People are curious whether Community Foundation Fundholders are granting more during this crisis. The answer is yes! In the first three months of 2020, the Community Foundation of Western Nevada has granted twice as much as was granted in the first quarter of 2019. I am proud that the grants have doubled so far this year when support is critically needed.
Granting to help address the needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has been huge. Community Foundation grants as of last week totaled about a quarter of a million dollars. Sixty-four grants from donor advised funds, plus another $734,000 from the COVID-19 Relief Fund in seven grants.
I have been inspired by learning about the motivation behind these grants, the people who will be helped, the stability they will help provide, and the hope they will bring.
We are in touch with nonprofits to see how they are faring and to learn about their needs to better inform and advise our donors. This is what the nonprofit executive directors of local charities have said they anticipate their situation and what the critical needs will be 120 days from now.
- Education funding, Title 1, and other funds are anticipated to be cut, impacting our ability to serve schools with the highest poverty and needs.
- Key summer fundraising events are canceled or shifted to digital platforms. Virtual events are expected to raise half or less than usually raised.
- A substantial increase in the need for emergency payment assistance with rent and utilities is needed, and the charities who help with these costs will need substantially more funding.
- Many charities will have exhausted their reserves and need assistance with cash flow to keep their doors open.
- Churches directing aid to help with rent, bills, food, etc., will need support for their operating costs.
- Charities that have had to reduce staff will face monumental challenges in trying to hire them back and ramp-up.
- Charities that operate museums, camps, and other services will need to address severe shortages in earned income caused by closures and program cancellations.
This is just a quick glimpse into current circumstances, but charities who have lost earned income, lost fundraising opportunities, canceled programs, and laid off staff will need our help to bring back the critical services and programs they provide.
By this summer, all charities will need everybody’s help to survive and be here for all of us in the future.
Please join me in thanking the generous donors at the Community Foundation that have doubled their support, and please join me in committing to supporting our local charities in the months ahead. Call me if you would like to discuss a gift to help.
Chris Askin, President, and CEO