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How to Help With Hurricane Ian Response Through Charitable Giving

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Counties in Southwest Florida, along with many other communities around our state, just endured a historic hurricane that left many people in frightening situations after losing their homes, possessions, and sense of safety. Tragically, some people have lost their lives.

After a disaster, and it is important to have good partners for your charitable giving to make sure your dollars are well used.

Here are some considerations as you form your own giving plan that is personally meaningful and will make a true difference:

  1. Decide if you want to support relief (help people with needs shortly after the disaster) or recovery (help communities in the long-term).
  2. Make sure your gift is made to a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit that has experience working in the community you would like to support. This will help you avoid scams and ensure that your gift reaches people with need. Do not give money over the phone. You can reach out to Manatee Community Foundation at SPeterson@ManateeCF.org if you would like assistance researching a specific organization. If you are searching for an organization providing relief or recovery in a certain geographic area or with a specific mission, we are happy to share choices for consideration. You can also find organizations on The Giving Partner for research and review.
  3. Consider giving to a local community foundation‘s disaster relief or recovery fund to leverage your dollars. Community foundations are 501(c)(3) organizations. Their staff know the communities they serve, and they have relationships with organizations doing the hard work. Here are some funds in Southwest Florida where donors can make excellent investments:

    Manatee Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund– supports organizations serving Manatee County residents. 1:1 matching up to $75,000 is available through a partnership with the Bishop Parker Foundation.

    Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund – supports organizations serving Sarasota, Charlotte, DeSoto and Manatee counties with recovery efforts.
    1:1 matching up to $750,000 is available through a partnership with The Patterson Foundation

    Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund-distributed to nonprofit organizations providing critical relief and recovery services within our community.

    Charlotte Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund– supporting Charlotte County residents with relief.

    The Collaboratory’s SW Florida Emergency Relief Fund– a partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties

    Collier Community Foundation’s Collier Comes Together Disaster Relief Fund– benefits local nonprofit programs and relief efforts.

    Community Foundation of Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Rapid Response Fund
  4. Consider giving to United Way Suncoast, another excellent partner. Their Disaster Recovery Fund supports nonprofits in their 5-county service area.
  5. Do your own research using the Center for Disaster Philanthropy‘s in-depth website for great resources. We have learned a lot from them over the years.

However you choose to give, there is no amount too small or big.

If you can give your time, there are many organizations that need hands on the ground as well.

Whether you live in Southwest Florida or outside of our area, we thank you for caring.