GIVING WoMN Emergency COVID-19 Response Fund

COVID-19 Response Fund Update

$10,000 Raised for COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

A huge thank you to the generous members who graciously gave during extraordinary times!

We raised an incredible $10,000 of extra support to be split among two grant recipients serving some of the greatest needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. This was accomplished with the participation of just over 20% of our membership and a board approved transfer from the administrative fund of $50 to round up to the $10,000.

The Task Force chose to support Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly and The Sheridan Story.

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (2019 grantee) was chosen because of their mission to serve the most vulnerable population in this pandemic, the elderly, who are often dealing with isolation and loneliness on top of the anxiety that all of us feel due to the pandemic. www.littlebrothersmn.org

The Sheridan Story (2017 grantee) was chosen because they are providing the most essential human need: food. They are working with 31 school districts that have 87,000 kids on the free/reduced lunch program. With schools closed, tens of thousands of children are experiencing food insecurity. The Sheridan Story is taking food into the communities where these children live. www.thesheridanstory.org

Both organizations will receive the $5,000 during the month of June.

COVID-19 Response Fund Project Approved

Due to the extraordinary circumstances presented by COVID-19, the Board of Directors directed a COVID-19 Funding Task Force to examine how GIVING WoMN members might provide more funding to its past grantees in this great time of need.

The Task Force recommended the following to the Board:

To establish a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to respond to unanticipated emergencies now and in the future with funding that is outside of our normal grants process.

In order to carry this out, the Board approved an amendment to the Bylaws so that emergency funds can be solicited from members. It reads, “In the event of any extraordinary circumstance contributions, the Organization will fully disburse these funds within the calendar year received to grantees who meet our giving criteria by Board vote in lieu of an entire membership vote.”

The Task Force and Board feel that this additional funding to grantees is important:

  • To be present to our community’s needs at this moment in time
  • To serve as an active participant in response and recovery
  • To harness the power of the collective to exponentially increase the impact we can do individually

The Task Force decided to focus on past grantees that have smaller budgets and that provide service in one of two categories: serving seniors and food insecurity. The funds were unrestricted, to be used however the organization saw fit.

Organizations with small budgets are least likely to be able to weather any loss in fundraising due to fewer funding sources. Most non-profits have three months or less in cash reserves. We know that non-profits now have lost almost all sources of income through fundraisers and events overnight, and they are not being replaced. Should these organizations shrink or fail, their employees will lose their jobs and will be forced to rely on an already very overtaxed system for their own survival, in addition to the loss of the direct service they provide.

All donations of any amount were collected by our fiscal agent, Minnesota and Saint Paul Foundation, and divided equally between these two organizations. Funds were distributed in late May, 2020.

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