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Disaster relief and recovery efforts for those in need.

In the past few months, heartbreaking tragedies have occurred, from devastating hurricanes and earthquakes to the recent tragedy in Las Vegas and wildfires in Northern California. Hundreds of thousands of victims have been impacted and are in dire need of food, emergency shelter, clean water, electricity, and access to critical medical care. Schwab Charitable and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy are working together to provide our generous donors with a convenient way to donate their support.

Help those impacted by the wildfires in Northern California.

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As many as 18 wildfires have been ravaging areas of Northern California with devastating effect to lives, homes, businesses, vineyards, and infrastructure. Lend support to counties recommended below by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

  • Napa Valley Community Foundation
    Disaster Relief Fund

  • The Community Foundation Sonoma County
    Sonoma County Resilience Fund

  • The Community Foundation of Mendocino County
    Disaster Fund for Mendocino County

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Provide support to those impacted by the tragedy in Las Vegas.

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Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the horrific shooting that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 1st.

The organizations listed below have been recommended by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

  • American Red Cross – Southern Nevada Chapter
    FEIN: 53-0196605

  • National Center for Victims of Crime
    FEIN: 30-0022798
    National Compassion Fund

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Support hurricane victims.

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Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have left a wake of heartbreak and destruction across the southern United States and Caribbean. Thousands of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed and millions are without the basic necessities such as food, clean water and shelter.

The organizations below have been recommended by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

United States

  • Habitat for Humanity
    FEIN: 91-1914868

  • All Hands Volunteers
    FEIN: 20-3414952

  • Mennonite Disaster Services
    FEIN: 23-2713127

  • Feeding America
    FEIN: 36-3673599

  • Direct Relief
    FEIN: 95-1831116

  • Save the Children
    FEIN: 06-0726487

  • Catholic Charities
    FEIN: 53-0196620

International

  • CARE
    FEIN: 13-1685039

  • Oxfam
    FEIN: 23-7069110

  • Habitat for Humanity
    FEIN: 91-1914868

  • All Hands Volunteers
    FEIN: 20-3414952

  • AmeriCares
    FEIN: 06-1008595

  • World Vision
    FEIN: 95-1922279

  • Catholic Relief Services
    FEIN: 13-5563422

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Help those affected by the earthquakes in Mexico.

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Multiple major earthquakes and aftershocks have affected our friends and neighbors in Mexico. The first earthquake near the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas measured 8.1 on the Richter scale, the second which took place just outside of Mexico City measured 7.1, and a third measuring 6.1 was felt in southern Mexico. Over 400 people tragically lost their lives, and thousands more have been injured. Many homes and buildings have been completely destroyed.

The organizations below have been recommended by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

  • Oxfam
    FEIN: 23-7069110

  • World Vision
    FEIN: 95-1922279

  • Catholic Relief Charities
    FEIN: 13-5563422

  • U.S. Fund for UNICEF
    FEIN: 13-1760110

Donate now

When you choose to support a disaster relief effort, please consider these guidelines to most effectively help those in need:

  • Donate to the organization’s general disaster relief fund, so the funds can be used where they’re most helpful.

  • Send funds instead of physical goods.

  • Help to fund prevention and continue to give over time.

  • Encourage accountability to the organizations you choose to support.

Disasters are unpredictable and last well beyond the initial event.

Make sure your generosity has a sustained impact on those who need it most.

It is common to think of disasters—floods, tornadoes, mass shootings, and refugee crises—as discrete events with fixed beginnings and ends. However, emergency management experts generally think of disasters in "lifecycles." The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) identifies four phases of the disaster lifecycle that happen before, during, and after a devastating event: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Understanding what is needed in each phase can help you increase the impact of your philanthropy and maybe even prevent the next potential disaster.

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    Every phase needs charitable support

    1. Mitigation

    Nonprofits and government agencies can spend years trying to prepare for and mitigate the anticipated effects of an emergency. The goal of mitigation is to try to anticipate risks and minimize their physical and financial damage. Flood-proofing and insurance are two good examples. In addition, research and education initiatives can spread awareness of best practices and therefore help to anticipate and alleviate the impact of natural or man-made disasters.

    2. Preparedness

    Preparedness aims to increase the speed and effectiveness of the response to a disaster by, for example, stocking food and water, gathering and screening volunteers, and helping communities develop an emergency action plan. While mitigation and preparation are often overlooked by donors, they have a huge impact on vulnerable communities. For every dollar spent on disaster preparedness, at least four dollars are saved in casualties and property damage.1

    3. Response

    The response to a disaster is the phase most familiar to donors. They are motivated by the human need portrayed in news coverage and emotional appeals from victims and charities. Donors, nonprofits, and relief workers rush to save lives, offer humanitarian aid, and prevent further property damage. Ninety percent of all donations flow to relief efforts in the 90 days following a disaster2, but prior investments in preparedness (see above) can also make a dramatic difference in the response phase.

    Your gift not only helps at the outset, but it provides sustained, long-term support throughout each stage of the disaster lifecycle.

    To increase your impact on disaster relief, consider a giving strategy that incorporates the entire disaster lifecycle, from prevention through long-term recovery and rebuilding. As you develop your plan, keep in mind the following recommendations:

    • Donate dollars instead of physical goods—Financial contributions, whether in the form of cash or grants from a donor-advised fund or private foundation, give relief organizations the flexibility to allocate funds where they are most needed. The best way to make sure financial resources are used effectively is to donate to a charitable organization's general disaster relief fund. Meanwhile, unsolicited goods, such as clothing and perishable foodstuffs, can redirect valuable resources towards sorting and distributing items that do not meet victims' immediate needs.3
    • Don't stop giving after 90 days are up—Consider using your donor-advised fund to distribute money to recovery efforts over an extended timeframe, either manually or by establishing a recurring grant. While financial assistance during the response phase of a disaster is important, longerterm recovery support is just as critical but receives less attention from donors. The sudden and brief influx of funds to charities while an emergency is underway sometimes leads to inefficiencies, duplication of efforts, and wasted donations. However, giving strategically and consistently to long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts can give you more control over where and how your grants are spent.
    • Support innovative mitigation and preparedness strategies—Many donors find contributing to crisis prevention efforts to be a particularly challenging task because disasters are by nature difficult to anticipate. It is therefore hardly surprising that nearly half of 2012 disaster funding by foundations was directed to response and relief efforts, while the smallest percentage was allocated to disaster preparedness4. If you struggle with how to approach disaster prevention and preparedness, it may be useful to think about these concepts in a broader context. For example:
      • – Preparedness efforts do not need to be pegged to one specific disaster. Consider supporting organizations that do not directly address disaster relief, but help vulnerable populations—such as the elderly, the poor, and the mentally ill—who are often hit hardest by disasters.
      • – Alternatively, explore opportunities to invest in studies and pilot programs that focus on disaster mitigation and preparation. These research initiatives increase awareness and highlight differences in disaster relief across a range of local contexts.

    Learn more about defining your charitable mission and creating a giving strategy. Visit disasterphilanthropy.org for more disaster giving tips and timely research.