Center for Disaster Philanthropy


Launched in 2011, The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters. The Center provides a platform of learning and connection with leading disaster experts and other disaster philanthropists that brings more private money to disaster response efforts. Starting with just a few seed gifts CDP was able to grow from its incubation in 2010 to an official launch in 2011.


Given the newness of CDP in an already-crowded landscape of other disaster management organizations, they had to create and market a very unique value proposition that could capture the attention of disaster donors before, during, and after disasters.


Windmill Hill Consulting (WHC) provided outsourced development support and WHC’s Barbara O’Reilly served as the inaugural Development Director for CDP. Barbara brought her strong background in disaster fundraising and a keen understanding of how to educate donors about the gaps in disaster philanthropy. WHC led CDP in all its Development processes and systems; created a suite of donor materials and messaging; conducted prospect research and initial outreach to potential donors; helped steward current founding donors and solicited $400,000 in new gift requests; and staffed the CEO, Vice President, and Board Share.


WHC helped grow revenue from $100,000 in FY11 to $500,000 in FY13 and put in place a strong Development structure and approach to engaging donors which has enabled CDP to continue to build its donor base and increase its visibility after its launch. The organization was named one of five “nonprofit highpoints of 2012” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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