American Red Cross, Salvation Army $100,000  
DJ Khalid Record producer American Red Cross $25,000  
Kroenke Family American Red Cross $1,000,000  
Nicki Minaj Musician Houston Flood Relief Fund $25,000  
McNair Family (Houston Texans) NFL owner United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund $2,000,000  
Paul Simon and Edie Brickell Musicians Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000  
Amy Adams Strunk (Tennessee Titans) NFL owner Houston Flood Relief Fund $1,000,000  
Donald Trump POTUS Multiple Recipients $1,000,000  
J.J. Watt Pro football player Houston Flood Relief Fund $100,000  
Chris Young Musician American Red Cross $100,000  
    TOTAL: $33,575,000  

 

September 15, 2017

Businessman Kieu Hoang pledges $5 million to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Updated individual total: $33,575,000


Harvey Relief: Public Charity Commitments (Table 1.3)

Biblical. That's the word that best describes the rainfall visited on Houston and southeastern Texas by Harvey, the Category 4 hurricane that slammed into Texas on August 25. The storm meandered over the region for four days, dumping up to forty inches of rain in many places and over fifty in some, becoming the wettest tropical storm ever to hit the contiguous United States.

The catastrophic flooding that followed displaced nearly 40,000 people, prompted more than 17,000 rescues, and damaged over 200,000 homes (of which 12,700 were destroyed). The storm also caused at least 70 deaths and as much as $180 billion in damage, making it one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

Support for relief and recovery efforts began to pour in within forty-eight hours and continued at an impressive clip for the next ten days. Here at the Foundation Center, our colleagues Andrew Grabois and Grace Sato have been tracking the corporate response, and thanks to their efforts, we're able to provide some good detail on more than $9 million in public charity pledges/commitments (see Table 1.3 below). We've also tracked nearly $189 million in corporate pledges/commitments of cash and product donations (Table 1.1), more than $58 million in foundation contributions (including $10 million from the United Arab Emirates) (Table 1.2), and over $43 million from celebrities, sports figures, and wealthy individuals (Table 1.4) — for a total, as of September 9, of almost $3000 million ($299,934,500) pledged or committed to Harvey relief and recovery by private individuals and the private sector. Impressive.

We realize we haven't captured every dollar committed to relief and recovery efforts — and are aware that a lot of individual contributions have flowed into J.J. Watt's Houston Flood Relief Fund that may not be represented in our tables — but we do think this is as comprehensive accounting as you're likely to find. We encourage you to send us additional information as you encounter it and/or corrections to the information posted below. You can email that info (and any questions you might have) to Mitch at mfn@foundationcenter.org.)

As we're posting this, powerful Hurricane Irma, which has already flattened Barbuda and caused serious damage to Antigua, St. Martin/St. Maarten, and parts of the British Virgin Islands, has the Florida Keys and south Florida in its sights. Our thoughts are with everyone in the region who was not able to evacuate (or chose to ride the storm out in place). We'll be back on Monday with updates as the damage reports start to roll in.

[We're continuing to update the table as commitments are announced. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for ongoing updates; see also Foundation Center's Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy site for Harvey-related grants. We're also posting commitments designated specifically for Hurricane Irma relief and for Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake].

Table 1.1 (Corp.) | Table 1.2 (Fdns) | Table 1.3 (PCs)| Table 1.4 (Inds)

Table 4: Public Charities

Grantmaker Type Recipient Amount Notes
American Jewish Committee Public Charity Multiple Recipients $34,000  
Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio Public Charity Texas Baptist Men, Salvation Army $100,000  
Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For impacted public libraries, teachers, and students in Houston
CHS Caregivers Fund Public Charity Diocese of Rockville Centre Hurricane Harvey Fund $100,000  
Direct Relief International Public Charity Unknown Recipient $200,000 Also entire current inventories worth $100 million made available
Henry Schein, Inc. Public Charity Multiple Recipients $500,000 Cash, in-kind and employee match
Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Inc. Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $2,000,000  
Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For rebuilding school libraries that have been damaged during this year's hurricane season
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Up to $1 million in direct support to help blood cancer patients in affected communities
NFL Foundation, Inc. Public Charity United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund $1,000,000 Matching Houston Texans donation
PETCO Foundation Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $2,300,000 All For Saving Lives fund raising campaign in Petco stores and online through September 10
PetSmart Charities, Inc. Public Charity Multiple Recipients $2,000,000 To animal welfare agencies; also pet food and supplies
Scholarship America, Inc. Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $200,000 For college students affected by Harvey
    TOTAL: $11,134,000  

 

September 15, 2017

Scholarship America, Inc. announces a $200,000 donation to unknown recipient(s) in support of college students affected by Harvey.

