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8 Principles of Good Disaster Grantmaking

1. First, do no harm.

2. Stop, look and listen before taking action.

3. Don't act in isolation.

4. Think beyond the immediate crisis to the long-term.

5. Bear in mind the expertise of local organizations.

6. Find out how prospective grantees operate.

7. Be accountable to those you are trying to help.

8. Communicate your work widely, and use it as an educational tool.

Responding to the Earthquake in Chile

Updated: March 4, 2010 at 4:21pm ET

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 occurred in the early morning hours of February 27, 2010 off the Chilean coast. The epicenter was 201 miles southwest of the capital, Santiago, but just over 60 miles from Chile's second-largest city, Concepción. The earthquake is one of the strongest on record, sending tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific and triggering aftershocks as powerful as 6.9. Chile's president called the earthquake an "enormous catastrophe" as the number of reported dead rose to more than 700, a figure that is expected to rise.

Situational Information

  • AlertNet: A humanitarian news network from the Reuters Foundation that provides detailed news updates on the extent of damage and ongoing humanitarian relief efforts.
  • ReliefWeb: A project of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. This Web site serves as a clearing house for information related to the earthquakes and ongoing situational reports.

  • The United Nations system, through its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is on standby to offer rapid assistance to the Chilean Government and people.

Philanthropy’s Response

Send updates on your efforts to , and we’ll include them here

Community Foundations

  • The California Community Foundation (CCF) announced Wednesday that it has created a Chilean Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund to provide support for victims of the catastrophic earthquake that hit the Latin American nation last week. CCF has contributed $50,000 to the fund and will channel 100 percent of donations to accredited nonprofit organizations identified as doing work on the ground for relief and recovery efforts. The fund will be open until March 31, 2010.

Corporate Foundations and Giving Programs

  • The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has extended to its employees a 2:1 match for donations to designated organizations in support of relief efforts for the earthquake in Chile.

  • The General Mills Foundation has committed $50,000 to support disaster relief efforts in Chile. The $50,000 contribution will be made to the Red Cross International Response Fund.

  • The Levi Strauss Foundation has committed $50,000 to Oxfam America to support its disaster relief efforts in Chile. 

  • Pfizer contributed $100,000 to the International Red Cross’ Chile Relief and Development Fund.

  • Walmart has made an initial commitment of $1 million to go toward emergency relief efforts throughout Chile.

  • The Western Union Foundation will donate $50,000 to World Vision towards earthquake relief efforts. The foundation is also matching 1:1 Agent donations from around the world up to a combined match of $100,000.

NGO Response

International relief agencies are currently monitoring the situation in Chile and are standing by to deploy resources as needed.

  • AmeriCares is sending a rapid response team to help provide disaster relief in Chile. Medicines, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid are being readied for immediate shipment. Since 1989, AmeriCares has delivered over $16 million in medical and humanitarian donations to Chile.

  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins San Frontières (MSF) has sent the first members of an exploratory team and workers to Santiago in order to assess the needs of victims. MSF is already in contact with Chilean government authorities to coordinate the relief effort.
  • Oxfam International sent a team of water engineers and logisticians from Colombia and senior humanitarian staff from its center in Mexico.

  • The Red Cross made an initial $50,000 pledge from its International Response Fund.

  • Salvation Army International emergency services were immediately mobilized to provide support and comfort in Chile. International financial assistance is already on the way from headquarters in London; The Salvation Army Chile Earthquake Emergency Relief Appeal has also been established.

  • Save the Children is sending an emergency assessment team to Chile.

  • WorldVision immediately began distributing hundreds of blankets and some water containers to Santiago's earthquake survivors, preparing to start an extensive response in the hardest-hit areas south of the capital. World Vision flew a team of six relief and logistics experts from Santiago to Concepcion to assess the severity of the damage. The team will also open a second operations center in the south to coordinate with World Vision's relief teams in Santiago.

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