ISSUE NUMBER 178 | October 16, 2017

Community Foundations Keep Giving When Disasters Keep Coming

Hurricanes and floods on the Gulf Coast. Devastation in Puerto Rico. Raging fires in Northern California. Earthquakes in Mexico. The list of natural disasters seems to be growing at an epic rate, and it’s hard to know where to give to best support relief and recovery efforts.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of places that can bridge the gap between those wanting to give and those in need. Well-known charities like the American Red Cross or The Salvation Army do good work and provide immediate relief for those hit by natural disasters. I consider these and others important front-line resources worthy of support.

But we all know that disaster relief is the tip of the iceberg. Most communities will face years, if not decades, of recovery and rebuilding. In my mind, there is no better way to support those efforts than to support the community foundations that serve areas hit by disaster. Community foundations can not only deploy quick relief funds, but can also create strategies for long-term rebuilding and recovery that include the voices and vision of community members. In doing so, they can help ensure that communities emerge from disaster in better shape than they were before the flood, storm, fire or earthquake struck.

Here are several community foundations working in the areas most recently affected by natural disasters. What’s more, community foundations all over the country are creating emergency relief funds for communities in other locales, making it possible to give locally and respond globally. You can assess the reputation of a community foundation through websites likeCharity NavigatorandGuidestar.

Northern California

Community Foundation Sonoma County,The Community Foundation of Mendocino County,Napa Valley Community Foundationall have created relief and recovery funds to respond to the wildfires. In addition, these three community foundations also have created theNorthern California Fire Fund, housed at Silicon Valley Community Foundation to provide support for nonprofit organizations as they help individuals, families and the community recover and rebuild. TheLatino Community Foundationis raising funds for three Latino nonprofit organizations that will serve farmworkers and their families. You can find more information about these and other options on theNorthern California Grantmakerswebsite.

Puerto Rico
Fundación Communitaria de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Community Foundation) has created thePuerto Rico Community Recovery Fundto support relief efforts for those communities impacted by Hurricanes Irma and María and encourage donations to it and to several other partners listed on the Fund’s web page.

Houston and Surrounding Areas
The Greater Houston Community Foundation has established aHurricane Harvey Relief Fund. TheCommunities Foundation of Texashas a Long-Term Disaster Fund, a Mass Care Task Force Fund that supports coordinated services of the American Red Cross North Texas Region, the Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, the North Texas Food Bank, and VolunteerNow, and a Harvey HELP fund for college students.

Florida and the Southeast Coast
Several community foundations have established funds for recovery after Hurricane Irma, includingSouthwest Florida Community Foundation,The Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties,Community Foundation of Sarasota County, andThe Miami Foundation. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and Pinellas Community Foundation have teamed up with other funders to create theTampa Bay Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

The International Community Foundation is currently directing all contributions to itsInternational Disaster Relief Fundto relief and recovery efforts in the wake of the earthquakes that rocked Oaxaca and Chiapas in September.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. You can also find community foundations near you or near places where disaster has occurred by visiting theCommunity Foundation Atlas. I also encourage you to visit theCenter for Disaster Philanthropy. The Center operates its own disaster recovery funds for Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, the Mexico Earthquakes and other recovery efforts. It also provides information for funders who want to learn more about preparedness, recovery and rebuilding.

© 2017 Kris Putnam-Walkerly. All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution.

Kris Putnam-Walkerly, MSW,has helped to transformthe impact of top global philanthropies for over 18 years. A member of theMillion Dollar Consultant Hall of Fameand named one ofAmerica's Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers. Author of the award-winning bookConfident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders, which was named one of"The 10 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Books."For more ways to improve your giving, visitPutnam Consulting Group.

Advisory Services

Kris Putnam-Walkerly serves as atrusted advisorto foundation leaders and high-wealth donors across the globe. As an advisor, Kris transfers learning to leaders and their teams so they have the ability to build their own internal capacity to be successful in their work. Kris’s clients report immediate and dramatic improvement in both personal performance and philanthropic impact.

Whether you are the CEO of a larger foundation, the sole staff member charged with decision-making, or a high-net worth donor, the questions Kris can address cover a broad spectrum of professional and personal issues. As an advising client, you’ll have unlimited access to Kris during regular business hours by phone, Skype, email and, when desired, face to face. With over 18 years of experience working with top global philanthropies, Kris understands how to build an impactful organization that integrates your philanthropic passions and the challenges that must be overcome to get there.

Learn moreabout this and other services offered orcontact Kristoday to begin a trusted advisor relationship.

Upcoming Speaking Events

Looking for a provocative yet practical speaker at your next event? Kris Putnam-Walkerly was named one of “America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers” in 2016 and 2017.Learn moreorbook Kris todayfor your next conference or event.

October 16, 2017 - CONNECT Conference, Exponent Philanthropy, Denver
Out of Your Bubble and Into Your Community

October 19, 2017 - National Forum on Family Philanthropy
Achieving Equity…How Exactly?

November 2, 2017 - The Michael Chatman Giving Show

November 10, 2017 - Forefront Webinar
Poverty, Abundance, and Delusional Altruism

November 14, 2017 - Southeastern Council on Foundations’ Annual Conference, Trustees-Only Luncheon, Orlando, FL
How Will Trustees Lead Into the Future?

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

To learn more, contact Kris at800.598.2102or


Putnam Consulting Group 30628 Detroit Road Unit 222 Westlake, Ohio 44145 United States (800) 598-2102