Hurricane Dorian: How to Help

Hurricane Dorian devastated northern Bahamas and has left tens of thousands of residents displaced. The storm was the biggest to make landfall in the Atlantic and the strongest hurricane to hit the Bahamas. In the U.S., Hurricane Dorian skirted the East Coast of Florida and is moving along the coast South Carolina and North Carolina. It is battering the Carolinas with flooding, rain, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. For up-to-date information, please refer to the following websites:

Learn More About the Impacts of Hurricane Dorian

The following webinars provide up-to-date information about the impacts of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas:

  • Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s webinar “Hurricane Dorian: Supporting the Bahamas”
    Monday, September 9, 2019
    9 a.m. Pacific / 12 p.m. Eastern
    Register here

Join this webinar to learn about current challenges, effective philanthropic approaches and how best to support the unique needs of small islands in recovery.

  • US Chamber of Commerce’s Hurricane Dorian coordination webinar
    Monday, September 9, 2019
    11 a.m. Pacific / 2 p.m. Eastern
    Register here

Join this webinar to hear from partners who are actively responding. Learn what the immediate needs are in the areas, as well as the long-term outlook on recovery.

How to Give Strategically

1.  Philanthropy California recommends all its members and the funding community to donate cash rather than goods as they can create a “second disaster” in the affected region. Cash is flexible and can be used immediately in response to a disaster. It also allows disaster relief organizations the means to procure supplies locally, reducing transport delays and support the recovery of local economies.

2.  Check out this blog from the Center on Disaster Philanthropy on how to give strategically.

3.  Download the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Playbook, which is a compilation of philanthropic strategies, promising practices, and lessons learned that aim at helping philanthropic organizations and individual donors be more strategic with their investments and recognize the importance of supporting long-term recovery for vulnerable populations.

4. This blog on Hurricane Dorian offers suggestions for funders both in and outside the path of the storm

How to Help

The following trusted philanthropic organizations have set up funds to support communities that will be/have impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Check this section often as additional vetted funds may be posted.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Geography served: Domestic and international

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has launched the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund. The fund will focus on needed medium- and long-term recovery needs, which many include rebuilding homes and livelihoods, meeting the needs of vulnerable populations; supporting mental health services; and addressing pressing needs that will arise after immediate relief needs are met. The fund will invest in projects and initiatives that:

  • Support vulnerable populations whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated.
  • Emphasize funding that is medium- and long-term in nature, based upon prevailing needs that emerge in the weeks and months after the disaster.
  • Fill in gaps where public resources are unavailable or scarce.
  • Foster collaborative relationships among grantees and other organizations.

Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina

Geography served: Domestic – South Carolina coast

The Coastal Community Foundation’s Lowcountry Disaster Relief Fund supports disaster response and recovery efforts in South Carolina’s coastal region that include Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton, and Jasper counties.

Direct Relief

Direct Relief provides humanitarian aid across all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Direct Relief has stationed emergency medical caches – containing everything from first-aid to vital medications for chronic diseases and allergic reactions – throughout Florida, the Carolinas, and the Gulf Coast, and its emergency response team is on the ground, ready to respond as required.

Entertainment Industry Foundation

Geography served: Domestic and international

The Entertainment Industry Foundation, a member of Southern California Grantmakers, has set up a Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund, which supports individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and in the Southeastern U.S. The fund will provide immediate relief and long-term recovery.  Immediate emergency relief needs include shelter, food, medical support, search and rescue operations, livestock relocation and power/communications restoration. Homes that are destroyed or suffer major damage will require mucking, gutting and rebuilding. Even structures that only have minor flooding will require significant work. Long-term recovery will include restoration of property, livelihood recovery and environmental cleanup.

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund

Geography served: Domestic – Florida (northeast)

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund was founded in 2016 by Northeast Florida’s largest nonprofit funders to help those affected by natural hazard events. One hundred percent of donations to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund will benefit local nonprofit organizations in Duval, Clay, Baker, St. Johns, Nassau and Putnam counties who provide disaster-relief services. Relief Fund partners include United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Jewish Federation of Jacksonville and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.


Geography served: Domestic and international

GlobalGiving has set up the Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund to provide disaster relief and recovery services to people impacted by Hurricane Dorian’s storm system in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine, in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents recover and rebuild. All donations to this fund will exclusively support relief and recovery efforts in areas impacted by this storm.


Geography served: Domestic – Florida

VolunteerFlorida’s Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. Funds raised will go toward disaster-related response and recovery. Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax deductible. The Florida Disaster Fund distributes funds to service organizations that will serve individuals within their communities with disaster response and recovery.

How Philanthropy California Can Support Your Engagement

Philanthropy California – an alliance of Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego Grantmakers – is deploying its deep work in disaster resilience efforts toward:

  • What’s needed now
  • Emerging issues
  • Where funders can make the most of their contributions
  • Trusted funds for relief and recovery
  • How best to meet short and long-term needs
  • Funders, government partners, and organizations active in responding to the disaster
  • Funders with tools, connections, and expertise

Please contact Alan Kwok, Director of Disaster Resilience, at [email protected] for more information.