A number of corporations have stepped up efforts greatly throughout this pandemic, at a time where many aspects of life are under threat globally.
The world has been greatly affected by the menace of COVID-19, and it is of the utmost importance that access to materials, testing and equipment are readily available for healthcare professionals.
Things have changed rapidly, but in an ideal world the forced turnaround would also see a number of promising elements about why this would have been necessary.
A reduction in application requirements, to push things forward
This is a notable field where philanthropy can continually aid those in need. The reduction in requirements for online applications means that the process is now faster and more streamlined to progress in the right way.
The crisis is having an enormous effect on the side-lined communities and those people who are already living life on the margins. That’s why these organisations have such a huge role to play, in order to provide more equity and focus on decision making in this manner.
Ranging from the small, localised offices to the large global corporations, the approach to how help can be given would still have similarities across the board.
Cutting back on restrictions and this equivalent of a ‘redtape’ styled scenario is definitely one step in the right direction.
A way to access relevant information on time
With things being as they are, it is necessary to be open to new ideas and thoughts regarding how various foundations can benefit, rather than suffer, under new conditions. It is important for these corporations and non-profit companies to have direct conversations regarding risk management, and factors such as how business is usually conducted.
The changes that will most likely need to be made are one thing, though adapting them for the future at a manageable level is also crucial.
There has to be a balance when discussing equity, and in protecting these communities.
Accessing the relevant information that is collected by foundations is as important as being open to these new ideas, anything that can benefit those in need being a priority here.
The ultimate goal is to support campaigns that show so much resolve and courage in protecting those who need it most at all times.
What can foundations do to further aid the plight of those in need?
Certainly by loosening, or indeed by disposing of, many restrictions can corporations make some form of a difference. Changing and converting support levels, not being as strict where accountability is concerned, and being aware when it comes to event cancellations too.
The new grants would ideally be as flexible as possible, certainly within reason to benefit the crisis response. Many companies have also relaxed what they ask for in their list of requirements, delaying reports and visits to sites, as well as different demands which would usually be more forthcoming.
Submit has seen the rise of community-based funding in response to the crisis, and the communication has been more proactive with members being able to work from home and if anything, being more available.
Some notable examples include the San Francisco homeless community organisation, intent on listening to their partners and using these experiences to voice decision making. The feedback they get advises a lot of the plans in the company in terms of planning resolutions successfully.
Effective partnerships such as this often adapt and adjust, making their support more stable and fluid, and this ensures the practice is more effective. The organisation has been successful in streamlining their approach, and has continuously helped the homeless community as a result.
This is one example that should encourage other foundations and philanthropic organizations to follow on with, in terms of making rapid progress.
Helping with a shared sense of community, ensuring racial equity and inclusion
All companies should also be encouraged to share information where possible, such as survey results, or those in relation to funding and technology. Adapting to questions on matters of technical development or direct aid would also be beneficial, and a level of cooperation would hopefully be possible here too.
Very prevalent in today’s society is the topic of racial equity and inclusion, and many communities that have been greatly affected by the issues it could usually expect to face along with the pandemic itself.
Philanthropy by its nature also encourages to change the ways in which worker support is addressed. Among the main concerns for the underprivileged, along with housing and food security, is how to address this subject of racial bias. Foundations which make this one of their main priorities, such as the Jewish Family Services (mentioned in the case study below) and the previously mentioned San Francisco homeless foundation, are great examples of companies which do not leave the disadvantaged behind.
They also encourage donor-serving organizations to sign up and plan for the ways in which the virus may deteriorate the already existing injustices.
The ‘Bill and Melinda Gates foundation’ is also an example of a world-renowned organisation which
has a very experienced approach to infectious diseases from their history of working in Africa. They
have recollected in medical journals as to how governments and donors can work together more
closely, to share and understand perspectives and what can be done.
For the Philanthropic organisations ready to make the change now, what actions can be taken?
The first steps as mentioned throughout this piece are for arranging the relevant resources to address the basic health and human services in need. Economic needs are also essential for the disproportionately impacted individuals and communities.
The community foundations can therefore mobilise those resources to establish regional funds, which can be used to address these needs to the most vulnerable groups.
What could be beneficial to go along with that is in providing a detailed plan of action, available for all to see in a digital forum, with a breakdown of what would be desirable goals. Both long-term and short-term alike, these would help in identifying target beneficiaries, the structure of funds and overall strategy.
The grantee partners would be supported as they promote vital planning changes in continuing to fight the pandemic and deliver upon the emergency response required.
These are just a couple of examples of the ways in which established funds have, and could continue to, help regions around the world respond to the crisis.
Transparency is effective for the foundations that have been able to demonstrate their direct responses in all of these situations. The pandemic itself has compelled planners to go digital in a much more expansive way than would ever have been planned to begin with. This in turn is helping to show a focus on the digital chasm between larger, well rounded operations and the patchier local non-profit organisations.
The question for future Philanthropic companies would be, which side of the scale would they see themselves on?
How to adapt to a range of crises; case study
Jill Gavin, a non-profit consultant from ‘Jewish Families Services’ 1 based in New York, has a few examples of the manner in which their company and clients within have adapted.
‘The refugees resettlement department is on call constantly, as many of the newly arrived refugees we resettled didn’t have a chance to really get their feet under them before this (situation) occurred.
Beyond not yet being connected to government services, they also don’t speak the language or know the city. So, our team is pretty much at their beck and all.’
The Jewish family service is not as reliant on donor dollars as many other non-profits tend to be, and members of their technological, financial and clinical staff have been able to work continuously from the office. As a mental health clinic by nature, they would be considered an ‘essential service.’
Jill also describes how it’s challenging to try planning their September programs; ‘As we’re not really sure what the world is going to look like, to have to get creative to meet our grant targets when we can no longer reach and serve people in the way we used to’.
The hurdles are notable, but by being prepared and resolute with a similar attitude, it is a situation which can be tackled.
It is more essential than ever that these organisations have a constant stream of web-based content working clearly, and staff being supportive. Submit continuously aids companies by responding to this need to adapt, and in helping to make messaging more flexible by implementing our grant management systems.