Updated public charity total: $9,634,000


September 27, 2017

The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation announces a $1,000,000 donation for impacted public libraries, teachers and students in Houston.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries announces a $500,000 donation for rebuilding school libraries.

Updated public charity total: $11,134,000


The Long Haul: Lessons From Charitable Responses to Previous Disasters

September 06, 2017

Disaster_response2-800x500While media outlets — both online and print — have been quick to offer suggestions as to how individuals should channel their charitable impulses to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, many Americans have been inspired by the stirring images of neighbors and strangers lending a hand to help each other.

Alexis de Tocqueville, the Frenchman who documented our voluntary impulse during a tour of a young America in the 1830s, would nod knowingly if he were around to see the extraordinary outpouring of generosity we have witnessed since the first days of flooding in Texas.

Time and again over the last twenty years , I've watched Americans respond quickly and generously to a series of natural and man-made disasters. Corporations and foundations also have risen to the occasion, and the lessons they've learned from their responses are of considerable value as we all weigh how to use our resources to the greatest effect in the wake of a disaster like Harvey.

But I've also learned a few things of my own from the responses to disasters like Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and would like to share them with you.

Continue reading »

Weekend Link Roundup (September 2-3, 2017)

September 04, 2017

Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

RosieClimate Change

Did climate change magnify the destructive power of Hurricane Harvey? Robinson Meyer The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer uncovers a fair amount of evidence which suggests that global warming is making a bad situation worse.

On the Yes! Magazine site, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben talks with Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program about the threat of climate change as a lens to understand many of the injustices confronting the planet.

Collaboration

Which of the following elements of effective collaboration is the most challenging: reaching consensus, bringing diverse perspectives to the table, taking meaningful action? Hop over to the Kauffman Foundation site and cast your vote, then read on to learn how "to apply the principles that matter to move to [a] place where collaboration can happen on a much larger scale." 

Data

Could data science be the key to unlocking the next wave of social change? Elizabeth Good Christopherson, president and chief executive officer of the Rita Allen Foundation, talks with Jake Porway, founder of DataKind, a global network of volunteers skilled in data analysis, coding and visualization, about changes in technology that are influencing the work of his organization and the prospects for accelerated social change.

Disaster Relief

The New York Times has a good roundup of federal assistance for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Looking for commonsense advice about the best way to donate to Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts? This article by Pam Fessler on the NPR site is a good place to start.

In a post on Slate, Jonathan M. Katz explains why the Red Cross, the default disaster relief recipient for a majority of corporations and individual Americans, won't "save" Houston.

And in a post on the NCRP site, Ginny Goldman, founder and former director of the Texas Organizing Project, the Houston-based affiliate of the Center for Popular Democracy, reminds Americans that "[w]hen camera crews head home and it's time to rebuild Houston, the people on the ground will need organizing capacity and legal support to fight for themselves." 

Continue reading »

Weekend Link Roundup (August 26-27, 2017)

August 28, 2017

Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Harvey-goes-82517_0Disaster Relief

Harvey has slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast and flooding from the rainfall accompanying the storm appears to be as bad, if not worse, than predicted. NPR has put together a very helpful list of sites and resources for those who would like to help.

Fundraising

The team behind the Fundly blog shares five tips aimed at helping your organization improve its crowdfunding goals. 

International Affairs/Development

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a framework for what might just be the most ambitious development effort ever. And if that effort is to succeed, every dollar contributed toward one of the goals needs to be spent effectively. On the Triple Pundit site, Mandy Ryan, managing director at Changing Our World, has some good tips for companies looking to align their citizenship work with the SDGs.

And what can we learn from UNLEASH, an "innovation lab" where a thousand young people from a hundred and twenty-nine countries spent ten days in Aarhus, Denmark, developing solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals?  Catherine Cheney reports for Devex.

Journalism/Media

Google News Lab, in partnership with ProPublica, is launching a new, machine learning-powered tool to track reported hate crimes across the country. Taylor Hatmaker reports for Tech Crunch.

We were saddened to learn of the death of Jack Rosenthal, the great  New York Timesman (and our UWS neighbor), at the age of 82. In a long career at the Times, Rosenthal served as urban affairs correspondent in Washington, deputy editorial page editor, editorial page editor, editor of The New York Times Magazine, and president of the New York Times Company Foundation. Eighteen months after 9/11, we had an opportunity to interview him as he was serving in that latter role  an interview that still has much to teach us.

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Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance Is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems

November 23, 2016

Over the past decade, the financial industry has been the subject of harsh criticism — and not without cause. Disillusioned by the abuse of esoteric financial instruments and repeated examples of corporate malfeasance, large numbers of Americans have grown tired of Wall Street and what they see as the financialization of the economy. Finance, however, is only a tool, and as with any tool, it can be used for good or ill.

