COVID-19: Response and Recovery Resources for Giving Families

“This is a time when humanity is fundamentally tested; a time when each of us is called to reflect on how we might not only persist, but contribute to the health and well-being of those around us.”

-Nick Tedesco, NCFP President & CEO

A Letter to the Community (March 23, 2020)

During these trying times, NCFP is heartened to see donors harness the power of philanthropy to combat the social, economic, and health implications of COVID-19.

We recognize that it’s challenging to identify trusted information in a time of crisis. Accordingly, NCFP is actively curating funding opportunities and resources, which include an issue brief, Leadership in Difficult Times: Guidance for Donors and Giving Families, and other tools.

Balancing Purpose, Payout, and Permanence: Strategy Guide

This Strategy Guide and the accompanying Discussion Guide were produced in partnership with the Council on Foundations to help you answer one of the most essential questions: How much should we spend?

Issue Brief: Leadership in Difficult Times: Guidance for Donors and Families

This guide offers an initial compilation of lessons and inspirations to help donors and families act in the near-term, as well as a variety of tips for family philanthropy’s long-term response. Included are ideas and resources from giving families, family funders, and philanthropy leadership organizations.

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Funds

This list and map of funds were compiled in partnership with Giving Compass. We invite you to browse funds both locally and nationally that were created or activated in response to COVID-19. Please email to submit your fund for consideration.

NCFP Community Conversation Webinars and Recordings

NCFP Friends of the Family: COVID-19 Grants and Support

Articles and Resources

There are a growing number of helpful resources and perspectives on how philanthropic families and donors can best understand and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Below are several initial resources that we have found to be most useful. NCFP staff will continue to update this list with more current information as it becomes available; please let us know if you have a resource to suggest.

Read the latest on our blog for other resources and perspectives on COVID-19.


Coronavirus Crisis Comms Triage Kit (The Communications Network)

Guidance for Philanthropic Communications in a Pandemic (Northern California Grantmakers)

Rapid-response Grantee Feedback Tool (Center for Effective Philanthropy)

Forms and Policies Regarding COVID-19 Response Grants

Emergency Electronic Funds Transfer Policy (Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund)

Electronic Funds Transfer Form (Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund)

Emergency Staff Back Up and Succession Plan (Anonymous)

COVID-19 Request Response Declination Letter (Anonymous)


Action & Accountability: Why Demographic Data Matters Now (GlassPockets)

The COVID Tracking Project (The Atlantic)

Response and Relief Funds by US Community Foundations and United Ways (Lilly School of Philanthropy)

COVID-19 Projections (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)

Philanthropy’s Response to COVID-19 (Candid)

COVID-19: In Charts and Maps (

Family Foundation Messaging to Grantees

Ball Brothers Foundation

Barr Foundation

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Field Foundation of Illinois

GHR Foundation

Heising-Simons Foundation

Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

Lumina Foundation

McKnight Foundation

Rasmuson Foundation

Robins Foundation

Surdna Foundation

Walter & Elise Haas Fund

Walton Family Foundation

William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

Zellerbach Family Foundation

Difficult Discussions

Difficult Discussions at Difficult Times (NCFP)

Expanding Your Comfort Zone: A Window Into Risk in Family Philanthropy (NCFP)

Essential Questions for Foundation Boards in a Time of Crisis (Center for Effective Philanthropy)

Six Questions to Guide Your Pandemic Charitable Giving (Urban Institute)


Endowments: Balancing Increasing Grantmaking Needs with Decreasing Returns

Recent strategies and perspectives:

Balancing Purpose, Payout, and Permanence: Strategy Guide (NCFP and COF)

In the Time of Coronavirus: Can nonprofits and foundations use their endowments as a resource for recovery? (Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy)

Foundations Can Increase Payout: Here’s How (FSG)

Mission First: Giving Counter-Cyclically (Center for Effective Philanthropy)

Amid the Covid-19 Crisis, Foundations Should Stop Treating the 5% Payout as Holy Writ (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

An Update on Our COVID-19 Response (Larry Kramer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation)

Grant Maker Dilemma: Spend More Now or Protect Shrinking Endowments? (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

The Power And Precedent Of Countercyclical Grantmaking: What The Funders Who Gave More During The Great Recession Can Teach Philanthropy During The Covid-19 Crisis (HistPhil)

Accessing Charitable Endowment Funds to Address Critical Needs During COVID-19 (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)

The Need to Up Giving Levels Even When You Have Less (Center for Effective Philanthropy)

Now Is the Time for Philanthropy to Give More, Not Less (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

How Bridge Loans Can Aid Nonprofits and Social Enterprises Through the Covid-19 Crisis (Barron’s)

Response to COVID-19: Bridge Loans Strategy (Open Road Alliance)

Spending, flexibility, and dealing with economic downturns (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation)

