COVID-19 has infiltrated all of our lives and will have far-reaching implications for decades. As we all are living through this unprecedented time, we are coming to terms with the fact that the proverbial “rainy day” is indeed here.
This moment is testing us — testing how we live, how we lead, who we are, and what we stand for. Like others, we at Dodge have had to reimagine many of our plans for 2020. Our strategic planning over the past five years — our new mission, vision, values, definition of equity, theories of change, and new equity framework, our challenges and discomfort — have led us to this moment and how we live in it now.
With that in mind, today we share with you how we are responding in the initial relief and response phase of the COVID-19 public health crisis, as well as our plans towards shaping an equitable recovery and closing the widening gap of social disparities that this pandemic has shined a glaring light on.
These are the immediate actions Dodge has taken:
We made $3 million in grants to support the non-profit sector and our grantee partners in our arts, education, environment, informed communities, and other program areas. The majority of these grantees were part of our regular March grants cycle, and we also made grants to organizations in later grant cycles, prioritizing those working with and serving people and communities of color, who are often at a disadvantage due to historical, institutional, and structural impediments that may be exacerbated because of COVID-19. We allocated $1 million in COVID-19 response grants using funds from our administrative, operating, and unallocated grants budgets to invest in COVID-19-specific pooled funds and to make rapid-response grants to our most vulnerable grantee partners and to membership, network, and advocacy organizations.
We signed a pledge of action alongside other funders and the Council on Foundations to act with “fierce urgency to support our nonprofit partners as well as the people and communities hit hardest by the impacts of COVID-19.” Many of the commitments reflect our values and processes as a foundation, such as providing flexible general operating support and streamlining our application and reporting processes.
We are providing added capacity support to our grantee partners from our Technical Assistance faculty members, including free virtual clinics and just-in-time consulting to help nonprofits apply for federal and state programs, including Small Business Administration loans. Check out our COVID-19 nonprofit resources page on our website for helpful information and opportunities.