California is experiencing a series of repeated atmospheric river events that are leading to flooding, power outages, and mudslides across much of the state. Unfortunately, we know that these storms are only the latest in a chain of climate change-fueled disasters. In the last year alone, Californians have experienced severe drought conditions, extreme heat waves, and catastrophic wildfires. Philanthropy California, an alliance of Northern California Grantmakers, SoCal Grantmakers, Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties, has activated the 2023 disaster response website. While we seek to update you on urgent needs, we also want to recognize that responding to one disaster at a time is not enough.
As California continues to experience these repeated hazard events, it is not sustainable, nor realistic, to expect philanthropy to support each individual, isolated disaster that occurs across the State at the scale needed for a resilient recovery. We must instead center building community resilience as the highest priority for disaster philanthropy. The current winter storm bearing down across the State, while garnering significant attention in major cities will have impacts mostly felt by those with the least resources, including the unhoused, tribal communities, those living in mobile homes, renters, small business owners, farmers, and those living in rural settings.
Therefore, for those looking to give in response to the current onslaught of winter storms, we are highlighting the League of California Community Foundations’ statewide Disaster Relief, Recovery and Resilience Fund. This fund serves as a centralized opportunity for funders to invest in disaster relief, recovery, and long-term resilience through community foundations – trusted intermediaries who are deeply connected to affected communities. The fund’s focus on long-term resilience alongside relief and recovery ensures that communities have the resources to build the necessary social, economic, and physical infrastructures to prevent another disaster.
If you have any questions about the fund or wish to learn more, please reach out to Laura Seaman at the League of California Community Foundations - Laura@lccf.org
To learn more, we are inviting you to a disaster briefing on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (PST), co-hosted by Philanthropy California, the League of California Community Foundations, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and the California Office of Emergency Services. This is an opportunity to discuss how philanthropy and the State can best collaborate to build community resilience, and the steps we must take to shift our approach to disaster response.