Dear Community Members,
It has been said many times and will continue to be said: this is a challenging time. Communities are in crisis, nonprofits are at risk, and markets are struggling. But, philanthropy was built for moments like these—ones that require a nimble response and compassionate heart. Accordingly, many donors are embracing this opportunity to mobilize resources to address the health and economic crises; but many more are needed.
After careful consideration and the support from its board of directors, the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) signed a joint letter with other philanthropy-serving organizations calling for foundations in our network and across the globe to significantly increase their grant spending during this crisis.
We recognize this is a time of great uncertainty for donors and their families. Endowments are contracting and many funders are not keen to increase their giving in the midst of this downturn. However, the lives of people grappling with unemployment, food insecurity, and homelessness are far more uncertain. This is the time to heal communities.
We are inspired by our community members who are leading by example and increasing their payout, including The Libra Foundation and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. We are also encouraged by philanthropic leaders who are willing to use their voice to encourage others to act now. As Laurie Tisch of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund asserts, “Philanthropy is more important than ever right now. People are suffering. We all have to do what we can.”
We urge you to join them. Time is of the essence.
Nicholas A. Tedesco
President & CEO
National Center for Family Philanthropy
Join Mary Mountcastle of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Crystal Hayling of The Libra Foundation, and Nat Chioke Williams of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, as well as Phil Buchanan, Aaron Dorfman, and Nick Tedesco for a webinar on April 15. Register for Beyond 5%: Increasing Support in a Time of Crisis here.
Join Statement Encouraging Increased Giving in this Time of Crisis
As leaders of philanthropy-serving organizations in this unprecedented moment of challenge for our country and globally, we applaud the efforts by foundations to be responsive to the needs of nonprofits and the communities and causes they serve. We strongly endorse the pledge signed by more than 460 foundations to loosen restrictions on grantees during this time and generally to be as flexible as possible.
Yet what nonprofits need most right now is more money. Without rapid and meaningful infusions of additional resources, many organizations will have to dramatically pare back programs and services or fold their operations entirely—and the results for the economy, vulnerable populations, communities, and progress on crucial issues will be devastating.
The CARES Act and other stimulus packages passed recently by Congress include wide-ranging supports for nonprofits and low income people. And yet these funds may be difficult to access and still will not meet the needs.
We’ve been heartened that some foundations and corporate giving programs are increasing their grants at this crucial time. We call on all funders to consider joining them by significantly increasing their grant spending during this crisis. Organizations helping and empowering the most vulnerable, those closest to the financial precipice with limited operating capital or reserves, and those with significant earned revenue streams or that rely small gifts from individual donors are facing significant challenges. Organizations serving communities of color are also going to need extra resources as they deal with skyrocketing unemployment for all racial groups and particularly for black, indigenous and Latinx communities, and with Asians and Pacific Islanders facing xenophobia.
Deploying philanthropic assets to strengthen vital organizations doing crucial work in extremely challenging circumstances is more important right now than preserving endowment capital. The strength of a funder’s grantees at the end of this crisis will be a much better measure of the significance of a foundation than the size of its endowment.
Unprecedented challenges require unprecedented responses—and a casting aside of traditional norms and approaches.
Read the letter in full here.
Read the press release here.