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How to help: California wildfires

Updated August 24, 2018

2018 has been one of the worst years on record for wildfires in California; 5,000 different fires have consumed more than a million acres of land across the state. These fires have prompted widespread evacuations in communities across California and have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. 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.

To recommend a grant to a specific Red Cross chapter, select the chapter from the list provided when searching in “Find a charity.”

Mendocino Complex and Carr Fires

This year’s Mendocino and Carr Fires are two of largest in California state history. The Mendocino Complex Fire, 200 miles north of San Francisco, has burned more than 400,000 acres; the Carr Fire, north of Sacramento, has consumed more than 200,000 acres. The following charities are addressing needs specific to these impacted communities.


TIN: 061008595
88 Hamilton Ave
Stamford, CT 06902

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa

TIN: 942479393
PO Box 4900
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Community Foundation of Mendocino

TIN: 680330462
204 S Oak St
Ukiah, CA 95482

North Coast Opportunities

TIN: 941671958
413 N State St
Ukiah, CA 95482

Lutheran Church Charities

TIN: 362212704
3020 Milwaukee Ave
Northbrook, IL 60062

Salvation Army

TIN: 941156347
PO Box 348000
Sacramento, CA 95834

Samaritan’s Purse

TIN: 581437002
PO Box 3000
Boone, NC 28607

Shasta Regional Community Foundation

TIN: 680242276
1335 Arboretum Dr Ste B
Redding, CA 96003

United Way of Northern California

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

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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