When disaster strikes, it often brings with it an incredible outpouring of generosity. Empathy sparks action, and the world comes together to help. Following the steps below, you can increase the effectiveness of your donations to disaster relief efforts and maximize your impact on affected communities, whether in Los Angeles or around the world.
- Give money, not goods. Food and clothing drives can be gratifying, but they come with substantial burdens to the nonprofits involved. Receiving, sorting, transporting and distributing these require time and money that are in short supply in the wake of a disaster. By giving cash, the organization can receive your gift immediately and put it towards the most pressing needs of affected residents.
- Give to the organization, not the disaster. Donors always have the option of earmarking their gifts for use only on a specific project or relief effort. But by marking your gift as general operating support, you allow the organization to both respond to the current crisis and prepare for the next one.
- Take the long view. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, there is a huge influx of money and attention. But real recovery takes time, and relief needs continue long after the cameras are packed up and the media moves on. When you support organizations that focus on medium- and long-term efforts, you ensure that affected communities can not just survive but return to their full strength.
- Do your homework. The California Community Foundation vets all recommended organizations to ensure that donors can create the greatest impact with their gifts. When researching a potential recipient organization, tools like Candid and Charity Navigator allow you to learn about a charity’s finances and internal workings. This article from Forbes magazine provides useful information on how to evaluate the effectiveness of nonprofits.
Below you can find specific information on current disasters and ways that you can support relief and recovery efforts. To learn more, contact us at disaster [@] calfund [.] org.
Current Disaster Relief Efforts
The California Community Foundation’s wildfire recovery fund supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for major California wildfires, as well as preparedness efforts. Since 2003, the fund has granted more than $32 million to support relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of devastating California wildfires. Grants from the Wildfire Recovery Fund have supported those who […]Learn More
On May, 20 2021 the LA Arts Recovery Fund granted a total of $36.1M raised for post-pandemic rebuilding. The 90 nonprofit grant recipients represent small to mid-sized cultural organizations—spanning visual arts, theater, music, dance, literary arts, and arts education—all demonstrating exceptional regional or local significance.Learn More