Disaster Relief and Recovery Strategy Partners

St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund’s Framework for Disaster Relief and Recovery Grantmaking


Disaster relief and recovery grantmaking has been one of the focus areas of the St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund (Fund) since our founding in 1986. On behalf of Providence, we respond to humanitarian catastrophes in the wake of natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, flooding, drought, epidemic, etc.) and human-made crises (e.g., war, armed conflicts, etc.). Disasters, regardless of origin, affect communities, causing loss of life, infrastructure and property damage, and economic hardship, leaving communities vulnerable.


The Fund’s disaster relief and recovery grantmaking strategy considers needs arising from disasters and crises nationally and worldwide. We address the poverty and suffering that often follow catastrophic events through proactive and responsive grantmaking.


Disaster Relief and Recovery Grantmaking Strategy

Over the years, the Fund has developed specific criteria for identifying our crisis response. Our funding support is aligned with the mission, vision, and values of Providence. We focus our grants on low-income populations globally in support of immediate disaster relief, long-term recovery, and capacity building for preparedness, resulting in quicker response when disaster occurs.


Because it is difficult to quickly get money to areas of need in the immediate wake of a disaster, we have continuously supported vetted and trusted US-based nonprofit partners who respond to disasters regionally, nationally, and globally. We prioritize care for the poor and vulnerable and offer respect for the life and dignity of the human person with an equity lens.


A New Approach Going Forward

For 2024, we are exploring a more proactive approach to responding to disasters. As disasters worldwide become more frequent and severe, the traditional approach to disaster response is unsustainable, and the desired impact is more difficult to attain. Across the field of humanitarian aid, the needs and challenges facing the most vulnerable continue to mount. This is especially true in emergency response as the globe is confronted by unprecedented numbers of people displaced due to conflict and increasing occurrences of climate-related disasters. With the almost weekly occurrence of emergencies affecting poor and marginalized communities somewhere, humanitarian funders are challenged to keep pace.


Rather than a “wait and see” approach, we will support Catholic Relief Services, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and Catholic Charities USA with annual unrestricted grants to support their work. This strategy allows the Fund to stand side-by-side with these partners both nationally and globally where they and their partners work, no matter when an emergency strikes.


This new approach was co-created with these three partners with the knowledge that this kind of disaster grantmaking carries powerful attributes that often surpass what restricted funds can accomplish on their own. Our support allows the partners to:


  • Act Quickly – allowing an immediate response to emergencies without waiting for public funding or attention.
  • Drive Innovation – giving these partners the ability to employ groundbreaking methods.
  • Leverage Resources – enabling funding from institutions like the U.S. Agency for International Development to reach more people in need.
  • Offer a Sustained Presence – allowing partners to reach and sustain a presence in some of the most isolated and challenging environments.


This strategy re-envisions the funder as a true partner, not just a donor. The intention is to impact the partners’ infrastructure and the affected communities and cultivate learnings to inform the practices of the Fund, these partners, and the entire field. As humanitarian needs arise, the Fund, on behalf of Providence, can communicate our role as an institutional partner and would be considered the “first funder in” for any response, helping to leverage resources from other donors and institutions.


In short, when the Fund provides global support to our partners, we’ll be on the frontlines of disaster response, ready to deliver lifesaving assistance and able to stay for the long haul.


Learn more about our Disaster Relief and Recovery partners and follow us on LinkedIn to stay informed of our efforts.