As disasters resulting from natural hazards become more prevalent in the state of California, the purpose of this fund is to provide a centralized opportunity for funders to invest in disaster relief, recovery and resilience through community foundations – trusted intermediaries who are deeply connected to affected communities.
Community Foundations and Disaster Response
Community foundations are uniquely positioned to lead and support their communities when disaster strikes – and for many years afterward. They are purpose-built to get resources where they are needed most in a crisis, and to adapt quickly to changing needs on the ground. They have deep knowledge of their community’s needs, and strong trust-based relationships with local nonprofits, government, community leaders and donors.
Community foundations are tax–exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, publicly supported philanthropic institutions that exist to “build community wealth” and serve as hubs of local giving and local impact. They have official public charity status and can engage in both grant making and direct charitable activities.
Community Foundation Spotlights
This fund supports the relief, recovery and resilience for natural hazard events in communities across the state of California through a statewide coalition of community foundations. Key objectives include:
- Increasing the available resources for community foundation-led disaster response work in under-resourced geographic areas of the state.
- Promoting equity in disaster relief, recovery and resilience-building by community foundations across California.
- Building the core capacity of community foundations and their local nonprofit partners to lead equitable disaster response.
Grants from this fund support the work of California’s community foundations across three categories of disaster response: Relief, Recovery, and Resilience. Common activities that may fall into each of these categories include but are not limited to:
- Provide emergency disaster relief for individuals, families, and communities
- Fill critical gaps in local safety net services that may include food and housing security, physical and mental health access and support, and emergency assistance
- Support the long-term recovery of impacted individuals, families, and communities
- Support the capacity of organizations to provide long-term recovery services
- Support case management, project management and construction management associated with recovery
Support community-based leadership activities such as convening recovery committees
- Prepare for and minimize damage from catastrophic events
- Invest in hazard mitigation and prevention for communities at risk of and impacted by natural hazards
- Support coordinated planning with public/private sector entities, reduce duplication of efforts, and increase the overall effectiveness of disaster prevention and preparedness activities
- Equity: Funds will be granted with an equity lens to ensure that individuals, families, and communities most vulnerable to the impacts of disasters from natural hazards, and the organizations that serve them, will be prioritized for support.
- Partnership: This fund will work closely with other disaster response funders to understand philanthropic and government funding flows and to prioritize grants that help fill critical gaps, that maximize local impact, and that are complementary to existing efforts rather than redundant.
- Trust: Grants from this fund will be made with minimal restrictions and reporting requirements to allow community foundations and their nonprofit partners to deploy funds quickly and strategically for local impact.
- Capacity Building: Grants from this fund will help community foundations and their local nonprofit partners build their capacity to support their community through current and future crises and to build long-term community resilience.
This fund will support relief, recovery and resilience efforts in response to natural hazard events that meet the following minimum criteria:
- Disasters resulting from natural hazards and associated events, including: wildfires and associated power outages (e.g. Public Safety Power Shutoffs), drought, earthquakes, flood, storms and severe weather events and other natural hazards.
- Federal, state, or county emergency declaration (for relief and recovery grants)
- Significant loss of life, loss of structures, evacuation or displacement of residents, and/or local economic impact (for relief and recovery grants)
- Community foundations in California that are members of the League of California Community Foundations are eligible to apply for grants from this fund in one or more of three categories: Relief, Recovery, and Resilience. Members, please contact the League for an application.
- At the discretion of the grantmaking committee(s), community foundations that are not members of the League of California Community Foundations may be eligible to apply for funding if they meet the following criteria: