October 3, 2017

UPDATE: Hurricane Relief and Disaster Giving

Author National Philanthropic Trust

In the past month, hurricanes have ravaged the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and a 7.1 magnitude earthquake resulted in destruction in Mexico. To date, NPT’s donors have recommended grants totaling more than $3.5 million dollars to relief efforts from these disasters. We expect that total will increase in the coming weeks and months.

As I’ve written before, an enormous challenge in disaster relief is how to keep donors interesting and contributing to relief efforts after the headlines disappear. News stories that inspire people to give only last a few days or weeks, but recovery efforts take years. I encourage everyone who is generously giving to the effected communities now to continue supporting them. Be a regular donor—monthly or quarterly for a minimum of six months. Many charities allow you to create a regular donation by using an automatic debit from your checking account. If you use a donor-advised fund to give, set-up a recurring grant to automatically send charitable dollars to qualified relief organizations.

The support for and within the communities hit by these disasters is inspiring:

  • All fiving living former President’s banded together for the One America Appeal to support hurricane relief in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
  • J.J. Watt, NFL player for the Houston Texans, created a historic YouCaring campaign that initially aimed to raise $200,000 but ultimately collected $37.1 MILLION for recovery efforts in and around Houston
  • The Hispanic Federation is partnering with civic leaders to launch Unidos, a hurricane relief fund to provide immediate assistance to people in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic
  • Numerous helpful lists for how to help on-the-ground organizations (remember to do your homework before donating!)

We know our generous donors will continue to support relief efforts and we encourage everyone—Americans and around the world—to give to those in need.