The attacks of September 11, 2001 prompted an unprecedented outpouring of American giving. The American Red Cross organized one of the nation’s largest charity drives after 9/11, called the Liberty Fund. Americans donated more than $752 million to this fund to provide medical care and aid to survivors of the attacks and their families. Counting donations to other organizations, a total of more than $2.8 billion was offered to charitable causes after 9/11.
Researchers believe this historic outpouring set new standards for disaster relief and set the table for other massive surges of emergency giving by Americans in the years since—including $1.9 billion to the victims of 2004’s Pacific tsunami, $1.5 billion in relief to Haiti after its 2010 earthquake, and a record $5.3 billion charitable outpouring in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
- “September 11: The Philanthropic Response,” from the Foundation Center, foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/research/pdf/911book3.pdf
- Discussion of 9/11 and other disaster giving, dcblog.foundationcenter.org/2011/09/september-11-a-look-back.html