A Call to Action: Philanthropy’s Commitment During Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves day by day, it is hard to say what implications it will have on our society and on our economy.

By Hilary Pennington

As COVID-19 begins to touch nearly every corner of the world, the work of the individuals and organizations we support has become more important than ever. Every day presents a new challenge, testing each and every one of us while creating difficult, unanticipated consequences for our grantee partners working on the frontlines to serve those communities most impacted.

To support them as they navigate these trying times, we have created a philanthropy pledge in partnership with the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, Council of Foundations, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the JPB Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The California Endowment, Seattle Foundation, and more than 40 other organizations to provide our grantees with the flexibility and grace to respond quickly and confidently in this critical moment. As leaders of major philanthropies, we recognize the need to act with fierce urgency to support our nonprofit partners as they support the individuals and communities hit hardest by the impacts of this pandemic.

Flexible funding allows organizations to have full control to act fast, innovate, take risks and respond to real-time situations while building a strong, sustainable foundation for the long term. It’s a need we recognized—and a commitment we made—nearly five years ago when we launched BUILD, a $1-billion investment in the long-term capacity and sustainability of up to 300 social justice organizations around the world. By providing our grantee partners with the trust and flexibility they need now—in this moment of global crisis—and everyday, we are building more effective, impactful organizations that will be able to drive change forward and achieve their missions.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves day by day, it is hard to say what implications it will have on our society and on our economy. That’s why we all must commit to a long-term, collaborative approach to funding that can help our grantee partners weather this crisis today and forge ahead to address the challenges that await all of us tomorrow.

Previously published on Fordfoundation.org.

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