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COVID-19 and changes in grantmaking?

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  • Monday, March 16, 2020 9:21 AM
    Message # 8834756

    HI everyone,

    Are any of you in other collective giving circles rethinking your funding plans for this year given how the COVID-19 virus is upending so much in the nonprofit sector? Where is the best place to find out how foundations and collective giving circles are responding? Thanks! - Deborah Edward, ninety-nine girlfriends.

    Moved from Member-to-Member Forum Discussions: Monday, March 23, 2020 10:13 AM
  • Monday, March 16, 2020 6:51 PM
    Reply # 8836204 on 8834756
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I'm posting on behalf of Beth McCaw, President and CEO of Washington Women's Fdn, who is sharing WaWF's initial responses and ideas.  Thanks, Beth!


    First, a great resource, if you are wondering how to respond to the Coronavirus as a grantmaker https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Coronavirus-6-Steps-for-Grant/248202 

    Even if you don’t have a rapid response fund, there are still some things your organization or giving circle can do to support your grantees and your nonprofit community at this difficult time.

    Lessen the burden!

    1. Extend deadlines for submissions of LOIs and/or proposals.

    2. Consider substituting short phone call check-ins with grantees instead of impact assessment site visits.

    3. Consider alternatives to grant committee site visits such as short video conferences.

    Think creatively about making more resources available!

    1. Purchase an online video conference license so your organization can host meetings with grantees and member meetings. Offer to share the license with grantees that don’t have funds to purchase their own technology solutions.

    2. For grantees receiving grants in multi-year installments, consider asking them if they need for you to accelerate payments.

    3. For grantees receiving grants for restricted purposes, such as specific projects, consider releasing the restrictions so funds can be used for general operating support.

    And don’t forget to advocate! Any government relief or recovery programs must include the nonprofit sector. It’s a critical contributor to the economy.

  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020 9:24 AM
    Reply # 8837281 on 8834756

    Another article outlining needs of the nonprofit community in WA state:


    Our Board is also considering making a contribution to the COVID-19 Response Fund that is being managed by Seattle Foundation, our community foundation, in collaboration with King County and United Way of King County.  A lot of local family foundations have already contributed to this Fund as has Social Venture Partners Seattle. I expect most community foundations are mobilizing in this way as well.

  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 9:41 AM
    Reply # 8840078 on 8834756

    Deborah, thanks for getting this topic going.  Everyone, hope you and all of your loved ones are physically distancing in relative comfort, though certain some of them are on the front lines of this.

    Would it interest folks to climb on a Leadership call next week? If so, ping me at 


    No formal program, just Q and A about how we are all working through this

    Here's  a survey a Florida Community Foundation is sending out to it's grantees as a sort of check-in and quick assessment of greatest needs. https://form.jotform.com/200724347415046

    Also, remember to "Subscribe" to topics to get emails when someone else posts!

    Be well!


    Last modified: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 11:53 AM | Anonymous member
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 5:46 PM
    Reply # 8841119 on 8834756
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Impact 100 Cincinnati did extend our grant deadline by 3 weeks to help.  And we are pushing our grant review timeline back as well.  

    We usually have site visits as part of our process. Would love to hear how others might be working w/ the nonprofits to do site visits at this time? Is it even feasible?  is it too much work for the nonprofits? 

  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 5:33 PM
    Reply # 8859271 on 8834756
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I just finished a call w/ several other Impact 100 leaders with great challenges and ideas as they quickly approach their annual meeting.  ONe thing that sticks with me is to think about what your org’s response is:  Immediate, Intermediate, or recovery?  

    There’s probably a place for each of our org’s in those areas.  Where is your org uniquely positioned to help? (Thank you Clare B, Impact 100 Cincinnati)

    One group may move their pooled funds into a community funders COVID-19 rapid response consortium, one may do one large grant and several other smaller grants to more applicants.  

    Many options - get your members input tho, as this is critical to building trust

  • Friday, March 27, 2020 8:17 AM
    Reply # 8862230 on 8834756

    Women's Impact Fund in Charlotte has done much of what WaWF recommended here (also recommended by a local funder's collaborative of which we are a part). 

    • Significantly reduced/extended time for reporting requirements for existing grantees
    • Allowed existing grantees to use their funds in an unrestricted manner
    • Expedited second year payments to two-year grantees

    We also paused our annual grants ballot which was slated to go out 3/26 in order to do more research on community response (we also have a local COVID-19 response fund approaching $10M) and what other grantmakers are doing. We are looking forward to Monday's call to learn from all of you.

  • Friday, March 27, 2020 1:55 PM
    Reply # 8862979 on 8834756
    Paula Liang

    Here's another great resource, a article in Giving Compass about how giving circles can respond: https://givingcompass.org/collective-giving/covid-19-resources-for-giving-circles/?utm_source=newsletter144&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email

    And if you don't follow Giving Compass, which aggregates articles about philanthropy and also provides exclusive content, now would be a good time to check it out.  

  • Friday, March 27, 2020 7:00 PM
    Reply # 8863389 on 8834756
    Paula Liang

    And here's an article in today's NY Times that also mentions our own Beth McCaw, CEO of WaWF on what philanthropists should be doing now:


  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020 11:43 AM
    Reply # 8899742 on 8834756

    Hi all - Thanks to Philanos and today's presenters for the excellent webinar on affiliates' responses to the coronavirus crisis in their communities. Thanks also for the many helpful discussion threads. I'm finally getting around to posting about what Impact100 Philadelphia has done.

    We announced changes on March 25 in separate letters to members, applicants, and grantees. We summarized and posted the changes publicly on our website here, Impact100's Grants Process Changes for COVID-19.

    One of the links in that summary document takes you to comments we heard from a nonprofit leader in mid-March. Hearing a report from someone working at the heart of the crisis was very powerful, and we felt that it helped us make better decisions. You can get straight to those comments here, A Nonprofit Leader's Comments about the COVID-19 Crisis.

    Last, I want to say how helpful it has been to stay in touch with many of you via Philanos programs or other means. The mutual support and sharing of ideas has been wonderful. Thank you and stay safe.

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