Support organizations providing direct disaster relief.

Support organizations providing direct disaster relief.

We collaborate with Charity Navigator to provide a vetted list of charities that are already supporting disaster relief efforts. You can see our most recent list here.

Support a community foundation.

Support a community foundation.

Community foundations are often dialed in to what’s happening hyper-locally and can often react quickly to emergencies. Check out this community foundation locator to find one near you. Or you could use this list of COVID-19 relief funds offered through community foundations.

Support your favorite nonprofits now.

Support your favorite nonprofits now.

In times of uncertainty, your favorite nonprofit may be wondering where its next donation will come from.

  • Consider sending unrestricted grants so the nonprofit can best use those funds.
  • Use your donor-advised fund (DAF) to set up a recurring grant to the nonprofit.
  • Contact the nonprofit to discuss the organization’s greatest need right now.
Think about nonprofits supporting your neighbors.

Think about nonprofits supporting your neighbors.

Providing support within your region can provide an almost immediate impact. Think about granting to local food banks, veteran services, homeless shelters, and rescue organizations near you. You can search for charities, and filter by location, with Candid.


Look to experts to learn more.

Vanguard Charitable is here to help you find resources to make more strategic granting decisions. Other organizations can provide expertise as well. The Council on Foundations has created a resource center to learn more about how you can support COVID-19 relief efforts.

International Granting

Consider making a global impact.

Looking to give globally? We’ve partnered with Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America), an industry leader in international granting. To support global organizations that are working toward COVID-19 relief that CAF America recommends, log in to your Vanguard Charitable account and recommend a grant* to Charities Aid Foundation of America, EIN 43-1634280, choose Other as the purpose of the grant, and then click Add Additional Comments. Here you can write in your preferred charity name and purpose to support COVID-19.

Disaster relief & your charitable plan

Giving during a crisis can often feel rushed. You see an overwhelming need and want to take action. But granting during these pivotal times should be done in a thoughtful way. To ensure your granting is aligned with your long-term goals, check-in with your charitable plan and decide how disaster relief plays into that plan. If you’ve realized that disaster relief was not part of your charitable planning, it’s not too late. Plans can be reviewed and edited to include disaster-relief support.


The three worksheets below can be read now or downloaded to share with others.

Define Mission

Define Mission

Review or create a mission statement.

Consider Budget

Consider Budget

Evaluate budget and choose what to give.

Select Charities

Select Charities

Pick charities to advance your mission.


Which phase will you support?

If the past is any indication of the future, in times of greatest need, we know your instinct is to support the charities – both locally and globally – that are making the biggest impact as quickly as possible. And our instinct is to help you.


Because disasters catch us by surprise, a sudden crisis can leave communities without immediate support. Recurring grants ensure the charities you support have the funds to react to a disaster right away. Review the graphic provided to see the support most often needed during each disaster phase. This may help guide your giving decisions as you review your charitable plan.

How to support disaster relief efforts

Many charities receive a flood of donations immediately after a disaster; then gifts begin to drop off. When granting, think about how you can support recovery immediately after a disaster as well as in the coming months, and possibly years, to come.

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Consider unrestricted grants.

Giving an unrestricted grant allows the charity to apply the grant to the greatest need, which could be essential in a time of crisis.

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Contact the charity.

If you’re not sure what grant purpose to support, call the charity and ask about its greatest need. Then you can direct a grant accordingly.

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Set recurring grants.

Supporting a charity on a regular basis provides funds the charity can use immediately, as well as months after when recovery is in full swing. You can use your DAF to set recurring grants for continual support.

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Think locally.

Providing support within your region can provide an almost immediate impact for your community. Consider granting to local organizations, such as homeless shelters, rescue organizations, food banks, and veteran services near you.

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Work with a community foundation.

Community foundations can often react quickly to emergencies and have a pulse on what’s happening locally. To find a community foundation near you, visit this community foundation locator.

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Consider trusted resources.

Consider looking to trusted partners for suggestions on charities that are actively supporting disaster-relief efforts.

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Give Globally.

In an increasingly interconnected world, recommending grants to international causes is gaining speed. Many donors look overseas to see where their generosity can make the biggest impact and, in many cases, where their American dollars may go further.* Our partners at Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America) have created a resource that identifies nonprofits supporting COVID-19 relief globally organized by the country they support. 

*Fees may apply when recommending an international grant. Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America) may require a $350 vetting fee in addition to a 5% administrative fee for each grant recommendation. Should a Vanguard Charitable account advisor or interested party recommend a grant to CAF America to support an organization that requires a $350 vetting fee, the fee will be added into the grant recommendation amount. The administrative fee will be deducted from the grant when received by CAF America.


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