A ‘Balancing Test’ for Foundation Spending (Stanford Social Innovation Review)

Market Volatility in the Face of COVID-19 (Exponent Philanthropy)

Foundation Grantmaking over the Economic Cycle (Urban Institute)

The Ethical Argument for Foundations to Increase Their Annual Payout Rate Beyond 5% (Vu Le)

Prudent Portfolio Management in an Uncertain Time: Best Practices for an Investment Committee (Goldman Sachs)

NCFP Passages Issue Briefs with Lessons Learned from Past Financial Crises:

Managing Risk: Board Oversight of Foundation Investments (NCFP, 2010)

Families Step Up to Meet Economic Crisis (NCFP, 2009)

Giving Until it Hurts: Coping with a Tough Economy (NCFP, 2003)

Equity and Social Justice

Shifting Practices, Sharing Power? How US Philanthropy is Responding to the 2020 Crises (Council on Foundations, Dalberg Advisors, Philanthropy California)

Fighting COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on Black Communities With More Precise Data (Stanford Social Innovation Review)

Overcoming Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding (Stanford Social Innovation Review)

Racial Equity and Philanthropy: Disparities in Funding for Leaders of Color Leave Impact on the Table (The Bridgespan Group)

In Philanthropy, Race is Still a Factor in Who Gets What, Study Shows (The New York Times)

COVID-19: In Color, By the Numbers (Embrace Race)

Bainum Family Foundation: COVID-19 Decisions Must Protect the Most Marginalized and Vulnerable (NCFP)

COVID-19: Using a Racial Justice Lens Now to Transform Our Future (NCFP)

Philanthropy in the Time of COVID-19 (NCFP)

Fair Resource Allocation During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Ruderman Family Foundation)

Here’s How Nonprofits Can Get Americans to Fight the Racism Laid Bare by Covid-19 (The Chronicle on Philanthropy)

Five Ways Donors Can Act Now For A More Just Post-Pandemic World (Giving Compass)

Coronavirus and Racial + Social Equity: Centering Justice During Times of Uncertainty and Four Things You Can do Right Now (The Justice Collective)

The Coronavirus Crisis: An Unprecedented Opportunity to Advance Authentic Disability Inclusion in our Sector and Beyond (Candid)

Coronavirus: Wisdom from a Social Justice Lens (Podcast from Irresistible fka Healing Justice Podcast)

The Hardest Hit: Who is Supporting Communities of Color During COVID-19? (Inside Philanthropy)

Talking About COVID-19: A Call for Racial, Economic, and Health Equity (Opportunity Agenda)

Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States (NAACP)


Ask the Center: Loosening Restrictions on Grants During COVID-19 Crisis (NCFP)

The Power and Precedent of Countercyclical Grantmaking (HistPhil)

6 Steps for Grant Makers to Take Now to Ensure Nonprofits Recover From Coronavirus Spread (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Foundations: Use Your Balance Sheet to Help (FSG)

Help for Nonprofits During the Coronavirus and Uncertain Economic Times (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

How Philanthropists Are Helping During the Crisis (The New York Times)

Philanthropy Has a Duty to Respond Quickly to the COVID-19 Outbreak. Here’s How We Can Do It (Inside Philanthropy)

Risk Management Toolkit (Open Road Alliance)

What Philanthropy Can Do Today to Support Grantees Through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis (The Bridgespan Group)

Impact Investing

Place-Based Impact Investing Collaborations: Opportunities For Cross-Sector Partnerships That Drive Change (Giving Compass; Mission Investors Exchange)

Three Ways for Impact Investors to Respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic (The Bridgespan Group)

Operations and Self-care

4-7-8 Breathing Exercises (Dr. Andrew Weil)

10 Habits of a Healthy Family Culture (Pullen Consulting Group)

11 Things You Can Do to Manage Your Coronavirus Anxiety (WBUR)

Anxiety and Purpose: How to Handle the Stress Around COVID-19 (Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network)

Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear, and Uncertainty (HelpGuide)

Coronavirus Healthy Habits for Emotional Well Being (ChangeDirection)

How to Facilitate Effective Virtual Meetings (Beth Kanter)

How to Get People to Actually Participate in Virtual Meetings (Harvard Business Review)

Virtual Meetings Untangled (BoardSource)

Wellbeing in Times of Uncertainty (Full Frame Initiative)

What One Nonprofit Has Learned About Telework After a Bumpy Start (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Resources for Grantees

As COVID-19 Pushes Some Nonprofits to the Brink, at What Point Do Donors Abandon Ship? (Inside Philanthropy)

Nonprofit COVID-19 Survey Results (La Piana Consulting)

COVID-19: What Nonprofits Should Do Right Now (Nonprofit Finance Fund)

Crisis Funding and Debt: What Organizations Need to Know (Nonprofit Finance Fund)

