Foundations and corporations in the United States committed more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind giving for relief, recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to a report by the Foundation Center.
Contributions by corporate giving programs and corporate foundations accounted for the majority of institutional giving, according to the report, at nearly $520 million or 57 percent of total giving. Moreover, corporate giving focused more on immediate relief, while foundations focused more on recovery and rebuilding.
The report, Giving in the Aftermath of Gulf Coast Hurricanes, is based on an analysis of interviews with 10 of the top 25 independent foundations that responded to the disaster. They include David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Calif.), Ford Foundation (N.Y.), Robert W. Woodruff Foundation (Ga.), Open Society Institute (N.Y.), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Wash.), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (N.J.), Lilly Endowment (Ind.), Rockefeller Foundation (N.Y.), Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Mich.), and Walton Family Foundation (Arkansas). Additionally, the report provides a comprehensive record of the resources institutional donors provided.
The overwhelming destruction wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the failure of the levee system in New Orleans, and the widely criticized government response all served to engage foundations across the country, according to the report.
In fact, of the estimated $6.5 billion (GivingUSA) for the relief effort through June 2007, giving from institutional donors accounted for more than $900 million in cash donations, and more than $100 million in-kind.