Cover_capital_and_the_common_goodGeorgia Levenson Keohane, executive director of the Pershing Square Foundation, professor of social enterprise at Columbia Business School, and author of Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century: Innovation Across the Nonprofit, Private, and Public Sectors, makes the case in her new book, Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance Is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems, that traditional financial tools can be used to innovate solutions to some of the world's greatest social and environmental challenges and urges readers to regard finance not as an instrument of exploitation but rather as a force for good.

Central to her argument is the distinction between financial innovation — the creation of new, increasingly complex instruments of financial engineering — and innovative finance — the use of existing tools to overcome market failure and meet the needs of the poor and underserved. Divided into five thematic chapters, the book explores how innovative finance can be used to fund solutions to environmental, healthcare, financial inclusion, and disaster relief challenges around the world, as well as problems in the United States.

Revisiting Adam Smith's theory of the "invisible hand" in the context of public need, Keohane shows how financial techniques previously used in the pursuit of private interest can be adopted across sectors to benefit the common good and provide economic opportunities for those at the bottom of the wealth pyramid. "When markets fail to produce a set of broad-based and sustainable public goods," she writes, "we need a more visible hand: concerted efforts by governments, multilateral agencies, philanthropies, and, increasingly, socially minded investors to meet needs and solve problems." It is a perspective rooted in the power of agency, the core of which she describes as "aligning incentives in ways that encourage people — individuals and government leaders — to make decisions that both are in their own self-interest and benefit the society." The logical extension of this argument is that many negative externalities (e.g., CO2 emissions) can be internalized by the market with the judicious application of the right tools — for example, cap and trade — while certain failures of the market can be redressed by the deployment of hybrid incentive models such as pay-for-success bonds.

Continue reading »

Weekend Link Roundup (October 15-16, 2016)

October 16, 2016

Fruits-Fall-HarvestOur weekly round up of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

African Americans

Contra Donald Trump, the majority of African Americans do not live in poverty or inner cities. Alana Semuels reports for The Atlantic.

In Yes! Magazine, Liza Bayless interviews Marbre Stahly-Butts, deputy director of racial justice at the Center for Popular Democracy, about why divestment from the prison and military industries is critical to a just future.

Climate Change

On August 7, Scotland, one of the windiest countries in Europe, generated enough electricity from wind turbines to power the entire country. And it's goal of running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2020 may be within reach. The Washington Post's Griff Witte reports.

Communications/Marketing

"Most people are uncomfortable talking about race, discrimination, privilege and power," writes the Knight Foundation's Anusha Alikhan, who moderated a panel on diversity and inclusion at the Communications Network annual conference in Detroit in September. "[W]e get tripped up by the need to be nonpartisan, while balancing the interests of a variety of groups and even our own upbringings.... [But how] do we produce real change in these areas if we don’t acknowledge their roots?" Alikhan shares some takeaways from that conversation that communications teams can use to "advance hard conversations and create deeper connections with their communities."

Disaster Relief

Relief efforts for hurricane-battered Haiti gained some traction during week, with the United Nations launching a $120 million appeal to fund its activities there, the World Health Organization gearing up to send a million cholera vaccine doses to prevent a more serious outbreak of the disease, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announcing a gift of $2 million in cash and product donations, and Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt announcing he will donate $10 million through his foundation for recovery efforts. To learn more about recovery challenges and opportunities for donors, check out this webinar hosted by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Haitians need all the help they can get. But according to the Washington Post's Peter Holley, they don't trust the American Red Cross to provide it.

Continue reading »

Weekend Link Roundup (September 3-5, 2016)

September 05, 2016

Ball_and_racket_headOur weekly round up of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Corporate Social Responsibility

The landscape of corporate philanthropy is changing — for the better. Andrea Hoffman, founder and CEO of Culture Shift Labs, looks at one Wall Street firm determined to change the existing stock-buyback paradigm.

Disaster Relief

In aftermath of the recent flooding in Louisiana, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate's Rebekah Allen and Elizabeth Crisp look at how crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe are disrupting the traditional disaster relief funding model.

Education

In the New York Times, Christopher Edmin, an associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and the author of For White Folk Who Teach in the Hood ... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education, challenges the idea that the answer to closing the achievement gap for boys and young men of color is to hire and retain more black male teachers.

Fundraising

Wondering how to get the public solidly behind your cause? Of course you are. Regular PhilanTopic contributor Derrick Feldmann shares some good tips here.

Higher Education

As the call for institutions of higher education to diversify their curricula grows louder, maybe it's time, writes the University of Texas' Steven Mintz on the Teagle Foundation site, for colleges and university "to embrace the Great Books spirit and delve into the most problematic aspects of our contemporary reality through works that speak to our time and perhaps all time."

