Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, GlobalGiving’s disaster response team has listened closely each day to local nonprofit partners about this extreme uncertainty and what it means in the areas where they work. For example, our partners at Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico are now navigating the new challenges of supporting communities in southwestern Puerto Rico that are grappling with the dangers of COVID-19, the lingering devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, ongoing earthquakes, and a persistent drought.

Amid so much uncertainty, one principle remains central to GlobalGiving’s disaster response work: starting with trust. Our response to the COVID-19 crisis has been and will continue to be driven by trust in our nonprofit partners based in areas hit hardest by the virus and its impacts. Our local partner organizations are deeply embedded in the communities they serve, understand the needs of their neighbors more clearly than anyone sitting behind a keyboard hundreds or thousands of miles away, and will be there long after attention inevitably shifts away from the pandemic. It is our privilege and job to connect these organizations with the resources they need to meet the challenge of the moment.

We have been leaning into the tenets of trust-based philanthropy for 15 years. It is an approach to philanthropy that is rooted in power-sharing, equity, humility, transparency, and collaboration. As we face COVID-19, the principles of this approach are relevant now more than ever. In the early days of the pandemic, GlobalGiving immediately took two key, trust-based steps to support our more than 150 current grantee partners who are actively working on disaster response, as well as navigating the challenges of COVID-19.

  1. We offered extreme flexibility to our partners.
  2. Beyond grantmaking from our Coronavirus Relief Fund, we activated rapid response donations from our other ongoing disaster response funds to support existing partners that were already on the frontlines of pandemic recovery in their communities.

Read the full article about trust-based philanthropy by Chase Williams at The Center for Disaster Philanthropy.