As the world confronts a global health crisis and critical changes in the economy, philanthropists are considering what role they can play to mitigate the detrimental impact on their key stakeholders. Here are some suggested strategies:

Webinar: disaster philanthropy, a starting point

Foundation Source and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy are pleased to offer Disaster Philanthropy: A Starting Point! Join us as we discuss the unique role that private foundations can play in mitigating the impact of natural and global health crises. This will include discussion of the philanthropic response to COVID-19.

Disaster Philanthropy: A Starting Point!
Thursday, March 26th 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT
Presented by: Elizabeth Wong, Senior Philanthropic Director, Foundation Source
Click Here to Register

Information for Funders

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)

CDP is committed to helping donors make informed decisions when deploying their resources to support disaster-related efforts.

General Resources

World Health Organization (WHO)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Also refer to state health department websites.

Ask Your Grantees and Partners about Critical Needs

Foundations have partnerships with nonprofit organizations that are on the front lines of delivering much-needed services, conducting important research, and developing new and important approaches to persistent social problems. These partners are an excellent resource for how to help. Seek out their input. Learn from these partners what the greatest needs are, whether it is more support for food bank or shelters, scientific research, or funding for ongoing efforts to address problems that will not lessen during these crises.

Be Flexible in Your Funding Methods

Difficult times often require different approaches. Foundations that typically provide project support might consider general operating support as a method to support organizations through these particularly challenging economic times. While the government and private sectors are seeking out ways to support income loss for individuals that has resulted from COVID-19 or market volatility, private foundations might focus their attention on income loss experienced by nonprofit organizations. Consider your grantees who have had to cancel their main annual fundraisers and the impact that this loss of income will have on their ability to support individuals in need. For example, a quick turn-around general operating support grant could enable a food bank to keep its doors open and feed the increased numbers of clients who will face food scarcity as businesses and schools temporarily close.

In addition to providing support for immediate needs, private foundations play an important role in supporting medium- and long-term efforts.

Consider Contributing to a Response Fund

It may also be practical for your foundation to contribute to an existing fund that is set up to respond to COVID-19 and is being managed by experts who are on the front lines of understanding the pandemic and the needs that are resulting from the crisis. Here are some funds* you might consider:

*Source: Council on Foundations