As it has done following other major global disasters, the Council on Foundations is tracking its members’ response to the Haiti earthquake. More than 130 foundation and giving programme members have reported more than $140 million in direct support pledges for relief and recovery efforts. As part of this total, by the end of March the Council reported foundation pledges to match more than $8.4 million in donations from the public or corporate employees.
The Haiti response also includes encouraging public support (70 per cent of community foundations are creating a special fund dedicated to Haiti) and non-cash contributions from business community members, such as product and personnel, to help assist government and NGO agencies on the ground. Council members are taking a mixed approach to their support, allocating funds for both immediate and long-term needs. Nearly all members are providing support through US-based intermediary partner organizations with a presence in Haiti.
Descriptions of individual members’ giving activities are collected on the Council’s web page dedicated to the Haiti earthquake, which also provides resources and legal FAQs on disaster grantmaking. As commitments to Haiti recovery continue to unfold, members are encouraged to submit their activities or update their listing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council has also held two briefings on the role of philanthropy in responding to disaster. The first was for US Congressional staff and the second was a public forum coinciding with the Council’s annual Foundations on the Hill event, with the participation of leaders from the UN Foundation, Medtronic, the Clinton Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. As well as highlighting the important role in immediate disaster response played by the corporate and philanthropic community, the briefings set the stage for upcoming meetings to mobilize philanthropy for long-term recovery in Haiti.