Nonprofits, Funders,
and the Coronavirus
(COVID-19) Crisis

This resource collection offers guidance to nonprofits, philanthropists, and impact investors on navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and the expected economic downturn.


Latest Insights and Advice

Three Ways for Impact Investors to Respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
By Michael Etzel and Mariah Collins

Impact investors have a critical opportunity to help their portfolio companies navigate the coronavirus pandemic. Here are three concrete steps impact investors can take to support and safeguard the impact of their investees now and in the future.

What Philanthropy Can Do Today to Support Grantees Through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis
By Betsy Doyle, Michael Etzel, and Peter Kim

Funders have a critical opportunity to help grantees navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Here are three approaches you can take to ensure that your grantees can deliver on their missions both now and in the future: recommit, be flexible, and focus on the most vulnerable.

Eight Steps for Managing Through Tough Times
Tough times force hard choices. We offer eight steps that can help nonprofits weather economic uncertainty, including planning contingencies and protecting your core operations.

COVID-19 Resources for Nonprofits and Funders

This growing list of resources shares information on the crisis as well as advice for leading and managing your organization through it. Here are a few recent resources we've found:

  • BoardSource outlines the role and responsibilities of nonprofit boards in crisis situations, emphasizing the importance of steadfast leadership, adaptability, and contingency planning.
  • The Ford Foundation and London Funders share how US and UK philanthropists are pledging their commitments to provide more flexible funding for their grantees, given the current crisis.
  • In a statement issued by Good Finance, social investors reassure their investees that they will continue to provide support during the pandemic.
  • Helen Lewis’s article, “The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism” in The Atlantic discusses the pandemic’s effects on women and gender equality, stating that “one of the most striking effects of the coronavirus will be to send many couples back to the 1950s. Across the world, women’s independence will be a silent victim of the pandemic."

See the full list >>

Reports from Seattle Nonprofits

In Washington State, which had the nation’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus, nonprofits are on the leading edge of the response. They have acted quickly to sustain their critical services while supporting the well-being of employees and volunteers. Here four leaders of Seattle nonprofits share their first-person accounts during the first weeks of the crisis.

  • Jewish Family Service: CEO Will Berkovitz on building and using a crisis response team, figuring out how best to keep serving clients, making decisions during a crisis, and operating while conditions are changing rapidly.
  • Alliance for Education: President and CEO Lisa Chick on the critical role of the area schools, involvement of the philanthropic community, and racism towards people of Asian descent.
  • Rainier Scholars: Associate Executive Director Monica Parker on balancing public health needs with doing the organization’s essential work, communicating with families and staff, and developing contingency plans.
  • YouthCare: Development and Communications Officer Jody Waits on managing with a reduced staff, making adjustments to standard protocols, and responding to offers of help.

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