As the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, we are inspired and humbled by the efforts of our clients to provide desperately needed support in their local communities and around the globe. Here is a growing collection of how some of our clients are responding to the pandemic and those who are most deeply impacted. Please visit our social channels to see more Inspiration in Action from our clients.
The Feeding America network is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States including in disasters and national emergencies. They are responding to the current challenge in several ways. They launched the COVID-19 Response Fund, a national food- and fund-raising effort to support people facing hunger and the food banks who help them; are partnering with school districts and local government agencies to ensure that the 22 million children who rely on school meals have access to food outside of the classroom; building an inventory of emergency food boxes to distribute to food banks across the country; providing emergency grants to food banks to support local response efforts; safely continuing distribution of food and non-food and household items; and more.
Partners in Health’s mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new initiative to accelerate the state’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, by dramatically scaling up the state’s capacity for contact tracing through a new collaboration with Boston-based global health nonprofit Partners In Health.
Americares saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential. Americares is responding to the coronavirus emergency by educating the public, processing requests for assistance, and sourcing PPE to protect health workers around the world. Americares has provided protective gear and infection control supplies to health facilities in the United States, the Bahamas, Haiti, Honduras, India, Lebanon, the Philippines and Tanzania. In the U.S. alone, Americares has delivered 34 tons of protective supplies to health facilities in 40 states. More international and domestic shipments are planned.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank, providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in their community. With a few exceptions, their network of 700 partner agencies and programs will remain open during this crisis. Responses to the current crisis include members of their Benefits Outreach team helping community members apply for SNAP and Medicaid and make referrals for other public benefits. The Greater Chicago Food Depository has also set up a $1 million grant program to help food pantries across Cook County remain open.
The ACLU’s mission remains realizing the promise of the Bill of Rights for all and expanding the reach of its guarantees. Beyond one person, party, or side — the ACLU dares to create a more perfect union. In response to the crisis the ACLU is working nationwide to ensure the burdens of the outbreak and the government’s actions do not unfairly fall on our most vulnerable communities. We are also monitoring the government’s responses to ensure they are rooted in science and public health needs, not stigma or bias, and no more intrusive on civil liberties than absolutely necessary.
Red Hook Initiative (RHI) believes that social change to overcome systemic inequities begins with empowered youth. In response to the current crisis, RHI has implemented several non-touch plans to ensure dissemination of reliable information, identification of needs for Red Hook’s most vulnerable residents, and support systems for young people facing major disruption to academic and professional plans. RHI is in regular communication with elected officials and stakeholders to coordinate and advocate on behalf of our community of over 6,500 residents of public housing.
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation champions efforts that prioritize community goals that challenge racial inequities and advance excellent, student-centered public education for all New England youth. In response to the current crisis the foundation has launched a rapid response fund to respond to the hate crimes and bias against Asian American communities resulting from COVID-19. The Foundation has allocated resources for the Racism is a Virus Too rapid response grant fund to support Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that provide services for AAPI communities.
The San Francisco Foundation is one of the nation’s largest community foundations. Their mission is to mobilize resources and act as a catalyst for change to build strong communities, foster civic leadership, and promote philanthropy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, the San Francisco Foundation will make capacity building grants in the Greater Bay Area.
SHOFCO is a grassroots movement in Africa that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls. In response to the current crisis they are maintaining hand-washing stations; partnering with the government to train community health volunteers on health-promoting behaviors and combatting misinformation; distributing soap and hand sanitizers; expanding ongoing health screenings to include symptoms that may indicate coronavirus infection; health clinics are stocking up on medical supplies and protective gear; and prepared to distribute food supplies to vulnerable residents.
The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano stores and distributes donated and purchased perishable and nonperishable food items directly to low-income people at community sites and makes food available for other nonprofit organizations serving the ill, needy. and children. Due to the the current crisis they have seen a 50% increase in people attending some of their food distributions. They are responding to this increased need by putting together an additional 3,000 emergency food boxes per week while taking precautions to keep their clients, staff, and volunteers safe as the need for services grow.
The Elevate Prize Foundation launched The Elevate Prize powered by MIT Solve to awaken and nurture the Global Hero in all of us. The Prize will award up to USD $5 million annually dispersed across multiple Global Heroes. The Prize will empower and celebrate inspiring people around the world who can spark movements, mobilize people, and catalyze positive, transformational change. This includes solutions that can help communities around the world prepare for, detect, and respond to emerging pandemics and health security threats, including Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In response to the COVID-19 crisis the Elevate Prize has announced that they will commit one of its 10 prizes to one of the MIT Solver teams selected for the new Health Security & Pandemics Challenge.
North Star Fund brings together a community of New Yorkers who care about social justice, who combine our resources—money, skills and networks—to fund locally-grown movements for change. In response to the crisis they have created extensive guides and tools for the community and have made over $1.7 million in grants to over 120 organizations, the single biggest week of grantmaking in their 40-year history.
Cradles to Crayons provides kids with the essentials they need, free of charge. Community partners called on Cradles to Crayons with an urgent need due to #COVID19 for new diapers, school and art supplies, and hygiene items. In response they have launched the C2C Emergency Essentials Fund which will directly impact those that are hardest hit by supplying them with the essentials that are needed the most during this crisis, and in the coming months.
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has provided free mental health, substance use disorder and suicide prevention services since 1942. Dedicated to serving communities where stigma or poverty limits access, Didi Hirsch helps more than 150,000 children and adults from 10 locations and 100 schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties each year. In response to the crisis, mental health professionals from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services are working around the clock amid the #COVID-19 crisis. They have mobilized all the technology needed for staff to stay in touch with clients through telemedicine and teletherapy.
