Providing Disaster Relief through Charities

When disasters strike, people sometimes want to start new charities to help the victims. Existing charities want to expand their activities to provide relief. 

These pages show the requirements for starting a tax-exempt charity under federal law, and the ways for new and existing organizations to provide disaster relief within rules for a tax-exempt charitable organization.

Consider Using Existing Disaster Relief Organizations

Starting a new charity in response to a disaster can consume precious time and resources. Using existing charities might be more practical and effective. Established charities may have experience and expertise providing disaster assistance. Community-based organizations often know local needs and understand the social and cultural context of a disaster.

List of Charitable Organizations (excludes churches and church related organizations)

Starting and Sustaining a New Charity for Disaster Relief


Tax Relief in Disaster Situations: Special tax law provisions may apply when an affected area has been declared a federally or Presidentially declared disaster area.  Find the most recent disaster declarations that trigger these special provisions.

Related Topics

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publishes disaster declarations and provides resources for disaster victims.