From a global pandemic to the recent invasion of Ukraine, globally impactful disasters are an increasingly frequent part of our reality, and thus an important factor as funders consider grantmaking priorities and the funding landscape in which they operate. In light of these events and global trends that will make disasters of this scale and complexity imminent, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) reflects in this series on why grantmakers must consider disaster funding, how to approach this work with an equity and community-based mindset, and what individual donors can do to help.

Since the World Health Organization declared a COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (where we work) have seen $28.4 billion in giving for response, relief, and recovery efforts.

Who knew then that, after the 12th round of grantmaking and grants totaling nearly $40 million through the CDP COVID-19 Response Fund, we would still be funding organizations globally two-plus years later?

What we have learned from the past years informs our work, not just with our COVID-19 fund but also with other disasters and emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. We share some of this below and invite other grantmakers and donors to learn alongside us.

  1. COVID-19 affects everyone and intersects everything.
  2. Recovery from disasters and crises does not happen equitably.
  3. Trust is critical.
  4. Community is essential.
  5. Our public health systems are inadequate.
  6. Good mental health is good overall health.
  7. Women and women’s groups have played a critical role.

Read the full article about lessons from COVID-19 philanthropy by Alex Gray and Sally Ray at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.