working together with nonprofits
Critical Needs Assessed - COVID-19
In order to make efficient and effective grants to address our region’s immediate needs, we need timely information about the regional nonprofit landscape. We are grateful for the collaborative support of the George Washington Regional Planning Commission to collate and analyze the foundation’s area nonprofit needs assessment: A Snapshot of Critical Needs.
The foundation’s assessment survey asked nonprofits to describe the impact of the pandemic – both on the people they serve and on their ability to operate. The results are unprecedented. Most nonprofits surveyed are providing basic needs support for people in our region and the majority are not able to provide at least some of their core services. At the same time, 40 percent of surveyed nonprofits report that the demand for their services has increased and that they lack adequate funding.
A bleak picture? Those of us who work and volunteer at The Community Foundation know otherwise. We interact daily with essential nonprofits and generous donors. Together, the foundation’s 170 permanent funds collectively give over $1.5 million each year to local nonprofits, churches and schools. The need is urgent and greater than ever before, but we are up for the challenge.
Findings Report: A Snapshot of Critical Needs
Click through to download the findings report compiling responses to the Nonprofit Needs Assessment survey.
The foundation acknowledges and thanks these individual contributors:
Linda Millsaps, PhD,
Executive Director, George Washington Regional Planning Commission
Economic Development Coordinator, George Washington Regional Commission
Programs Manager and Community Relief Fund Lead, The Community Foundation
The Community Foundation recognizes that many regional nonprofit organizations are responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Increased demand for existing and new services will require significant financial support. Addressing these unanticipated needs in a time of crisis will require adaptation and flexibility. The Community Foundation is actively gathering information about how we can effectively provide immediate support. We further understand the implications of the current pandemic will be long lasting and recovery for many will be a difficult process.
We ask regional nonprofit organizations to share their primary areas of concern related to the COVID-19 pandemic by completing our Community Needs Assessment. Grantmaking priorities will be determined by your responses to this needs assessment survey.
We understand that nonprofits may not yet know all of the ways they, their clients and their mission will be impacted. As the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, nonprofit organizations may need to change direction or limit their focus areas. If your organization’s priorities change, please let us know.
The Community Foundation is developing application processes and guidelines for grants from The Community Relief Fund. We will keep nonprofits and donors informed. Our commitment now and moving forward is to support our community as efficiently and effectively as possible.
We’re Extending Support and Flexibility to Our Grantees
We are mindful of the serious impact COVID-19 is having on the organizations we support, their own staff teams, and the people they serve. We also know that we are only starting to understand the longer-term implications. We aim to be flexible and responsive to our grantees’ needs, and at this time, we commit to the following steps in order to provide as much flexibility and support as we can to all of our grantees:
- We welcome a conversation about revisiting any grant objectives, timelines, and terms, in order to ensure that our grantees can focus on more emergent needs at this time. We are open to exploring alternatives when the most prudent course is to delay or postpone plans altogether. We will communicate with donors on behalf of any Donor Advised Fund grant recipients to explain needs and recommend grant modifications.
- We will be flexible with deadlines for grant reports or other deliverables.
- We commit to the timely release of grant payments. Our business operations are well-positioned to carry out those commitments. To avoid possible interruption, we are preparing to make all grant payments electronically which will require grant recipients to provide ACH bank routing information to facilitate payments.
- We understand that events and other convenings that may be part of your grant with us are likely to be postponed or cancelled; we can work with you to explore implications, including how funds from The Community Foundation allocated for those purposes can be used.
Casey Hu continues to serve as the main point of contact for grantees. You should reach out directly on any of these matters or others you may want to bring to our attention. We aim to serve as a constructive partner to you and to demonstrate the measure of flexibility and responsiveness that this moment demands of all of us.
Foundation staff are practicing social distancing as part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19 in our region. Our team will be working remotely until further notice. Please use email only to reach our staff members during this time. We will be happy to schedule a Zoom video conference or phone call.
About The Community Relief Fund
The Community Foundation Board of Governors established The Community Relief Fund in October 2019 to provide emergency relief assistance throughout the region during disaster events. When the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our region became clear, especially for vulnerable people, the Board of Governors directed foundation staff to activate the Community Relief Fund, secure funding and assess needs in our community. The foundation activated The Community Relief Fund on March 19, 2020 to ensure resources are available for emerging needs in response to challenges created by the coronavirus and its impact on our community. We are grateful to our Board of Governors for committing quickly and generously allocating resources from The Community Fund so that we can act swiftly to the needs of our community. We hope that you, too, will make a donation today—or pledge a monthly recurring donation—to help our neighbors in need.
The Community Foundation is a devoted advocate for the vitality and well-being of the Rappahannock River region. Our mission is to build a flourishing philanthropic community.