Typhoon Fundraising Nearing $200 Million

December 11, 2013       Mark Hrywna      

Fundraising in response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines surpassed $100 million within two weeks of the disaster and was approaching the $200-million mark after the first 30 days.

Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy estimated some $197.2 million had been raised through Dec. 10 by charities responding to the Nov. 8 disaster. American Red Cross reported some $54 million as of Dec. 9. UNICEF has a goal of $61.5 million for the effort while Save the Children and World Vision have pegged goals of $30 million and $20 million, respectively.

The overall estimate is based on amounts that organizations reported receiving in press releases or direct correspondence but the total does not include tens of millions of dollars pledged by foreign governments. The latest figure includes totals from approximately three dozen nonprofits.

Philanthropy experts discourage comparing relief efforts for disasters because each is unique. In the case of the Philippines, there was difficulty getting relief supplies to affected areas during the first several days after the typhoon because of power outages and damaged infrastructure, such as roads and airports.

Giving in the aftermath of the typhoon tracks closest with giving after the 2011 Japan earthquake, when more than $200 million was raised in the first month, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when almost $250 million was raised, according to the Lilly Family School. Far surpassing those figures were the 2010 Haiti earthquake ($838 million), the 2004 Indonesian tsunami ($871 million) and Hurricane Katrina ($1.7 billion).

Ten days after the Nov. 8 typhoon, giving to 18 charities totaled more than $78 million for the relief effort, according to estimates compiled by The NonProfit Times. As much as two-thirds to three-quarters of giving typically is generated within the first two to three months after a disaster, driven in part by media coverage, according to experts.

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