Our Story

The Disaster Playbook launched in January 2016. Since then, it has continued to grow and evolve with new tools for community foundations.


Our idea for The Playbook was born in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, when the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and its philanthropic members were navigating the uncharted waters of the devastation of this hurricane. The Council reached out to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and many colleagues nationwide to learn how best to respond, and to benefit from the knowledge of experts in this field. Philanthropic leaders from throughout the country shared freely their lessons learned in the wake of their own communities’ disasters and these discussions gave way to the development of The Playbook—a joint project between the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, in association with the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

There are many common issues faced by communities post disaster and we have organized the information contained within our Playbook around the issues such as housing, mental health, communications, and working collaboratively with local government and FEMA. An informed philanthropic and nonprofit sector armed with strategies that promote and protect human welfare, support community dialogue and hold government accountable are absolutely central to an effective, efficient and fair recovery. These are all issues that philanthropy has invested in post-disasters and examples of this work can be found throughout the pages of the Playbook website.

It is our hope that the strategies, lessons learned, and impact stories contained throughout this site will be of maximum benefit to our national social sector—to funders, individual philanthropists, and nonprofit organizations. It is our intention to keep this online resource “evergreen” and we look to you, our colleagues, to continue to share your innovative strategies and stories of impact with us so that we may add to this national compilation and respond to disasters more effectively.

We remain grateful to the many philanthropic leaders who contributed valuable information for inclusion in the Playbook and to our philanthropic supporters who generously sponsored the development of this national resource.



President & CEO
Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers
Consulting Project Director
Disaster Philanthropy Playbook