Like you, we’ve experienced changes and challenges over the past 3 weeks.
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented disruption of daily life in southwestern Indiana, and while we don’t yet fully understand all the implications, we do know that it is proving particularly challenging for those who are already vulnerable.
To better understand the challenges facing our communities during this time, our staff members have been reaching out to charitable partners, community leaders, elected officials, school officials, and our investment consultants.
The nonprofit organizations that represent the heart of our communities are facing a multitude of needs. Many are trying to ramp up in preparation for increased requests, while others are dealing with the critical need to employ new methods of communication to get information out to those they serve.
From these organizations, we have learned how we might help. Some could face financial challenges in the next few weeks. Others will need support over the coming months. They confirmed what we already knew: our nonprofit organizations are always devoted to serving others first.
As a way to assist them in their service, the Community Foundation Alliance has developed a plan we want to share with you. The plan provides funding and support for our communities throughout the weeks and months to come.
The Community Foundation Alliance is making up to $1 million in funding available to organizations throughout southwestern Indiana that are at the forefront of helping communities impacted by COVID-19.
A portion of the funding provides for a $250,000 grant to the COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund of the Greater Evansville Region, which will support human services in Gibson, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. The United Way of Southwestern Indiana is serving as the fiscal sponsor for this fund. The remaining grant dollars will support similar collaborative COVID-19 funds in Daviess, Knox, Perry and Pike counties and allow each of the 9 Alliance Community Foundations to award rapid response grants to local charitable organizations impacted by the pandemic.
The rapid response grants are designed to quickly deploy flexible resources in the form of one-time grants to organizations that, in many cases, have been financially strained by the outbreak. The grants have a simple application and quick turnaround time, including a 24-hour review, with grant dollars released directly to organizations within 4 days of approval. Funding will be provided for needs such as:
•analyzing and planning for financial challenges resulting from COVID-19;
•adjusting to alternative work strategies resulting from social distancing;
•scaling up to meet increased demand for services as a result of COVID-19;
•overcoming lost income and sunk costs from fundraisers scheduled in March, April, or May that have been cancelled; and/or,
•purchasing services or supplies necessitated by COVID-19.
Support for our communities must extend beyond the immediacy of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we can react to unknown changes that may occur in our communities in the months to come. With that in mind, the Community Foundation Alliance is:
•extending deadlines for existing grant cycles,
•re-evaluating how to deploy future Community Good granting strategy to best serve our communities,
•delaying calculation of endowment fund distributions with the expectation of a more stable market environment in June, and
•reviewing the current spending policy to determine distribution levels.
The Community Foundation Alliance was established with the mission to benefit community causes and address community needs. For nearly 30 years, through the generosity of our caring donors, we have been able to improve the quality of life in the counties we serve. We greatly appreciate our donors and others who continue to make it possible for our organization to serve those who, like us, call southwestern Indiana home.
We thank you for your gifts and support to build endowment for your community. Please contact staff with any questions you have.