New disaster giving report shows greater focus on risk management


Alliance magazine


The Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) have recently announced the fourth edition of their annual research report, Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2017: Data to Drive Decisions.

The new report documents $23 billion dollars given in private, public, corporate, and individual disaster-related capacity, to address major disasters and humanitarian crises that affected millions globally in 2015.

Among its findings, the report shows that large foundations slightly shifted funding to support disaster risk management – primarily around the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Funding for complex humanitarian emergencies increased dramatically in response to the refugee crisis.

Key findings for foundation funding incluided the statistic that grants awarded by 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations totaled $158.1 million dollars in 2015, a 30 per cent decrease from the amount distributed in 2014. Although overall funding dollars decreased, more grants were distributed in 2015 by more funders. In 2015, 202 funders awarded 740 grants compared to 162 funders and 525 grants in 2014.

The Ebola crisis attracted the highest level (20 percent) of support. In the aftermath of the 2014 outbreak, foundations made large investments in disaster risk management.

Looking at the data, CDP President and CEO Robert G. Ottenhoff said, ‘It is encouraging to see the shift toward more strategic disaster funding during this one-year period. We hope this represents a new giving pattern for future years.” He added, “As we continue to see the scope and intensity of disasters increase, we hope the data will motivate organizations to work together to build resilient, stronger communities. Philanthropy needs to do more to balance funding for recovery and preparation with support for immediate relief.’

Bradford K. Smith, President of Foundation Center commented ‘In the last few months, we’ve seen numerous disasters — hurricanes, heavy monsoons, wildfires, and earthquakes — cause devastation in the U.S. and across the globe. And while it’s been heartening to see organizations and individuals respond enthusiastically in the immediate aftermath of these events, it’s our hope that, armed with this report and the data tools, philanthropists can think more strategically about their disaster-related investments’.

Click here to read the report.


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