How 10 Nonprofits Are Creatively Supporting Our Communities During COVID-19
Working in client success, I get to work closely with our nonprofit clients and specifically I have been connecting with them over the last couple of weeks to see how we can help during the current public health crisis. As a former nonprofit professional, I recognize the many challenges and obstacles that organizations face, but there are times, like right now when I’m in awe of their work and resilience.
COVID-19 has caused us all to make shifts, and in particular, it has pushed many nonprofits to shift operations and priorities to best serve those most affected by the crisis. All of our clients are shifting, adjusting, and working hard to support their missions and communities, but I want to highlight just a few of the amazing things our clients are doing to support our communities during this time.
James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation is a leader in the culinary world, and they continue to demonstrate that by stepping up to help those in the food and beverage industry get through this pandemic. They know that many individuals in their industry are going to be heavily affected by the situation. To help financially support independent culinary businesses, they have launched The Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund that will provide micro-grants to businesses in need. Along with financial support, they created a hub of resources for folks who work in food and beverage.
No Kid Hungry/Share our Strength
As you may know already, many children are missing meals due to school closures. No Kid Hungry is playing a major role in filling that gap. Due to this real and critical need, No Kid Hungry has received a surge of donations from celebrities, corporations, and many individuals. They are making sure those funds are being distributed to communities in need across the country. Along with the support they’re providing, they are also working with lawmakers at all levels to ensure low-income families are being helped through aid and stimulus packages.
FoodCorps' mission is to serve healthy food to children in school, but since many schools are closed because of COVID-19, they are focusing on helping with things like emergency food relief and food distribution. They are doing all that they can to support staff and service members who are directly working in communities across the country. FoodCorps also recognizes the structural inequality the pandemic has shined a light on and they’re advocating at the federal level to ensure families continue to have access to school meals and SNAP benefits. Along with the work they are doing at the ground level, they compiled resources for educators, school nutrition professionals, families, and community members.
World Food Program
The World Food Program (WFP) is a leader in the fight against global hunger. COVID-19 has added new challenges to accomplish their mission, but they are ramping up their efforts to help fight the crisis. In their statement regarding COVID-19, they outlined three ways they plan to help. They’re going to scale their response by buying more food and placing it in strategic locations, and increase staff to support the effort. WFP is skilled in building infrastructure that provides assistance in many areas around the world, and they’re sharing that expertise to help global organizations, like the World Health Organization, handle the pandemic. They’ll be advising and supporting governments in supply chain management to maintain humanitarian access. Even with these new measures, WFP is still fully maintaining operations in places that were in critical need of their services before the start of the pandemic.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) advocates and provides resources for domestic workers, and they recognize that many domestic workers’ jobs are directly affected by the virus. Currently, they’re helping the workers they serve in a few ways. They set up the Coronavirus Care Fund to provide $400 in emergency assistance to qualifying domestic workers whose finances are being affected by the pandemic. On their website, they also create a COVID-19 resource page for domestic workers. NDWA is also advocating at the federal level to ensure all taxpaying workers regardless of immigration status receive financial assistance. They’re making sure the voices of domestic workers are heard.
Brennan Center for Justice
The Brennan Center for Justice is an independent, nonpartisan, law and policy organization. Currently, they’re monitoring and analyzing the effects that COVID-19 is having on U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers and the 2020 election. They are also aggressively advocating for congress to ensure that emergency powers are not abused and to stop overreach when it’s not necessary.
Mercer Street Friends
Mercer Street Friends provides assistance and resources to help children and families of Mercer County, NJ, overcome poverty. They’re currently focusing on providing food for families during the outbreak. Staff members are working shifts to fulfill immediate food pantry needs and are continuing to reach out to food suppliers to prepare and purchase more food to prevent supplies from running low. Their weekend Send Hunger Packing Program is also being expanded to feed a family of four instead of one child. Along with other organizations, they are also advocating for increased SNAP benefits to ensure families have the food they need.
BOKS is a global physical activity initiative that encourages children to be active and promote physical and mental health. While schools are closed and children are indoors, BOKS is sharing as many resources as possible to help families stay active at home. They are leading Facebook Live workouts, sharing an at-home activity pack, and providing other resources to help families stay active and happy while indoors.
Child Care Aware of Washington
Child Care Aware of Washington is making sure that they can help families find quality child care during a time when many child care facilities are now closed due to COVID-19. They are tracking both provider closures and openings to give accurate referrals to families seeking care. Their Family Center continues to stay fully operational to keep the most updated information to fulfill families' child care needs in Washington.
Fund for Public Health NYC
Long before the COVID-19 outbreak, Fund for Public Health NYC (FPHNY) established an Epidemic Fund for these kinds of moments. All the money raised for the fund is currently being used to help fight the crisis in many ways. Funds go towards expanding mental health resources, supporting infrastructure, maintaining communications, and helping the most vulnerable New Yorkers. FPHNY is leveraging their 20 years of experience maintaining and managing emergency funding to help the local health department make sure New Yorkers get the help and resources they need.
I hope you find the work of our clients as inspiring as I did. The team here at Idealist Consulting also created a resource for nonprofits during COVID-19 that is updated weekly. If you have any resource you would like to add to that list or want to tell us how your organization is helping during these times let us know on Twitter.
And if your organization is like the ones mentioned above and you need help optimizing Salesforce to advance your mission, contact us.