A new survey conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy reports that 85 percent of nonprofit organizations in the North Bay—spanning arts and culture, education and the environment, and health and social services—have been impacted by the October 2017 wildfires.
In February and March, the center surveyed 468 current and former grantees of Community Foundation Sonoma County and Napa Valley Community Foundation, and received 184 responses for a response rate of 39 percent.
The results of the survey were clear: the fires that started six months ago had a broad impact on organizations of all sizes and all types. Among the key findings for nonprofits in the region:
- 81 percent reported needing to provide services to more individuals or organizations after the fires.
- 78 percent had major donors or board members who lost their homes or suffered damage to their homes.
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- 73 percent reported adding new services or projects in response to the fires.
- 41 percent said they had received less funding at year end in comparison to previous years.
The survey also asked organizations to report on the populations they serve, and how these populations had been affected by the fires. The nonprofits report that:
- 90 percent of their clients impacted by the fires have experienced emotional trauma.
- 86 percent of their clients lost housing or suffered damage to their homes.
- 72 percent of their clients lost jobs, business, or equipment related to their business.
“These results really bring home the message that the fires affected us all. In the wake of this disaster, the nonprofits in our region transformed themselves into a network of second-responders,” said Terence Mulligan, president of Napa Valley Community Foundation.
In the days after the fires started, Napa Valley Community Foundation and Community Foundation Sonoma County both established fundraising campaigns for fire relief and recovery, with over $27 million raised between the two organizations. Both NVCF and CFSC are developing long-term grantmaking strategies to support fire recovery efforts.