Giving Compass' Take:

• Borealis Philanthropy shares the needs of grassroots organizations, as well as critical questions for funders to consider as the philanthropic sector addresses COVID-19. 

• What is the most substantial barrier for organizations during this time, and how can donors support them? 

• Check out these U.S. based coronavirus and COVID-19 funds and learn how to make an impact.

As the global COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the impact on all of us changes everyday. As funders—foundations, individual donors, intermediaries, and others—consider how to respond both in this moment of crisis and over the long-term, we want to share some of the challenges and needs we have heard from organizations on the ground that Borealis supports:

  • Translating on-the-ground organizing to virtual spaces  
  • Adapting to rapid response, direct action, and community protection from a distance 
  • Responding to emerging needs of staff and communities served 
  • Connecting and building coalition partnerships virtually, bracing for economic recession 
  • Transitioning to remote work environments 

Some questions we are grappling with, that we ask others to consider:

  1. We have long known that unrestricted grant dollars and long-term funding are the most useful ways to support grantees. How can we increase our commitment to those principles, both right now and for the long haul?
  2. How can we ease reporting and application burdens on grantees immediately, and quickly and effectively fulfill rapid response requests?
  3. Can we repurpose existing grants so that groups have greater flexibility to use funding for their most pressing needs?
  4. As many of us quickly move to remote working environments with more flexible work arrangements, can we acknowledge that this has been a call from disability activists for years and use this opportunity to devote more time and resources to disability justice, access, and inclusion in our operations and grantmaking?
  5. What can we learn from giving trends from the 2008 Great Recession and post-2016 election to ensure foundations increase their investments in the issues, communities, and movements that will carry us through this crisis towards a better future for all of us?

Read the full article about learning about grassroots organizations and funding responses at Borealis Philanthropy.