Skip to main content

COVID-19 Concerns in Grantmaking (Session 3)

How are Grantmakers helping their grantees during the COVID-19  crisis?

During this third session of our Grantmaking Coffee Talk, we will be discussing:

  • How are you assisting grantees with their immediate financial stability or sustainability?
  • How are you adjusting grantmaking for the rest of the year?
  • How has your relationship with other funders changed?

YOU could be heard in a future episode! Register for a Grantmaker Coffee Talk here!

Check out this and other episodes of Grantmaker Coffee Talks on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify!

Grantee Financial Stability and Sustainability

Ben Cameron - Jerome Foundation
We’ve relaxed all reporting requirements, and we’ve just given out a big batch of two year grants in January. It’s been announced that the first year of the grants given can be used for general operating support. We also reassured our grantees that we would honor all commitments for the next two years. We are trying to channel our resources to our community the best we can.

Allison Findley - Community Foundation in Mendocino County
We sent $65,000 around the country in immediate food relief grants and are looking into providing additional funding. We’ve just concluded one of our largest grant cycles, and are looking at taking our smaller Field of Interest programs and designating them for general operating support. However, this hasn’t been an across the board change.

Jan Mihalow - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
We’ve made a substantial amount of grants available for COVID-19 related grants. Within our current award grantees, we’re looking at transitions to general operating support as needed. Similarly, we have also relaxed our reporting requirements. COVID-19 grants have specifically been allowed to wave their reports.

James Patterson - Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
Thankfully, we had some funds left over in our Natural Disaster fund, which has allowed us to release $30,000 to our city’s Human Services Department. This has been able to help people with rent assistance and things of that nature. We’ve also joined with a local coalition that contains local funders such as United Way. Now, we are trying to look ahead and give out grants to support the longer term financial recovery of our nonprofits.

Victoria Sanger - EHA Foundation
How do you determine the amount of an emergency general operating grant?

TIP: Check out the Emergency Preparedness discussion in Compass where Lisa Stachula shared her organization's Disaster Recovery Guidelines!

Jan Mihalow - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For general operations support, we ask for a copy of the annual operating budget projected for the applicant organization.

Adjusting Grantmaking for 2020

Christina Casado- Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge
We’ve now created a coalition of donors that’s made up of donors, city personnel, and coalition leaders. We’ve started to focus on the priority needs of those asking for grants, mainly when referring to operational support. We sent out a survey recently to gain further insight into what our applicant’s needs are.

Pallavi Bharadwaj - Society of Exploration Geophysicists
We have had to suspend our upcoming grant cycle due to the lack of available communication with universities at this time. We plan to allow applicants to copy information from an existing application for their new ones. There is uncertainty about how to adjust our processes for the rest of 2020.

Artisha Lawson - Greater Toledo Community Foundation
We want to try and address immediate concerns, and make sure that we are reaching out to partners to be sure we are tapping into all available funds. Through the application process, we’ve been trying to communicate with the nonprofit’s applying about what Covid-19 means for their project requests. Their applications are still noted and processed.
Ben Cameron - Jerome Foundation
There’s a lot of people that are assessing the needs of the organizations. However, assessing the needs of individuals can be very complex when considering their debts and other situations of the like.

Funder Relationships

Artisha Lawson - Greater Toledo Community Foundation
We’ve been trying to keep a very transparent communication with our partner organizations such as United Way.

About the Author

For more than a decade, Foundant Technologies has specialized exclusively in making philanthropy easier and more impactful through intuitive technology solutions. All of our cloud-based solutions focus on grantmaker, grantseeker, scholarship provider and community foundation needs with the goal to make day-to-day tasks streamlined and help maximize the impact of the philanthropic community.

Profile Photo of Foundant Technologies