As grantmaking budgets drop, overlooked crises are at risk of receiving even less funding. But companies can contribute to an equitable response.
It is devastating to hear about new and ongoing humanitarian disasters and conflicts in the news—to see images of destroyed buildings, displaced children, and refugee camps that lack basic needs. But knowing there are many more conflicts impacting communities that the news will never cover is equally heartbreaking.
We know about the correlation between the amount of attention a disaster receives and the charitable contributions to fuel the response. While humanitarian emergencies are generally underfunded year after year, more coverage usually means more charitable giving. After Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, we know this is true for human-made conflicts as well.
But not all conflicts around the world, and the suffering caused by them, get equal attention. Some wars and humanitarian crises receive more airtime and become a priority for donors and international relief efforts. That means some of the areas impacted most by war also experience the greatest funding and publicity gaps—and remain overlooked. They don’t receive the attention or the funding communities there need.
Meanwhile, increases in corporate grantmaking budgets slowed for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Annual CSR Insights Survey from the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals. In 2023, only 29% of surveyed companies increased their grantmaking budget. That’s a drop from 47% of surveyed companies that increased their grantmaking budget in 2021 and likely influenced by economic uncertainty.
An equitable response
Amid tightening budgets and varying media coverage, how can we offer equitable support to people affected by crises around the world? That is a problem GlobalGiving is aiming to address through the Hope in Crisis Fund.
As part of our mission, GlobalGiving launches disaster relief and recovery funds for natural hazards and human-made disasters. Through the funding we mobilize, we award trust-based and equitable grants to local partners in those areas that are responding to the immediate (and long-term) needs of impacted communities. We’ve raised funds for highly covered disasters like the Australian wildfires, the Turkey and Syria earthquakes, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These disasters were met with an outpouring of support from people around the world who donated, and those contributions have been funding our amazing nonprofit partners that are helping to meet their communities’ needs.
For crises that don’t get the media spotlight, and adequate funding as a result, the Hope in Crisis Fund is an effort to ensure that our grantmaking is equitable and responsive to people affected by crises globally.
To date, the Hope in Crisis Fund has raised more than $700,000. GlobalGiving invested $500,000 to launch the fund and make initial grants. With these funds, we have been able to support partners responding to crises in two different countries. Funds have gone to partners in Yemen, whose citizens are enduring what the Organization for World Peace has called “a forgotten war” and what the United Nations has previously called the “world’s largest humanitarian crisis.” We have also been working directly with our partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the “world’s most neglected displacement crisis” is taking place, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council. The council says there are “overwhelming needs and an acute lack of funding, as well as media and diplomatic inattention” for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These two crises were selected in collaboration with a group of community leaders from around the world, using several data sources and research.
For all of GlobalGiving’s disaster funds, we collaborate with our nonprofit partners to provide reports to donors on how their gift is making an impact. Funds raised through the Hope in Crisis Fund so far have allowed us to invest in organizations providing hygiene products and services, schooling, shelter, sexual assault and trauma support, and more. Funding for these essential services is needed not only because the conflicts are ongoing with no conclusion in sight, but also because these communities are so overlooked. The more that their needs are neglected, the deeper entrenched they become, with devastating impacts on generations of people. As one grantee told us recently, support from the Hope in Crisis Fund “means life.”
People in Yemen and the Democratic Republic of the Congo need this support, and so do civilians suffering in other ongoing conflicts and humanitarian crises. In order for us to help our nonprofit partners working to provide immediate relief and support long-term recovery, we need more donors.
What companies can do
Donating to the Hope in Crisis Fund or directly to our nonprofit partners is an amazing way to send resources to overlooked and underfunded communities. And just because the media or governments aren’t focused on a crisis, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t concerned about it and willing to give in support. In fact, these causes may be incredibly important for your employees.
When looking at funds to support or highlight for your charitable programs, consider how your company can give attention, funding, and hope to ensure no communities experiencing crisis are ever forgotten.
Learn how your company can support overlooked crises around the world.
Featured Photo: Provide 1000 schoolbags to schoolchildren in Yemen by Building Foundation For Development(BFD)