In this unprecedented global crisis, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude and diversity of needs and wonder, “What can we do?” If you are like many of TPI’s clients – be that a family foundation, independent foundation, company, or individual donor – this question is likely complicated by the reality that you have pre-existing grantee relationships and strategic programs, and that your own financial resources are shrinking under the economic fallout.

With its unique ability to be flexible, nimble, creative, and take more risks, philanthropy can play a critical role in this crisis and its aftermath. Often grounded in community, funders have a deep understanding of and connection to local needs, effective organizations, networks, and leaders. As a sector, philanthropy can respond quickly and be strategic and patient. At this time of great disruption and uncertainty, it is harder to think big and longer-term, but such thinking is just as important as addressing immediate needs. But of course, philanthropy can’t do everything, and so, how do you pick your spots?

To help funders sort through the dizzying array of options, put them in context, and figure out a strategy that makes sense, we’ve put together six questions to consider right now: 

  1. How can you best support your existing grantees?
  2. How can you balance continued support for grantees with targeted COVID-19 response efforts?
  3. Do you want to focus on immediate relief, longer-term recovery, preparation efforts so we are better able to handle the next pandemic, or some combination?
  4. Should you pick specific organizations to support directly or contribute to a pooled fund?
  5. Do you have specific target populations, issues, or geographies of particular concern that can help focus your giving?
  6. Can you offer expertise or resources to your partners beyond grants?

Read the full post on our website for tips and examples to help you answer these tough questions.

For additional resources, visit our COVID-19 resource page. Please reach out to anyone on our team to explore opportunities to help, share other resources, or discuss any concerns or questions you might have.