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Disaster and Emergency Relief Resources

Disaster and Emergency Relief Resources
This will serve as an ongoing resource page for funders with ways to respond to natural disasters and other calls for emergency relief. If you have any additional resources to add, please contact Gail Pinkham, Senior Director of Communications.

Resources for Funders: 

Center for Disaster Philanthropy - a full-time resource to help donors make more thoughtful disaster-related giving decisions and maximize the impact of their gifts.
Disaster Response - a watchdog organization that curates lists of organizations that are working in response to a disaster, helping donors vet where to give. It uses a tool called SmartResponse – a searchable database.

Midwest Floods (updated March 27, 2019)

Iowa Council on Foundations shared that several funds have opened to help support flood relief and recovery efforts in counties and communities across Iowa. A quick list of those funds and additional resources is available below.
In Nebraska, monitor the Omaha Community Foundation's Blog, where their community investment team is tracking flood relief and response efforts.

  • The Fremont County Community Foundation established the Fremont County Flood Fund to meet local needs. 
  • Mills County Community Foundation established the Mills County Flood Fund to meet local needs.
  • United Way of the Midlands – 100% of every donation to the Nebraska/Iowa Flood Relief Fund will be directed to nonprofit programs meeting needs for emergency shelter, food and more. Donors will have the opportunity to direct their gift to a specific community within Nebraska or Iowa if they so wish.
  • Together a Greater Good – Flood Resource Page
  • Share Omaha – Flood Resource Page

56 Iowa Counties have received disaster declarations, making them eligible for FEMA assistance. Impacted communities are encouraged to access state and federal relief and assistance. Senator Grassley's office has provided a comprehensive list of resources here


California Fires (updated November 19, 2018)

The three sister organizations in California - Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers—are tracking the fires in Northern and Southern California and listing resources and ways to provide assistance to those in need on their websites.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has also created a Disaster Profile page for all three wildfires.


Supporting the Tragedy in Pittsburgh - Tree of Life Synagogue Victims - October 27, 2018

We offer our sincere condolences for those who suffered injuries and loss of life due to senseless violence and attack against the Jewish community at Tree of Life Synagogue in Greater Pittsburgh. Thousands of people gathered on Sunday for a vigil to remember those who were victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. With the resources found at Grantmakers of Western Pennsylania, you may help to make a contribution to the process of healing and recovery. 

Resources to help those affected by the gas explosions in Andover, Lawrence and North Andover (September 18, 2018) 

Governor Charlie Baker has announced the establishment of the new Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund at Essex County Community Foundation. A panel of 21 state and local government officials and nonprofit leaders met to organize a system for how the needs of those affected can be most effectively met. Plans for the execution of the new Fund will be communicated by the end of this week.  In the meantime, donations for the Sept. 13 fire victims may still be made to the Lawrence Emergency Fund. Once the new Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund is up and running, the donations will be combined.


Resources to help those impacted by Hurricane Florence (September 18, 2018)

Resources from Philanthropic Organizations in North Carolina



Funders and Donors Seeking Solutions on Helping Families Separated at the Border and Immigration (updated July 23, 2018)

  • June 27, 1:00-2:30pm, Webinar hosted by Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees will feature a panel of experts on the current situation, explore the impact of these policies on families and children, and learn about GCIR’s recommendations on how philanthropy can respond:  Where Are the Children? Family Separation Becomes U.S. Immigration Enforcement Policy
  • Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund  is building Greater Boston’s capacity to protect and defend immigrant and refugee communities by increasing access to legal representation for individuals facing deportation proceedings and community education and preparedness programming
  • Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants has been established to help immigrants in Cambridge, Massachusetts get the legal services they need to stay, legally, in our country.
  • The ACLU is litigating this policy in California.
  • Al Otro Lado is a binational organization that works to offer legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, including deportee parents whose children remain in the U.S.
  • American Immigrant Representation Project (AIRP), which works to secure legal representation for immigrants.
  • CARA—a consortium of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association—provides legal services at family detention centers.
  • CASA in Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and Pennsylvania. They litigate, advocate, and help with representation of minors needing legal services.
  • CLINIC’s Defending Vulnerable Populations project offers case assistance to hundreds of smaller organizations all over the country that do direct services for migrant families and children.
  • The Florence Project is an Arizona project offering free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody.
  • HIAS has designed an emergency response program that will have an immediate impact on families separated at the border and meet the short and longer-term needs of families seeking asylum in the U.S. This includes the provision of specialized legal and support services for asylum seekers in the Greater NY and DC areas, as well as in border areas.
  • Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative has a guide to organizations throughout Texas that provide direct legal services to separated children. Also listed within the guide are resources for local advocates, lawyers, and volunteers.
  • Human Rights First is a national organization with roots in Houston that needs help from lawyers too.
  • Kids in Need of Defense works to ensure that kids do not appear in immigration court without representation, and to lobby for policies that advocate for children’s legal interests.
  • The Kino Border Initiative provides humanitarian aid to refugees and migrants on both sides of the border. They have a wish-list of supplies they can use to help migrants and families staying in the communities they serve.
  • The Legal Aid Justice Center is a Virginia-based center providing unaccompanied minors legal services and representation.
  • The National Immigrant Justice Center represents and advocates for detained adults and children facing removal, supports efforts at the border, and represents parents in the interior who have been separated from their families as a result of aggressive enforcement.
  • The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project is doing work defending and advancing the rights of immigrants through direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education.
  • Pueblo Sin Fronteras is an organization that provides humanitarian aid and shelter to migrants on their way to the U.S.
  • RAICES is the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas offering free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children and families.
  • Together Rising is another Virginia-based organization that’s helping provide legal assistance for 60 migrant children who were separated from their parents and are currently detained in Arizona.
  • The Urban Justice Center’s Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project is working to keep families together.
  • Women’s Refugee Commission advocates for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution.
  • Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights works for the rights of children in immigration proceedings.


