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How to help: California wildfires

Updated November 13, 2018

2018 has been one of the worst years on record for wildfires in California; more than 7,500 different fires have consumed over 1.5 million acres of land across the state. Fires are currently burning in both Northern and Southern California. The Camp Fire in Northern California is the most deadly fire in state history; it has destroyed the town of Paradise and forced evacuation of nearby communities. The Woolsey Fire in Southern California has forced evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from Malibu to Thousand Oaks. Given the extent of the devastation, many people are wondering: what can I do to help?

How to help

Fidelity Charitable has collaborated with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to provide the following list of organizations offering relief services for the California wildfires. These organizations are highlighted because they have existing operations or chapters in the region, the ability to incorporate a large influx of donations, and a strong, established record of excellence in disaster relief services.

Following a natural disaster, there can be an increased risk of fraud committed by individuals preying upon the good intentions of people wanting to help; donors should take care that the organizations they are supporting are legitimate. Fidelity Charitable makes grants only to IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charities, such as the organizations below.

American National Red Cross

TIN: 530196605
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

The American National Red Cross was chartered by Congress in 1905 to play a central role in coordinating and responding to domestic and international disasters.

Fidelity Charitable donors recommending grants to a specific Red Cross chapter should select the chapter from the list provided when searching in “Find a charity.”

California Community Foundation

TIN: 953510055
221 S Figueroa St Ste 400
Los Angeles, CA 90012

California Fire Foundation

TIN: 680118991
1780 Creekside Oaks
Sacramento, CA 95833

Direct Relief

TIN: 951831116
27 South La Patera Lane
Goleta, CA 93117

Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

TIN: 272007326
1875 Century Park E Ste 200
Los Angeles, CA 90067

North Valley Community Foundation

TIN: 680161455
240 Main St Ste 260
Chico, CA 95928

Salvation Army

TIN: 222406433
615 Slaters Lane
Alexandria, VA 22314-1112

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

TIN: 952274801
1150 S Olive St Ste T500
Los Angeles, CA 90015

United Way of Northern California

TIN: 941251675
2280 Benton Dr. Ste B
Redding, CA 96003

United Way of Ventura County

TIN: 951945833
702 County Square Dr, Ste 100
Ventura, CA 93003

Please note the organizations listed in this guidance do not represent the full list of organizations raising money for relief efforts for the California wildfires. Fidelity Charitable has collaborated with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to provide these organizations to donors for reference purposes only, and Fidelity Charitable does not endorse these organizations. All grant recommendations are subject to review and approval by the Fidelity Charitable Trustees. Fidelity Charitable will communicate all grant designation recommendations for the California wildfire relief to grantees.

Related resources

CDP brief: 2018 wildfires

An overview with the latest on the situation in California, with additional resources and ideas for donors who want to help.

Four phases of disaster relief

When should you give in a disaster? The opportunity to make a difference does not end after media coverage dies down.

Issue insight: Wildfires

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy discusses the growing threat of wildfires and the conditions that are causing them.

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