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How to Respond to Hurricane Irma

Sunday, September 10, 2017

After taking a destructive path through the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday afternoon. It will continue to wreak havoc as it moves through th state of Florida. States of Emergency has also been issued in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. An incredibly powerful storm, its full impact has yet to be realized.

We are compiling a list of responses, news items, resources and programming for philanthropy in response to the destruction being left by Hurricane Irma. Please send additional suggestions to

Our Members' Efforts

Hurricane Irma- Disaster Philanthropy Resources
Our member Florida Philanthropic Network has compiled a comprehensive list of relief efforts and resources. 

Southern HIV Impact Fund
This Fund of Funders Concerned About AIDS and administered by AIDS United incorporates HIV into a broader, integrated movement for social justice and seeks to positively impact the social determinants of health in the region. It has been expanded to address disaster relief in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. 

How to Help

Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund
Center for Disaster Philanthropy's fund will focus on medium and long-term rebuilding needs. Long-term needs are expected to include rebuilding homes, businesses, infrastructure, meeting the needs of young children and supporting mental health needs. Geographically, the fund will focus on the entirety of the storm’s impact area. Specific location and need-focus will be determined by the grant oversight committee.

Hurricane Irma Relief Fund at Central Florida Foundation
The fund will support longer term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Collier Comes Together Disaster Relief Fund
The Community Foundation of Collier County,  in close collaboration with the City of Naples and Collier County Emergency Management, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, City of Naples Police Department, Marco Island Police Department and the United Way of Collier County has established the Collier Comes Together Disaster Relief Fund to provide assistance to Hurricane Irma victims. 100% of donations collected are distributed to victims and their families.

Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Marlin Counties Hurricane Assistnce Fund
This fund will be used to grant funds to nonprofit organizations in Palm Beach and Martin Counties that have specific needs caused by storm conditions concerning interruption of services or facility repair and restoration. 

Community Foundation of Sarasota County Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has set up a Disaster Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible donations for relief efforts. 

Gulf Coast Disaster Fund
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has activated a disaster fund to support relief and recovery from the natural disaster that has affected the region. Relief will focus on making communities habitable again so residents can resume their daily lives and will include a range of activities needed to rebuild the regional economy and return stability to individuals and families.

Disaster Relief Fund at Manatee Community Foundation
As Manatee County faces the short-term relief and long-term recovery needs caused by Hurricane Irma, Manatee Community Foundation will work in partnership with other local funders including United Way Suncoast, Manatee County Government, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to maximize the power of this fund to assist those impacted by this storm in Manatee County. 

Irma: Puerto Rico Real-time Recovery Fund
All donations to this fund will exclusively support the victims of the catastrophic Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico and provide relief and aid the communities affected by this disaster. This fund is managed by the non-profit ConPRmetidos in alliance with Professional Insurance Agents of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean (PIA) to help us identify and direct the funds to the areas that will need it the most.

Hurricane Irma Relief Fund for Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Florida
Hispanics in Philanthropy created this fund to support those affected by Hurricane Irma. The funds will go directly to nonprofits working on the ground, such as Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico. HIPGive will not charge an administrative fee to transfer the funds.

Relief Efforts at The Miami Foundation

  • The Hurricane Relief Fund- This fund will support recovery and rebuilding work driven by organizations on the ground.
  • Irma Caribbean Strong Relief Fund — This Fund will support relief efforts in small Caribbean island nations and territories, including Antigua & Barbuda, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.
  • Irma Community Recovery Fund — This Fund will support relief efforts for Florida’s marginalized communities, ensuring residents in poverty have access to critical services and resources

NetHope Emergency Response Working Group 
Hurricane Irma has devastated parts of the Caribbean, knocking out communications that are vital for residents and first responders. NetHope has activated its Emergency Response Working Group to the region, and we are actively raising support for the communications needs of those affected by, and responding to Irma. 

Irma Recovery: Support Community-Led Recovery Efforts
The Sierra Club is managing this fund to help the people in Irma's path. Donations will support on-the-ground relief and recovery efforts for south Florida, Puerto Rico, and other communities in Irma’s path. 100% of funds donated will go directly to community-led recovery efforts in areas impacted by Irma.

SWFL Hurricane Relief Fund
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has joined forces with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to create a giving fund to help in the aftermath of those affected by Hurricane Irma. 100 percent of the funds donated through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will be used by the United Way to provide emergency funds to directly help people displaced from their homes and those suffering loss due to the hurricane and floods. 

Tampa Bay Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund
This fund is a strategic collaboration of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Pinellas Community Foundation, United Way of Citrus County, United Way of Hernando, United Way of Pasco, and United Way Suncoast. 100% of the funds collected through this effort will be directed to address immediate and mid- to long-term recovery needs through grants to select nonprofits.  

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund
Donations will be used to provide immediate help to people displaced by the storm, as well as long-term rebuilding efforts. The relief fund has already made $100,000 grants to the American Red Cross Northeast Florida Chapter and the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida. All money from the fund will be limited to helping people in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns County and will be reviewed by a committee made up of members of local philanthropic groups. 

Additional Resources

Best Practices in Disaster Grantmaking: Lessons from the Gulf Coast
Philanthropy New York shares disaster grantmaking best pratices and strategies indentified by nonprofits, community foundations, and governmental agencies.

Creating Order From Chaos: Roles for Philanthropy in Disaster Planning and Response
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund published this guide in 2015 to outline the best roles for funders in a disaster, culled from its many decades of experience in responding to the needs of communities and nonprofits beset by disasters, human and natural alike. 

Disaster Philanthropy Playbook
A compilation of philanthropic strategies, best practices and lessons learned that helps communities think through how a disaster will affect them and plan and prepare to respond when it happens. It is centered on 15 strategies, including community and economic recovery; education; health and behavioral health; aging and disabled populations; arts and culture; environment; and others. The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is a joint project of Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Council of New Jersey Grantmakers in association with United Philanthropy Forum. 

Disaster Preparedness to Promote Community Resilience: Information and Tools for Homeless Service Providers and Disaster Professionals
The Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center (VEMEC) within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has produced this toolkit to provide guidance for identifying and collaborating with partners to address disaster response and recovery needs of homeless individuals. It outlines strategies to engage in preparedness and minimize service disruption from a disaster. Furthermore, it specifies how to enhance the capacity of healthcare settings with providers experienced in serving people who are homeless, and provide expanded care following a disaster or public health emergency.

Disaster, Older Adults and Philanthropy
This article from Grantmakers in Aging details why disaster-related death rates are so much higher older adults and how philanthropy can help. 

Disaster Planning and Recovery for Nonprofits, Charities, and Libraries
The Resilient Organization, developed with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, is a holistic guide to IT disaster planning and recovery. This e-book is intended for organizations that are preparing for a disaster, as well as those that need to rebuild and maintain operations after a disaster.

The Long Haul: Lessons From Charitable Responses to Previous Disasters
Michael Seltzer, Baruch College Distinguished Lecturer and Director of The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program, gives six essential perspectives on disaster recovery. 

Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy: Data to Drive Decisions
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has partnered with Foundation Center on an interactive dashboard, which provides an analysis of disaster-related funding by foundations, governments, corporations and individuals. The data presented illuminates funding trends, exposes some of the imbalances in where and when contributions are made to help donors make more strategic decisions about their investments in the full life cycle of disasters, including preparedness and recovery efforts.

Disaster Recovery – What Donors and Nonprofits Need To Know
This resource from the National Council of Nonprofits is tailored for nonprofits and donors who are interested in responding to a disaster. It includes practical tips for making post-disaster donations and providing recovery assistance.

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