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Foundations Pledge to Support Nonprofits

The philanthropic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what your nonprofit can do

After assessing your needs and evaluating the CARES Act provisions that are best suited for your organization, it may be time to take a closer look at your Foundation funding. The Philanthropic community has come together to assist nonprofits that provide essential services and is stepping up to fill the financial gap created by the COVID-19 crisis.

NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund

The New York Community Trust launched a $75 million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to support New York City-based social services and arts and cultural organizations with grants and interest-free loans. The fund is a partnership of established charities, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation and more.

Visit the New York Community Trust website for more information and instructions on applying.

Council on Foundations Pledge of Action

The Council on Foundations is also working to create financial assistance opportunities for nonprofits. More than 585 leading philanthropic organizations have signed the Council on Foundations Pledge of Action. This pledge is a commitment to making grants as accessible as possible by taking actions such as reducing requirements on new grants and loosening restrictions on existing grants. Foundations are committed to supporting and communicating with partners, as well as learning from this experience to provide more comprehensive aid as we return to normalcy.

The full pledge and regularly-updated list of signed organizations are on the Council on Foundation’s webpage.

If you have any questions or request assistance, please contact a member of Withum’s professional team.

Foundation and Corporate Giving Program Grant Increases

Another way that leading philanthropic organizations are coming together is by writing a letter encouraging increased giving by foundations and corporate giving programs, including dipping into their endowments. The letter, originated by BoardSource, Hispanics in Philanthropy and others, endorses the Council on Foundation’s pledge and suggests:

The strength of a funder's grantees at the end of this crisis will be a much better measure of the significance of a foundation than the size of its endowment.

Many community foundations have established their own COVID-19 Funds to provide grants to nonprofits. Use the Council on Foundation’s Community Foundation Locator to find a foundation near you.

Foundations and other funding sources may be particularly receptive during this time to funding requests that:

  • Support technology improvements that allow nonprofits to continue to provide or expand services remotely.
  • Fund temporary staff services due to sick employees or who otherwise cannot work.
  • Support the loss of revenue due to canceled fundraising events and programs.

We encourage all nonprofits to contact to their existing and prospective foundation funders and begin a dialogue to modify the terms of existing grants and discuss additional funding to ensure the continuity of essential services. We applaud the philanthropic community coming together to help fill the gap.

For additional insights on how we can help you and your organization during this challenging time, visit Withum’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

COVID-19 Resource Center

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