FPLG COVID-19 RESPONSE

FOUNDATIONS GRANTS

FOUNDATION GRANTS

[UPDATE: May 26, 2020]

Now, over two months into the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, many foundations appear to be stepping up to the plate to increase their grant-making and to relax reporting and compliance rules.

This temporary change may herald a more permanent reevaluation of foundation grant practices to reflect a movement that was beginning to gain steam pre-pandemic: that is, “participatory grantmaking.”

**********

[April 3, 2020]

For some time, certain philanthropy thought leaders have advocated for significant changes in how the nation’s foundations structure and operate their grant programs.

As the enormity of the pandemic calamity about to sweep our nation became evident, a coalition of major foundations emerged ready to, at least temporarily, ease up grant restrictions and procedures. So far, over 500 foundations have signed a pledge to “stop conducting business as usual with their grantees.”

Among the most significant of the eight promises is “eliminating restrictions on current grants, including turning project-based grants to unrestricted support, accelerating payment schedules, and not holding grantees liable for missed deadlines or canceled events.

This is welcome news for current recipients but also may be a harbinger of future – more permanent – changes to a “trust-based philanthropy.

 

Contact FPLG (619) 780.3839

The public-health and economic crises posed by the coronavirus present grant makers with an urgent opportunity to loosen and eliminate restrictions on current grants — to help grantees who are serving communities on the front lines of this pandemic. And while flexible funding is coming into view as an effective tool during a time of emergency, committing to it now can help build powerful trust between foundations and grantees for the long term.

— Kathy Reich, Ford Foundation (4/30/20)

In times of crisis, trust and collaboration are essential. We urge the philanthropic community to consider how a trust-based approach can be a particularly effective way to support nonprofit partners in concrete, meaningful ways.

— Shaadi Salehy, Trust-Based Philanthropy Project (3/17/20)

REFERENCES & RESOURCES

GO TO – DONORS AND DAFs

Remote-Work Costs: Must Nonprofit Reimburse?

[June 5, 2020] Among the many adjustments that employers - including nonprofits - have had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic is the abrupt switch to remote work for some or all of their employees. That includes making sure that everyone in the workforce has needed hardware, software, and internet and phone connectivity.  California is among the jurisdictions that initiated early and mandatory stay-at-home orders for a large portion of the population and economy. There [...]

Filing Deadlines Extended for Nonprofit Organizations

[April 24, 2020] By the third week of March 2020, governments at all levels had begun to respond to the many questions and issues raised by the COVID-19 emergency, including - most notably - the curtailment or suspension of operations and activities by individuals and entities on account of new stay-at-home orders  and recommendations.  The necessary federal emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act was made in mid-March. The [...]

UPDATE: The CARES Act and Nonprofits

[March 27, 2020] The third prong of the Congressional response to the COVID-19 pandemic - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 747) - is now before the House of Representatives, having passed the Senate on Wednesday. The House is expected to approve it today with overwhelming support; voting is expected to begin shortly.  It could be signed at the White House and in effect before the end of this weekend. [...]

Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up

Ten days ago, we posted Funders Must Step Up - Right Now! (March 16, 2020).   That same morning, influential blogger Vu Le had posted Funders, this is the rainy day you have been saving up for. Mr. Le has long been a vocal critic of many foundations’ viewing the five percent payout figure in the tax code as a ceiling instead of what it is: a floor.  During that week, as most of us were [...]

Nonprofit Board Meetings in an Emergency

The devastating pandemic has brought sudden and profound challenges for all of us.  In What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation, (March 16, 2020), the experts from BoardSource write:  “As the world responds to the threats of COVID-19, many nonprofits and their boards are wrestling with difficult questions and decisions.”  A rewrite of that sentence may be in order; every nonprofit and its board is flying blind in [...]

The Charitable Sector: COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

America's charities request $60 billion infusion of support to help the most vulnerable March 18, 2020 The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic facing the country is having a profound impact on the economy and has greatly expanded the need for charitable organizations to provide additional services in an unprecedented manner. At the same time, the economic downturn will undoubtedly result in a contraction in contributions and other sources of revenue which are the lifeblood of many charitable [...]

Coronavirus and Nonprofits: Challenges & Resources

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the news media focused on the minutiae of the primary-election horse race. This week, Americans have been forced to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the nonprofit sector, the emergency becomes a double-barreled crisis: we are both victims and saviors. This is not an unfamiliar conundrum; there are frequent natural disasters that devastate one area or another. This nation’s charitable organizations - and, in particular, the social [...]

Funders Must Step Up – Right Now!

“Funders,” writes nonprofit blogger Vu Le, “this is the rainy day you have been saving up for.”  Recently, we wrote about Mr. Le’s earlier plea for America’s foundations to step up their payouts beyond the “five percent rule” in the federal tax code. In an article last summer, he characterized it as a moral imperative: The ethical argument for foundations to increase their annual payout rate beyond 5% (August 4, 2019). This morning, it’s a [...]

Small Business Association Disaster Loan Guidance and Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an existing program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, that extends disaster relief loans to small businesses, including nonprofits, to help alleviate economic injury caused by disasters.  On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the SBA announced that the program will be available to claims arising from COVID-19.  The SBA will work with state officials to offer loans of up to $2 million.  “These loans may be used to pay [...]

Go to Top