Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are a couple of ideas for how small rural funders can make a difference in their communities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

• How can place-based philanthropy potentially alleviate problems caused by COVID-19 in rural areas?

• Learn how COVID-19 highlights the connectivity gap in rural communities.

For rural funders—and particularly smaller place-based rural funders— what more to do? Here are some ideas:

  1. Lead/Facilitate your county or multi-county rural region in being prepared for what may be some state/federal/larger foundation funding opportunities with very quick turnarounds.
  2. Use your social and human capital to open doors for your communities on a regional/state/federal level.
  3. Support real-time dissemination of accurate COVID-19 information tailored for your region.
  4. Some of the most isolated members of rural places are immigrants, long-time but proportionally small communities of People of Color and those marginalized by class and education. Use your funder capital and influence to make sure COVID-19 responses include those who are not always included.
  5. Child Care in rural America is fragile to begin with— Funding/Informal Arrangements/Scale. See how you can shore up the system. Think about unused church facilities, for example.
  6. Broadband deficits are well-publicized. Hot Spots don’t always work where there is spotty cell service. Be the conduit for conversations with your telecommunications companies—co-ops, locally owned utilities, major cell phone providers— on what can be done to better support rural students and work- from- home individuals and businesses.

Read the full article about how small rural funders can respond to COVID-19 by Allen Smart at  PHILANTHROPYwoRx.