Philanthropy Colorado COVID-19 Response and Advocacy Efforts

Philanthropy Colorado has worked to connect funders across the state to ensure the sector has information about nonprofit needs, relief funds and resources. We held frequent calls and webinars designed to bring our members together to share their approaches to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members can contact us with specific questions about how philanthropy can respond to this and other crises.

Philanthropy Colorado also stood with Governor Jared Polis in the formation of a statewide Colorado COVID Relief Fund. (Governor Polis, Coloradans Launch COVID Relief Fund)

Read the Governor's news announcement quoting Philanthropy Colorado and its members Colorado Health Foundation and Mile High United Way. Philanthropy Colorado's CEO, Joanne Kelley, served on the Executive Committee, Leadership Committee and Process Committee for the Statewide Relief Fund that raised almost $24 million from foundations, businesses and individuals. The relief fund effort brought together community, business and foundation leaders to review and allocate funding to organizations across the state working on prevention, impact and recovery from the pandemic.

NEW  Our national network United Philanthropy Forum has released a new report The COVID-19 Crucible, which summarizes how Philanthropy Colorado and our partner networks have played a critical leadership role.
Click here to read the Report Highlights.  
You can read a summary here of how Colorado nonprofits responded to our survey asking them to identify urgent needs and the overall impact of COVID-19 on their organizations and communities. The findings were included in this April 12, 2020 article in the Colorado Sun. 

We also maintained an inventory for our members of grants made and strategies implemented in response to the crisis. Members can log in to provide their information. 

Please refer to the bottom of this web page for information about some of our advocacy work around COVID-19 response and recovery. 

We also compiled responses to COVID-19 by funders across the state. 

Philanthropy Colorado COVID-Related Sector Advocacy Continues

Advocacy activities continue to focus on asking Congressional leadership to ensure charitable nonprofits are supported in future legislative packages. Philanthropy Colorado was among state organizations making contacts and sending a letter to our Congressional delegation and continues to keep tabs on these efforts. 

Our national network and the entire Charitable Giving Coalition sent a letter to House Ways Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), and urged support for stronger charitable giving incentives in the next COVID-19 package by significantly increasing the $300 cap on the temporary universal charitable deduction, applying the deduction to 2019, extending the temporary suspension of AGI limits and temporary universal charitable deduction beyond 2020, and allowing deductibility of gifts to donor-advised funds.

Philanthropy Colorado supports “Dear Colleague” letter in support of nonprofits

Philanthropy Colorado and several members of our national network, United Philanthropy Forum, signed on as supporters of a call to action made by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in a letter to House leadership, requesting that charitable nonprofits receive critical relief in any future COVID-19 legislative package. The supporting organizations are listed in a “Dear Colleague” letter the two congressmen sent to Members of Congress, asking them to join in the request to House leadership.

Because our board-approved policy process and platform allows us to take swift action on issues broadly affecting the sector, we were able to sign this letter ahead of a quick deadline. The following organizations joined the Forum in support: Council of Michigan Foundations, Council on Foundations, Forefront, Grantmakers in the Arts, Minnesota Council on Foundations, Philanthropy Colorado, Philanthropy Delaware, Philanthropy Massachusetts, Philanthropy New York, and Philanthropy West Virginia.

Census 2020 News and Resources

In light of COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau adjusted 2020 Census operations to:

  1. Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees;
  2. Implement guidance from Federal, State, and local authorities regarding COVID-19;
  3. Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

Here is some additional information about how census activites unfolded:

  • The Census Bureau's delay of operations and extension of the census deadline to October 31 necessitated their request to Congress to push back the two statutory reporting deadlines tied to census data: December 31 for apportionment and end of April 2021 for redistricting. The updated timeline is here. Congress hasn't approved this request yet, but the modified timeline for redistricting will have major implications for some states, especially for those whose redistricting timeline is in statute or the state constitution. See NCSL's chart on that here
  • Because of how dramatically organizations have had to shift from in-person outreach, there was still a need for funders to invest in an accurate count. Needs include equipment, digital and social media training, paid ads, list-building mechanisms, and virtual meeting tools, as well as creative approaches to reach rural and remote communities (including American Indian reservations) that have yet to receive census materials. The extension means groups needed additional resources since the census timeline overlapped with election outreach, according to the Funders Committee for Civic Participation.
  • Information for Colorado and elsewhere at the state, county, and census tract level through the interactive Hard-to-Count map. Many groups analyzed this information on a regular basis to motivate their communities and refine outreach strategies.