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Climate and Disaster Resilience

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Why Now

Natural hazards like wildfires, heatwaves, and earthquakes test the resilience of communities in our region and across California. They worsen the already dramatic disparities of wealth and power along racial and economic lines.

According to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, philanthropy invests most of its dollars immediately following a disaster, when media attention is at its peak. However, less than 10% of our philanthropic dollars go toward reducing hazard risk and preparing our communities for disasters. Studies show that pre-disaster funding goes further. Every $1 spent on mitigation saves $6. Furthermore, only 2% of global philanthropic giving is earmarked for climate mitigation, with even smaller portion of climate-relating funding going into BIPOC communities and BIPOC-led organizations.

The uneven allocation of philanthropic dollars is also a stark reminder that we have more to do when it comes to reducing hazard risks in light of our changing climate, which makes climate-related natural hazards more intense and frequent, disproportionately affecting BIPOC communities. To advance racial equity, philanthropy, along with other sectors, must invest in mitigating climate hazard risks in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and ensure communities impacted by hazard events have the equitable support to reduce their vulnerability and risks to future hazard events.

What Beliefs Guide our Work

Vision: Through our work, we envision California communities that are protected from the impacts of natural hazards; have equitable access to financial, relational, and political resources so they can mitigate, adapt to, prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazard events; and benefit socioeconomically from a just transition. We fuel this vision with the following beliefs:

  • The space between hazard and disaster lies prevention. There is nothing “natural” about disasters. Society, not nature, creates disasters. Disasters don’t have to happen in our communities if we make the right investments at the right time in the right places. 
  • People nearest the harm are also nearest the solutions. Solutions to climate and disaster risks are best designed and carried out by communities closest to the problems, with private and public support. 
  • Race matters. Focusing on racial equity and social justice, we prioritize communities of color. 
  • Multi-sector problems require multi-sector solutions. Climate challenges cannot be solved by one sector alone – they must be addressed by involving business, government, nonprofits and philanthropy.   

How We Do It

  • Advocate. We advocate for state and national policies that advance equity in climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as disaster prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery.
  • Coordinate. We coordinate funders around emergent issues including wildfire resilience and climate, health, and equity.
  • Educate. We host programs on climate and disaster issues, philanthropic best practices, and solutions from the frontline.
  • Connect. We connect funders to government partners and organizations responding to climate crises and to disasters. 
  • Respond. We publicize trusted funds on behalf of the governor’s office for disaster relief and recovery and advise philanthropy on how best to meet short and long-term needs.

Events

Upcoming programming coming soon. In the meantime, take a look at our past events.

News

Thursday, September 30, 2021

There will be tremendous opportunities for philanthropy to ensure investments are targeted in our most vulnerable communities at risk of climate-driven events. NCG's Alan Kwok provides an analysis of what the package will bring and what role philanthropy can play.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

As we find ourselves in the midst of yet another devastating wildfire season, I want to share the importance of the little-known or often misunderstood community-based network known as the VOAD – Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. A VOAD, as the names implies, is a voluntary network of nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and government entities that support efficient disaster relief and recovery efforts. Organizations and entities join their local VOAD network at their own volition and on their own dime. They join a VOAD because they understand that coming together is better than going it alone when a disaster strikes.  

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

As fire season sets in, the stream of well-meaning articles entering our news feed is on the rise. They’re intended to help us make sense of and respond to the threat of wildfire and smoke. What worries me though, is what’s missing from these pithy, otherwise attractive reads. Here's a quick list of questions to ask yourself as you sift through the news, regardless of the outlet. As a soft optimist with a sharp point of view, I’d like to equip you to dig behind the reporting to find out not just what’s going on, but why it’s happening, how people are affected differently based on the risks they face, and what we can do about it.  

Thursday, July 1, 2021

No longer can we deny the effects of climate change. Extreme heat events, sea level rise, droughts, and wildfires are affecting the health and livelihoods of communities across the state and around the world. With an increasing number of donors making commitments to fund climate action and funders looking for climate mitigation and adaptation efforts to support, we offer our experiences funding and participating in climate movements.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

We're sharing climate justice issues, ranging from climate feminism to health impacts of climate change to accountability of philanthropy to BIPOC climate justice innovators. We hope these articles inspire you to delve in deeply about how you can take part in advancing racial, gender, and economic equities.

Resources

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is far reaching, including major implications for nonprofits and the communities that they serve.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is far reaching, including major implications for non-profits and the communities that they serve.

This brief on COVID-19 testing is designed to support philanthropic discussion and aid in the coordination of the sector’s response.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is far reaching, including major implications for non-profits and the communities that they serve.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is far reaching, including major implications for non-profits and the communities that they serve.