California Wildfires (October 2017)

Fires first began on October 8th and have since spread to more than 15 fires that have engulfed 220,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures and caused at least 40 deaths.
Funds have been set up to help the victims:
  • Northern California Grantmakers has a helpful resource page on responding to the ongoing wildfires in Northern California.
  • Grantmakers Concerned With Immigrants and Refugees, which along with NCG is located in Northern California, also has a helpful list of resources on responding to the wildfires – including a list of immigrant-serving organizations that are helping the local immigrant communities being impacted by the wildfires.


Hurricane Maria (September 2017)

Below are some resources to help support those impacted by the recent Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), a nonprofit organization, was founded by several professional and trade associations who came together after Hurricane Katrina to help provide humanitarian relief. Today, ALAN comprises hundreds of supply-chain businesses who stand poised to respond in the event of disasters. We are experts in transportation, warehousing, cold storage, and distribution, and we can help locate and move goods from suppliers to affected communities rapidly and efficiently.

Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund

In partnership with the Latino Legacy Fund. The Boston Foundation has agreed to champion this effort free of charge. The money raised will be invested in three areas: disaster relief, sustainable rebuilding and capacity building for NGO’s in Massachusetts, as a substantial migration of Puerto Ricans to Boston and throughout the Commonwealth is expected in the months ahead. Up to one-third will be immediately distributed for relief efforts, and another third will be deployed over two years to support reconstruction and economic recovery projects that are sustainable in the long term. The final third will support resettlement efforts in the Commonwealth. https://www.tbf.org/puertorico

Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund at Heart of Florida United Way to assist with emergency assistance and basic needs of those affected. 100% of every dollar raised will go toward alleviating immediate storm-related needs in Puerto Rico, long-term community recovery and displacement assistance for families in Central Florida. We have been in contact with Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico, the United Way that serves the entire island, in order to assess the immediate needs of their community. http://www.hfuw.org/pr/

Global Giving

This massive international crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits and donors is providing emergency supplies like food, water and medicine to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. All donations to this fund exclusively support hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean. You can donate here. https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-maria-caribbean-relief-fund/

United for Puerto Rico

The first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, has teamed up with corporate behemoths like Coca Cola, Walmart and Burger King to help provide aid to hurricane victims. You can donate to this campaign here.  http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Unidos: A Relief Fund for Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico

The Hispanic Federation, along with New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), set up this fund. One hundred percent of proceeds will go to hurricane relief and recovery efforts. You can donate to them here. http://hispanicfederation.org/media/press_releases/a_hurricane_relief_fund_for_hurricane_maria_victims_in_puerto_rico/

Puerto Rico Recovery Fund (established by the Center for a New Economy), which is both addressing immediate needs and working to set the island on a path toward economic growth as it rebuilds

The Hispanics in Philanthropy Fund, which is making contributions to foundations in Puerto Rico

The Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund, which is channeling contributions directly to grass-roots groups working to help marginalized people and neighborhoods hurt by the storm.


Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (September 2017)


Florida Philanthropic Network posted an extensive list of various ways to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma - including ways to GIVE and VOLUNTEER. Visit:




The Greater Houston Community Foundation is managing Mayor Turner's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

The Dallas Foundation has established a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.


Make a donation


Additional resources can be found at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. 

    133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
    Phone: 617.426.2606
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