Disaster Relief Grants

Grants for Disaster Relief and Community Preparedness

When disaster strikes a community, it takes a lot of money to recover. Fortunately, many private and federal organizations offer disaster relief grants to assist people. Disaster preparedness grants are also available to help communities prepare for natural disasters.

Applying for Grants

Most community recovery grants and emergency relief grants are only available to a non-profit organization or to municipalities. Organizations that want to apply for funding will need to have a plan and demonstrate that it has the resources available to implement the plan. Typically, funding is only available for communities that have been devastated by a storm or unusual event.

Individuals and businesses who have experienced a devastating loss due to a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado or large fire may qualify for federal grants through FEMA or other agencies to pick up the pieces after the event.

Funders of Grants

There are dozens of organizations which fund emergency relief grants and disaster preparedness grants. Check to see if your state maintains a directory of agencies in your region which offer grants or go to foundationcenter.org to find grants. For federal grants, try grants.gov. Here are few ideas to get you started:

- The Lions Club International Foundation

Work with your local Lions Club to submit a grant to LCIF. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 are available for disaster preparedness, but local funds must account for a part of the request. Emergency relief grants of up to $10,000 are available to areas affected by a natural disaster where at least 100 people are affected. These grants must be submitted by a local club, just make friends with members of the local group.

- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Gates Foundation offers grant money in different areas for emergency relief, with most of the money going toward rapid-onset emergencies. The money can fund immediate basic human needs. You’ll find the Request for Proposals on the foundation website.

- Disabled American Veterans

Organizations that assist veterans during emergencies can find funding through the DAV grant program. Individuals and businesses may also meet eligibility criteria and can apply as well. The information can be found on the DAV.org website.

Getting the Money

Most grants have an application process that will take time, but disaster relief grants and community recovery grants are designed to be appropriated much quicker. If the grant is funded, then the organization will need to be prepared to submit proof that the funds were spent appropriately. Take pictures of volunteers working in the community, handing out supplies or providing shelter, whatever the organization had said that it would do. Signup today to get access to our database of over 15,000 funding applications!


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