Impact/Effectiveness

The Organizational Effectiveness program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has launched an Organizational Effectiveness Knowledge Center designed to be a space where nonprofits, funders, and others can "exchange learning, resources, and reflections about improving nonprofit organizational and network effectiveness."

Continue reading »

Weekend Link Roundup (February 13-14, 2016)

February 14, 2016

Cold-Illinois-Winter-WeatherOur weekly round up of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Civic Engagement

While the Latino population of the United States has quintupled over the last forty years, Latino voter registration has not kept pace. The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Ryan Schlegel argues that foundations committed to long-term systemic change can do more than they have been to close the gap and shares four things they should bear in mind as they consider investing in civic and electoral participation.

Disaster Relief

Things are not looking good at the American Red Cross. ProPublica's Justin Elliott files the nonprofit news outlet's latest report on the beleaguered relief organization and its embattled CEO, Gail McGovern.

Education

As teach for America celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, Kristina Rizga, an education reporter for Mother Jones, looks at how America's "most controversial" education organization is changing its ways.

Health

Writing on Quartz, Allison Schrager notes that the future is looking increasingly scary for the world's richest countries, and that's because their success in combating the traditional causes of death among the elderly — heart disease, cancer, and strokes — means degenerative diseases that impair cognition, particularly Alzheimer's, are on the rise. Indeed, Alzheimer's, the flip side of people living longer,  "is the third most common cause of death among Americans older than 85. And it's not just heart-wrenching for its victims and their loved ones; it has consequences for the economy."

Continue reading »

Disaster Philanthropy: What Matters

January 12, 2016

Few foundations think of themselves as disaster funders … until the next disaster strikes. Their desire to be strategic and have impact leads them to shun program areas and ways of working that are reactive in nature. But the desire to help those in need is so hard-wired into foundations' DNA that many cannot help making emergency grants when news is dominated by coverage of the next big disaster. So they act quickly as the situation demands, though frequently with little knowledge of who the experienced funders are, what approaches work best, and how their giving fits into what Bob Ottenhoff of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy calls "the mosaic of funding," formed by the collective (but uncoordinated) efforts of corporations, governments, online givers, and other foundations.

Disaster-philanthropy-2015And that is precisely what makes Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy from the Center for Disaster for Philanthropy and Foundation Center so valuable. Rich in data and trends, this new online data dashboard, funding map, and report (PDF, 28 pages) frames disaster philanthropy as an emerging field mobilizing billions of dollars around the world. In them we learn that there are different types of disasters (natural, man-made, and humanitarian) and different strategic approaches to addressing them (resilience, preparedness, relief, and recovery). These and the accompanying sub-categories provide funders with an essential framework that enables them to be intentional and strategic about disasters in much the same way they are about their other funding priorities.

The report, my own long experience as a funder, and, more recently, as president of Foundation Center, sparked a few thoughts about foundation giving in response to disasters and what matters.

Media matters — Every year disasters occur around the world that we hear little or nothing about. But the ones that strike in or near our own backyard and dominate the news media are the ones that drive the lion's share of philanthropic giving. It's impossible to fund something about which you never hear and difficult to fund that which, because of lack of information, you can't understand.

Disaster type matters — The report shows that the overwhelming majority of U.S. foundation giving for disasters, some 68 percent, goes toward natural disasters, primarily storms. That makes sense. Storms strike quickly, are often devastating, and their victims did nothing to deserve the death, suffering, and havoc they create. The need is clear and funders respond. This contrasts with complex humanitarian emergencies, which are difficult to understand and frequently progress from emergencies into the types of long-term crises foundations feel they cannot effectively address. Even less support is given to what the report refers to as "man-made accidents" because when it comes to oil spills or factory disasters, foundations understandably feel that the primary burden for response should lie with the companies, governments, or others responsible for the accident in the first place.

Continue reading »

[Report] 'Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy'

November 13, 2015

Humanitarian_aid_OCPA-2005-10-28-090517aI am pleased to announce that the second annual Measuring the State of Disaster of Disaster Philanthropy report has been released. The report, a joint effort of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Foundation Center, represents a global effort to track, document, and record philanthropic giving to disasters.

Why do this? The answer is twofold. First, we want to more accurately capture how philanthropy currently responds to disasters and encourage philanthropy to support the full arc of a disaster, not just immediate relief needs. And because this second report represents the most comprehensive analysis to date on disaster philanthropy.

This year's report benefits from several enhancements:

  1. The data are drawn from seven different sources – Foundation Center, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System, FEMA, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Financial Tracking Service, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center Disaster Corporate Aid Tracker, GlobalGiving, and Network for Good.
  2. The Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy Dashboard allows funders, practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders to interact with the data and hone in on their specific areas of interest. When visiting the dashboard, you can filter the information by disaster type, disaster assistance strategy, geographic area, and data source.

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