Giving Compass’ Take:
• Disaster relief requires ongoing funding, but donor fatigue can set in. The authors argue that the best model for recovery is utilizing a coordinated and collaborative approach as demonstrated by the legal community in Northern California who are helping victims of the wildfires.
• There needs to be a greater focus on long-term rebuilding. How can donors plan their giving in a way that supports those efforts?
• Read more about disaster relief funding at the Giving Compass Disaster Relief and Recovery Magazine.
Nearly 20,000 residents have been asked to evacuate their homes in Northern California as a result of the multiple wildfires that have been burning for weeks, and CNBC has reported that more than 16,000 homes have been threatened by potential damage from the wildfire at this point, leading to evacuation orders for nearly 25,000 residents.
But, when you examine disaster-related funding in the last five years, funding directed at wildfires is $13.1 million, while hurricane-related funding totals $480.6 million (this includes grants and in-kind donations).
What can we do to better address wildfires? The first step is understanding the impact on these communities: cities and counties will end up paying for at least half of the hundreds of billions of dollars that can go into wildfire recovery in a single year. One group that has witnessed this large burden, and has taken steps to help in the rebuilding efforts, is the legal community. By working with local government bodies and community foundations, legal aid can help to ensure insurance claims are filed correctly, protect local residents from fraud, and more.
California legal aid organizations have already established exemplary collaborative initiatives based on past fires, which ensures coordinated efforts that are needed in the immediate aftermath of the wildfire are possible.
There is a tremendous need for long-term funding for rebuilding, and there needs to be a coordinated approach from local communities when it comes to relief and recovery. However, with some of these disasters that span numerous days, weeks, months, and with hundreds of billions needed to rebuild, other funding sources need to be considered.
Lessons can be learned from all different types of disasters. The level of collaboration amongst the legal community in Northern California can serve as an excellent model for other areas of the country.
Read the full article about disaster relief from Blackbaud Corporate Solutions at TriplePundit
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Looking for a way to get involved?
If you are interested in Disaster Relief, please see these relevant events, training, conferences or volunteering opportunities the Giving Compass team recommends.
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If you are ready to take action and invest in causes for Disaster Relief, check out these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects related to Disaster Relief.