Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, some people have returned to a sense of stability. But many face tremendous uncertainty about the future. For individual donors and professional grantmakers alike, the question is, “How can I help?”

This toolkit is our team’s answer. In it you’ll find:

We hope this toolkit and the free, downloadable booklet help you translate your generosity and good intentions into high impact.

Support nonprofits implementing one or more of these evidence-based strategies

Recover learning lost and accelerate gains

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted learning for children of all ages. Remote learning set children back, particularly those in resource-poor settings who didn’t have supports like a place to learn, reliable WiFi, or parents who could stay home and serve as defacto teachers. Philanthropy can help by strengthening the web of support that all children need to thrive.

Increase financial security with guaranteed income, savings programs, and jobs

Even when someone has a reliable income, the lack of $500 in savings can start the slide into financial hardship, unemployment, or homelessness when an unexpected repair or medical bill comes due. Increasing savings and access to better jobs help. In addition, direct, unconditional cash transfers – also known as guaranteed income programs – can be a powerful tool to address financial insecurity.

Address structural inequality so everyone has a fair chance

Disparities by race, gender, socio-economic status, age, and geography often result from policies and practices that systematically exclude certain groups. Such structural inequality exists across a range issues, including health care, education, housing, economic development, and environmental impact. Funders can consider 5 dimensions in reviewing an organization’s work: inclusivity, durability of power, strength of evidence and systems-level impact.

Provide effective disaster relief across all stages

Climate- and weather-related disasters and floods have been rising disproportionately in both incidence and gravity and at the same time, communities face urgent man-made disasters. Many individual donors and institutional grantmakers are moved to help when a crisis first hits. Yet the effects of a disaster persist long past the initial headlines. Ensuring a more secure future requires considering all four stages of disaster response.

Strengthen democracy

Multiple indices that track the strength of democracy – both in the US and globally – have measured declines in democracy and increases in authoritarianism. Yet democracy and democratic institutions have been a powerful force for ensuring that the interests of individuals are well met and that their futures are secure. Addressing “news deserts” can be an effective way to help.

Access the full 2023 High Impact Giving Toolkit at The Center for High Impact Philanthropy.