La Cocina cultivates low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses. La Cocina was born out of a belief that a community of talented natural entrepreneurs, given the right resources, can create self-sufficient businesses that benefit themselves, their families, their community, and the whole city. In response to the crisis, La Cocina is supporting their entrepreneurs in securing rent abatement, loan forgiveness, employee assistance, and creating the La Cocina Emergency Relief Fund to provide with cash payments to cover basic expenses.
Suffolk University in Boston, MA is a private higher education institution offering full- and part-time undergraduate, graduate, and law programs. The Mayor of Boston announced a comprehensive plan for individuals experiencing homelessness in the city of Boston during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As part of that plan, Suffolk University is making Miller Hall, with its 172 rooms, available for city needs as it responds to the public health crisis and supports Boston’s most vulnerable.
The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Founder Jeff Skoll made a new $100 million gift to the Skoll Foundation, which it will use to fight the COVID-19 pandemic globally. This new contribution will enable the Foundation to quadruple its grantmaking in 2020 to $200 million. Nearly all new grants will address the direct- and second-order public health, economic, and social effects of the pandemic.
Ohio Wesleyan’s goal is to provide every student with transformational experiences that will prepare them for the causes, careers, and graduate school opportunities they want to pursue. In response, Ohio Wesleyan University has created a free 10-week online course to explore the coronavirus pandemic from the perspectives of biology, politics, psychology, humanities, the arts, and other academic areas. The course – “We’re in This Together: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Coronavirus Pandemic” – will run the week of April 27 through the week of June 30.
The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education, and advocacy. The National Safety Council has announced a multifaceted effort to help employers create safe workplaces in a post-coronavirus world. SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns, is a comprehensive initiative to guide employers through the process of safely resuming traditional work and operations now and in a post-pandemic environment.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) serves students, patients, the community, and the global need for discovery, knowledge dissemination, education, creativity, and the application of groundbreaking solutions. They are a leader among comprehensive public urban research universities with academic medical centers. UAB is among first in the US to be selected to begin enrolling patients in an international study assessing the use of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) to improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients with severely damaged lungs.
As a leading platform for philanthropy in Europe, the European Foundation Centre (EFC) works to strengthen the sector and make the case for institutional philanthropy as a formidable means of effecting change. The EFC has launched several initiatives aimed at rallying their members together to share information and learn from each other’s experiences when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and to create and maintain solidarity in the sector. The EFC has surveyed its membership to gain an overview of what their members are doing and identify possible points of collaboration and synergy. The results are complemented by a dedicated webpage which collates news on what their members are doing in response to the crisis. The EFC has also jointly issued the European Philanthropy Statement on COVID-19 with DAFNE, calling for a strong spirit of European solidarity in the face of the current adversity.
Emory University is one of the world’s leading research universities. Its mission is to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity. Emory has developed a sensitive and specific diagnostic antibody blood test that will help determine antibody responses in people who have been infected by COVID-19. The antibody tests, also known as serological tests, will provide important medical, scientific, and epidemiological information as health care providers and public health experts try to gain knowledge of the COVID-19 impact on individuals and on our communities.
Big Thought is an impact nonprofit that closes the opportunity gap by equipping all youth in marginalized communities with the skills and tools they need to imagine and create their best lives and a better world. Big Thought and Dallas City of Learning announced that they have launched an online learning hub featuring hundreds of free, quality educational programs for families to access while learning from home. Featured educational content partners include Boeing, the Perot Museum, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Dallas ISD, and the State Fair of Texas.
The California Wellness Foundation’s vision is for every resident of California to enjoy good health and experience wellness. Their mission is to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments, and safe neighborhoods. The Foundation has committed $4 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly $3 million in grants will support the most vulnerable communities and people in California: frontline health workers, economically disadvantaged people, immigrants, seniors, and Asian Americans experiencing race-based harassment and assaults, among others. Core support grants are also given to some current grantee partners who are experiencing significant disruptions to their work. The Foundation has also committed another $1 million to community clinics and the associations that advocate for them.
FUSE is a national nonprofit that partners with local government to help urban communities thrive. They work with cities and counties on a range of issues, including economic and workforce development, healthcare, public safety, climate change, and education. Through FUSE programs, recently featured in The Atlantic, Fellows are restructuring hospitals to prepare for an influx of critical patients; ensuring food delivery to the elderly who have been ordered to stay inside; providing temporary housing to clear densely populated homeless encampments; reaching out to immigrant communities about their rights to access the public health system; transforming educational systems to online learning while schools are closed; supporting the justice-related needs of those trapped in legal systems that have ground to a halt; helping prop-up small businesses and low-income communities; and much more.
The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) envisions a world where women’s history inspires all people to have equal respect for everyone’s experiences and accomplishments and to see there are no obstacles to achieving their dreams. The Museum has launched Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project, an initiative designed to ensure that women and girls’ unique voices and experiences are not left out of the telling of the COVID-19 story. This project, the first of its kind to focus exclusively on women’s stories, directly aligns with the Museum’s mission to record women’s history and amplify women’s impact. With this initiative, women and girls of all ages can participate through the simple act of recording their daily thoughts and experiences during this time in order to document the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women’s lives.
Compassion & Choices improves care, expands options, and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey. They envision a society that affirms life and accepts the inevitability of death, embraces expanded options for compassionate dying, and empowers everyone to choose end-of-life care that reflects their values, priorities, and beliefs. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Compassion & Choices is adapting their programs to continue to connect with constituents through a webinar series and toolkit. Throughout the series, they are inviting guests to talk about navigating your preferences for the end of life. Compassion & Choices’ Tools to Finish Strong lays the groundwork for our conversations. The hope is that participants will leave these webinars with information that makes them more comfortable and empowered to navigate these challenging times.