Responding to California Wildfires and Recent Hurricanes

PEAK Grantmaking shares this message from the United Philanthropy Forum for your information and action.

Our heartfelt thoughts go out to our members, colleagues, friends and everyone else who has been impacted by the spate of recent disasters. We would like to provide you with some updated information that could be helpful in responding appropriately to some these disasters.

California Wildfires

  • Northern California Grantmakers has a helpful resource page on responding to the ongoing wildfires in Northern California.
  • Grantmakers Concerned With Immigrants and Refugees, which along with NCG is located in Northern California, also has a helpful list of resources on responding to the wildfires – including a list of immigrant-serving organizations that are helping the local immigrant communities being impacted by the wildfires.
  • An October 17 NCG Webinar for funders (10:30-11:30 am PT) will feature leaders of local community foundations and disaster response experts, to hear how they’re doing, what they know so far, and what kind of support is most helpful at this stage of the emergency. The United Philanthropy Forum is a co-sponsor of the webinar, along with Forum members Philanthropy California and League of California Community Foundations, among others.

We’ve heard from NCG and GCIR that their staffs and families are safe and sound. GCIR President and Forum Board Member Daranee Petsod lives less than 15 miles from Coffey Park, the area of homes that were burned to the ground. She reports that the GCIR team based in Sonoma County is “hanging in there.” They all know people who have lost everything, and some are housing evacuees.

In addition the wildfires, here are a few updates on responding to the recent hurricanes:

Puerto Rico

  • FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund / Fondo ADELANTE Puerto Rico
    The Forum’s colleague organization in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Funders Network (Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico) has just launched the FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund (Fondo ADELANTE Puerto Rico). The Fund supports key nonprofit institutions that are working to achieve a better Puerto Rico in the short-, medium- and long-term. Initially, FORWARD Puerto Rico will provide funds to organizations that are assisting communities affected by the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria. Subsequently, it will target its support to strengthening these organizations and ensuring their resilience and continued contribution to Puerto Rico. The Fund will also support work on issues of government transparency, inequality, and community economic development. The Funders Network is comprised of longstanding and prestigious Puerto Rican foundations with extensive experience in strategic grantmaking and deep involvement in the nonprofit sector. The Funders Network will administer the Fund without charging administrative costs and will distribute the funds to nonprofits with a proven track record in Puerto Rico.Janice Petrovich, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Funders Network, has noted to me that the FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund will benefit from the experience of its members, its networks, its credibility, its knowledge of effective nonprofits, and its collective experience as grantmakers island-wide. The Fund is housed at the Foundation for Puerto Rico, which has a designation of 501c3 of the US tax code and is thus domestic.

U.S. Virgin Islands

  • The U.S. Virgin Islands were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, but seem to have lost the attention of the media and the country. So a reminder that the CARE (Caribbean Assistance and Relief Effort) Fund has been established by the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development to address the basic needs of individuals and families directly impacted by the disaster, and to support the transition of hundreds of displaced students and families who are currently being (re)settled on St. Croix.

The United Philanthropy Forum will continue to update on how to respond to these disasters and to update our website’s resource pages on Responding to Northern California Wildfires and Responding to Earthquakes in Mexico and Hurricane Maria.


Please send information and updates to the Forum’s Courtney Moore,