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
Hurricane Laura slammed Louisiana on in the early hours of Thursday, August 27. Damage assessments are still coming in, but the Category 4 Laura’s powerful storm surge and deadly winds have already led to numerous reports of fatalities, lost homes and ruined lives.Learn More
California Community Foundation (CCF) launched the COVID-19 LA County Response Fund to address the immediate and emerging needs of our region’s most vulnerable residents—from hardship relief to long-term recovery. This fund will support community needs identified by our partners in health, housing, education and immigration, and will aid impacted individuals through our Pass it Along […]Learn More
The Bobcat Fire started on September 6th at 12:21 PM. The fire is located near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area. Current acreage burned is 115,796 acres. Hard work by the firefighters over has increased containment up to 92%. Crews will continue to actively monitor and patrol active areas of fire. For […]Learn More
In Northern California multiple fires merged into one disastrous blaze. Hundreds of structures have already been lost in wine country. The two fast-moving blazes, the Zogg Fire in Shasta County and the Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma Counties have burned nearly 125,000 acres together, but great progress has been made as the fires are […]Learn More
The number of firefighters has been reduced to 12,600 (last report was at 15,000) as important progress continues towards containment on now 14 major wildfires (8 less than last report) across the state. The Creek Fire in Fresno County is the only major fire at 55% containment. As of October 12th, the majority of fires […]Learn More