Casey DeSantis, the first lady of Florida, activated the Florida Disaster Fund on the same day that Hurricane Ian struck Florida and destroyed communities on the southwestern coast.

The fund had raised $20 million on its third day. This was due to large donations from campaign contributors of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Corporations and individuals alike made donations to the fund, from Florida Power & Light to billionaire Robert Bigelow. By Oct. 26, the fund had raised over $50 million and set a record for money raised since the disaster fund's conception in 2004. The fund gave out $6.5 million for Hurricane Irma in 2017 and $16 million in 2018 for Hurricane Michael.

Of that $50 million raised, $7 million has already been distributed across the national, state, and local levels to aid disaster recovery. The money has been spread across nonprofits and support organizations, but there are concerns about the fund distribution and lack of transparency behind the management of the funds.

The Florida Disaster Fund is administered by Volunteer Florida and, at the request of the Orlando Sentinel, produced a fully transparent list of all the donors and the amount they donated. The 1,900-page list had the names of nearly 70,000 donors. There were donations as small as $10 and, notably, a $5 million donation from Charles Schwab.

Ben Wilcox, the research director for the nonprofit government watchdog Integrity Florida, told the Sun Sentinel that he has "some concerns with donations from campaign donors being used to curry favor with the governor."

Top donors to the disaster fund also donated to DeSantis.

Bigelow, a billionaire UFO enthusiast, donated $1 million to the disaster fund and $10 million to DeSantis' political committee. Trust fund Franklin/Templeton donated $25,000 to the disaster and its manager, billionaire Charles B. Johnson, donated almost $900,000 to DeSantis and his campaign.

"If there is a lack of transparency in the distribution of the funds it raises questions about whether political considerations went into those distribution of funds to reward certain groups," Wilcox told the Sun Sentinel.

The commissioners of Volunteer Florida are appointed by the governor and then confirmed by the Florida Senate.