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"Insufficient and unsustainable" - approach to disaster-related philanthropy and grantmaking not working: US research

Nearly 75% of disaster-related grants and philanthropic funding from US-based foundations is directed to response and relief efforts, a trend which is "insufficient and unsustainable" according to the Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

In the 2016 edition of their regular Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy report released earlier this month, the two organisations are critical of an overwhelmingly reactive approach to disaster-related grantmaking and funding, urging better co-operation between funders and a greater focus on resiliance, risk-reduction and mitigation.

"Disasters, by definition, are unplanned and generally unpredictable, but disaster-related giving should be anything but haphazard," the report states.

"The data reveal that philanthropy is primarily focused on funding immediate response and relief efforts.

"But we know from experience that effective allocation of donor dollars is critical, not just while a disaster is underway, but well beforehand, through disaster risk management and preparedness, and also in the long term, as individuals, families, and communities undergo the painstaking work of rebuilding.

"We can no longer afford to wait for a disaster to strike to begin to act. Philanthropy's current crisis-driven, episodic approach is insufficient and unsustainable. We can and should use these data to become more intentional and more collaborative disaster-related philanthropists."

In all, 73% of disaster philanthropy and grantmaking from US-based foundations during 2014 targeted immediate response and relief efforts. Just nine percent addressed resilience, risk reduction, and mitigation.

More broadly, the report also looked at disaster assistance funding from the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

It found more than 68% of total giving went towards response and relief efforts, while just 5.5% went towards resilience, risk reduction and mitigation.

To read the full report, follow this link: http://admin.issuelab.org/permalink/download/25866.

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