Cutting Through the Jargon: How the CARES Act Works for Nonprofits (Nonprofit Quarterly)

Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak: Resources to Help Nonprofits (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Nonprofit Coronavirus Resources (Massachusetts Nonprofit Network)

Statements on Philanthropy’s Response to Specific Populations

We Must Be in It for the Long Haul: Black Foundation Executives Request Action by Philanthropy on Anti-Black Racism (ABFE)

Joint Statement on Collective Care in Response to COVID-19 (The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, Native Americans in Philanthropy)

Open Letter to Philanthropy: The Cure to Viral Racism is Within Our Hands (Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy)

Statement on Coronavirus Outbreak (Hispanics in Philanthropy)

Other Resource Centers

Candid: Funding for Coronavirus

Center for Disaster Philanthropy: COVID-19 Coronavirus

Council on Foundations: External Resources for Responding to COVID-19

Council of Michigan Foundations: COVID-19 Resource Central

Early Childhood Funders Collaborative: COVID-19 Resources

Foundant Technologies: COVID-19 Response

Forefront: COVID-19 Resources and Updates

Funders for LGBTQ Issues: LGBTQ Funding Resources in the COVID-19 Response

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: PowerOf

Independent Sector: Information on COVID-19

Lansberg Gersick & Associates: COVID-19 and Your Family Enterprise Crisis Response Portal

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy: Philanthropy & COVID-19

National Council of Nonprofits: The Nonprofit Community Confronts the Coronavirus

New England International Donors: COVID-19 Articles

Philanthropy California: COVID-19 Response

Philanthropy Ohio: COVID-19 Resources for Funders

Philanthropy New York: COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Philanthropy Northwest: Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Philanthropy Roundtable: Philanthropy & COVID-19

Philanthropy Southwest: COVID-19 Resources

Southeastern Council of Foundations: COVID-19 Resource Hub

Tableau: COVID-19 Data Hub

United Philanthropy Forum: How Philanthropy Can Respond to COVID-19

Webinars from the Field


3/5: COVID-19 Coronavirus: How Philanthropy Can Respond (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

3/12: Funder to Funder Call: Sharing Approaches to COVID-19 Community Response (Council on Foundations)

3/18: [Coffee Talk] COVID-19 Concerns in Grantmaking (Foundant Technologies)

3/19: Emergency Preparedness and Response: COVID19 and the arts ecosystem (Grantmakers in the Arts)

3/24: Community Foundation CEO Roundtable: The New Normal of COVID-19 (Council on Foundations)

3/25: [Coffee Talk] COVID-19 Concerns in Scholarship Management (Session 1) (Foundant Technologies)

3/26: [Coffee Talk] COVID-19 Concerns in Day-to-Day Accounting Functions (Session 1) (Foundant Technologies)

3/26: COVID-19: Past Epidemics and Vulnerability—Lessons for Funders Today (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

3/26: How Philanthropy Can Best Support Nonprofits in a Pandemic? (Council on Foundations)

3/27: Family Philanthropy’s Response to COVID-19 (NCFP)

3/30: Briefing on Emergency Coronavirus Funding for 501(c)(3) Nonprofits (US Chamber of Commerce Foundation)

3/31: Maintaining Human Connection in a Virtual World (Foundant Technologies)

3/31: Policy Briefing: How the $2 Trillion COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Bill Impacts Philanthropy (Council on Foundations)

4/2: Navigating the CARES Act (Independent Sector)

4/9: What’s Next For COVID-19 Relief For Nonprofits? (Independent Sector)

4/14: COVID-19: Making Effective Rapid Response Grants (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

4/15: Beyond 5%: Increasing Support in a Time of Crisis (NCFP)

4/21: 7 Ways to Increase Your Impact During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Putnam Consulting Group, NCFP, Exponent Philanthropy)

4/28: COVID-19: Managing Multiple Disasters Amid the Pandemic (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

5/12: Place-based Grantmakers and Investing in Local Communities (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

5/14: Funder Collaboration: Leveraging Partnerships for Outsized Impact (NCFP)

5/14: Donor-advised Funds and Their Critics (Stanford PACS)

5/19: How Listening & Feedback Can Inform Foundation Grantmaking and Strategy Development (Fund for Shared Insight)

5/21: System Change: A Roundtable Discussion on COVID, Nonprofits & the Economy (NonProfit Quarterly)

5/26: How Philanthropy Can Stand Up for Vulnerable Populations (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

5/17: Collaborative Philanthropy in the Time of COVID-19 (NCFP)

6/9: Grantmaking to Support Children and Older Adults (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

6/12: Grantmaking Strategies for Family Funders: Supporting Resiliency and Recovery (NCFP)

6/23: Managing a Global Response (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

6/25: Using an Equity Lens in COVID-19 Response and Recovery (NCFP)

7/14: COVID-19: Support for Mental Health, Bereavement and Grief (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

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