Foundation Giving Priorities Shifted During Gulf Coast Hurricane Response, Report Finds

Between January 2007 and mid-2009, private and community foundations awarded an additional $125 million in grants for Gulf Coast hurricane recovery and rebuilding efforts, a new report from the Foundation Center finds.

Updating earlier studies by the center, the report, Giving in the Aftermath of the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes (4 pages, PDF), identified shifts in the giving priorities of 112 independent, corporate, and community foundations that have provided new or ongoing support for recovery efforts since 2007. During that period, economic and community development captured the largest share of financial support (24 percent), while in the immediate aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita the largest share was committed to human service relief efforts.

According to the report, the emphasis on development reflects a shift in the focus of service providers and grantmakers from immediate relief to recovery and rebuilding. The leading supporter of economic development in the region, especially since 2008, has been the Ford Foundation.

To mark the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the center has launched a new Web portal, Focus on Gulf Coast Hurricane Relief, which provides "fast facts," visual snapshots of data, and research based on the center's tracking of nearly $1.3 billion in grants, program-related investments, and corporate in-kind gifts from foundations, corporations, and other institutional donors; podcasts and interviews; news items from Philanthropy News Digest; and links to Katrina-related reports.