July 11, 2023

Issue Guide on Disaster Giving: Looking Closer at Needs and Solutions

Author National Philanthropic Trust

As we reflect on these past few tumultuous years and look toward the future, one can feel overwhelmed by the impact and devastation of an array of disasters.

When it comes to disasters like extreme weather, earthquakes and the various impacts of climate change, knowing how, when and where to respond can feel more urgent than ever.

A recent study from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy found that about 30 percent of U.S. households donated in response to a disaster in recent years. However, “only 2 percent donated to support recovery from disasters that occurred in earlier years.”

This can be a watershed moment for philanthropists who want to make strides in both disaster relief and recovery, as well as making strategic investments that can help navigate future events. Philanthropic giving can often be the first line of defense for communities, especially when supporting locally rooted, mission-based organizations that best understand the specific needs of those most impacted by natural disasters.

In response to this global call by grantmakers, National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) has created a disaster giving issue guide, including a helpful worksheet that donors can use to reflect on their giving, interests and next steps. NPT’s extensive, research-informed issue guide will cover every aspect of giving in this space, from opportunities for donors to awareness of scams in the wake of tragedies.

The issue guide focuses on the principles and phases of disasters, including:

  • Mitigation
  • Preparedness
  • Response
  • Recovery and reform efforts

Donations during these phases can have a tremendous impact when it comes to preventing extensive loss and supporting resilience and sustainability after a disaster.

The importance of addressing short-term needs, long-term recovery efforts and supporting local and/or community-based organizations are all essential factors for those considering building disaster giving into their philanthropic budget. For those who want to make disaster giving a priority, the issue guide gives further insights as to why unrestricted gifts and recurring grants can be crucial for organizations during times of crisis.

For donors interested in reviewing their grantmaking strategies to include disaster giving in their philanthropic portfolio, or simply wish to learn more,  NPT is ready to help you help others.

Download the full issue guide below or contact us at (888) 878-7900 or npt@nptrust.org with any questions.

About the Author

Joan Allmaras is a Philanthropic Solutions Specialist at NPT. She produces tailored, in-depth research on specific issues and geographic areas of interest to NPT’s donors. Ms. Allmaras holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.