Photo: Children are seen in front of makeshift tents at Darwan refugee camp in Amran north of Sana’a, Yemen. (Source: Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency; CC BY-SA 2.0)

Catalyzing for Impact: $1.75 Million Raised for Global Disaster-Recovery Efforts

Posted on June 09, 2020 by The Patterson Foundation
Throughout its 10-year history, The Patterson Foundation has continually worked to foster long-standing relationships that are catalytic and innovative, with the hope of maximizing the impact of every initiative the Foundation takes on. Understanding that it takes a collaborative approach to address far-ranging needs following a disaster, The Patterson Foundation seeks opportunities to fund response and recovery efforts in ways that others are not doing, cannot do or will not do.

The Patterson Foundation has contributed $1 million total to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s (CDP) Global Recovery Fund with the recent completion of a catalytic funding match. Combined with gifts from other generous donors, the match helped generate $1.75 million in total to the Fund, which is focused on addressing medium- and long-term needs following natural disasters and for humanitarian efforts around the world.

Grants from the first round of funding are being used in Malawi and Mozambique to rebuild infrastructure, support mental health services, and boost damaged agriculture and health sectors after Cyclone Idai. Additional grants are supporting international disaster-relief and recovery efforts in response to the Venezuelan refugee crisis, the complex humanitarian emergency in Yemen, and the Australian bushfires. Donors to the Global Recovery Fund can either designate to a specific disaster or allow CDP to allocate funding where it is needed most. The flexibility and wide reach of the Fund are particularly important as international communities continue responding to the evolving needs of humanitarian and disaster-recovery efforts amid the additional challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even as the world continues to address COVID-19, donors have the opportunity to strengthen vital recovery efforts for ongoing and future disasters worldwide,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “Whether it be a regional humanitarian crisis or a catastrophic natural disaster, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy continues to fund relief and recovery efforts in ways others are not by closing funding gaps. By sharing resources and expertise, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy offers donors a strategic approach to strengthening the ongoing efforts of nonprofits working on the ground and giving people, organizations and communities the opportunity to chart their own paths toward coping, adapting and innovating in the face of disaster.”

While a major disaster might prompt a robust response and relief effort, donations typically decline over time, leaving vital long-term recovery efforts underfunded; CDP experts identify needs and their grantmaking supports gaps in services vital for a holistic recovery. CDP also provides educational resources and consulting services to foundations and corporations to encourage more strategic approaches to disaster giving, helping donors increase their impact from response to through recovery from domestic and international disasters.

“It is gratifying to have a long-time partner that not only gives generously but also structures their gift to incentivize others to give,” said Patricia McIlreavy, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. “We are grateful to The Patterson Foundation and all the donors to the Global Recovery Fund for their commitment to helping people in need across the globe. Launched just over a year ago, international grantmaking from this Fund has had a significant impact by supporting work that improves lives and builds communities.”

The Patterson Foundation has supported CDP since 2012, contributing more than $4.5 million in response to major disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey, Florence and Michael, and the Global Refugee Crisis. The Patterson Foundation’s contribution to the CDP Global Recovery Fund included $750,000 total achieved through three separate $250,000 matches, in addition to a $250,000 gift to support Tropical Cyclone Idai recovery. The 1:1 matches were achieved through further contributions from the following generous donors:
  • The Stephen M. and Tressa C. Buente Foundation
  • Blanche R. Ittleson Foundation LLC
  • The Peterson Family Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation
  • Caerus Foundation, Inc.
  • Bingo Blitz
  • Fred Alger & Company, LLC aka, Alger Candlelight Giving Program
To learn more about the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and contribute to its Global Recovery Fund, visit Please visit for more information on The Patterson Foundation.

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