[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.