Community philanthropy has never been more important

Eleanor Cater
Executive Director
Community Foundations of New Zealand
16 March 2020

What a time we are seeing. As the fallout from Covid-19 deepens, there is no doubt that our communities will face increasing hardship. It sure is a test of human solidarity, and we will see community priorities having to change over the coming year.

We are always mindful of remaining flexible and nimble with our general funding, thinking about where the greatest needs in communities are. We are already seeing a shift, with the Student Volunteer Army starting to mobilise to support vulnerable members of the community who may need to self-isolate. It’s just one example of how community needs will change and, as funders, we need to reflect where our funding efforts are best placed for the evolving situation ahead.

The way we work will also have to shift, including how we work with our generous donors – with fewer face-to-face and more phone or video meetings. Our donor’s health and care are of utmost importance to us and we recognise that this is a truly concerning time for many. We will adapt and we will, as always, put our donors needs and wishes first.

For the charities and causes we support we would like to say that we will be flexible where possible with grant-making and reporting. This is a time for supporting you to remain strong and to assist you in your fundraising efforts. Keep talking to us.

Be assured too that Community Foundations investments are professionally managed, and that investment policies are reviewed regularly, including planning for shocks in the market. We are all about forever funding and we are in this for the long haul.

The unfolding situation makes us reflect that community philanthropy has never been more important as we look locally for solutions with the challenges ahead.

Please look out for each other, check on your neighbours, support small businesses that are struggling, respect scientific expertise, challenge racism and donate to charities doing good work. If you have resources to give, have a chat with your local community foundation how best to go about this. Our sense of community and our human solidarity will get us through.

Dealing with Covid-19 as a Community Foundation

Date Posted: 16 Mar 2020

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