A message and request for our Colorado nonprofit partners

Monday, March 16, 2020

Dear Colorado Nonprofit Partners:

We’re writing to reassure you that the Colorado foundations and philanthropic organizations in Philanthropy Colorado’s diverse statewide network have been working on a variety of fronts to address the far-reaching impact the current pandemic is already having on many of your organizations.

These are some of the actions being taken:

  • Rapid-response funds already established on the ground in various communities around the state. Please visit our website for links;
  • Coordinated statewide response efforts and relief funds that will be announced soon;
  • Individual steps by various foundations to adapt grant timelines and guidelines to ensure grantees have flexibility in dealing with challenges presented by the outbreak;
  • Continued collaboration between Philanthropy Colorado and longtime nonprofit partners to determine the best way to provide shared resources.

To help funders better gauge the needs of Colorado nonprofits, we ask those of you who might have a few moments to complete this brief survey by Wed., March 18. We plan to aggregate these responses anonymously as an additional source of information for grantmakers and elected officials.

We understand that the impact of this national emergency will touch virtually all nonprofit organizations in some way, whether it means cancellations of critical fundraising events, office closures, the suspension of cultural performances and showings, mental health needs of front-line workers, and so much more.

In addition to helping philanthropy stay informed and respond effectively, we also recognize the disproportionate impact the crisis is having on the most vulnerable populations in our state, whether it’s the elderly, the homeless or displaced hourly workers.

For the time being, Philanthropy Colorado has suspended all in-person meetings and travel and we are working remotely and can be reached by email or phone. These steps are part of the concerted effort to slow the spread of the virus until our healthcare systems can attempt to bring it under control.

As I shared with our members, this is the paradox that was described in a Washington Post article last week: “To mitigate, we must collaborate. To collaborate we must separate.”

The article included these eloquent comments from a rabbi: “Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another must become a thought as to how we might help.”

As always, Philanthropy Colorado remains focused on our mission, “To strengthen Colorado communities by bringing people, information and resources together.”

We hope to share more information soon.

In partnership with all of you,

Joanne Kelley and the Philanthropy Colorado team

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