TTCF’s Nonprofit Response Framework – June 25, 2020
The Emergency Response Fund was established to “support our region’s nonprofit organizations as they respond to the spread of COVID-19.” TTCF has distributed more than $475,000 to our front-line safety-net organizations in two separate rounds of grants, based on an ever-evolving Community Response Framework. Areas of impact have focused on food security, housing, community, and mental health. In our third round of funding, TTCF recognizes the urgent need to support the core operations of the nonprofits that play a vital role in our community. TTCF has designed the following framework based on extensive input from our nonprofits, financial data, and scan of community needs.
Elder Missions: Long-standing established organizations of our nonprofit community have been funded by TTCF for years and have served our community well. These “elder” organizations have stood the test of time and have been selected by TTCF community-based grant-making committees of varying individuals. Their missions fill gaps in services, provide for our quality of life or offer unique cultural experiences that generations of our community have supported. They represent years of community leadership, strategy, and funding.
Structural Partnerships: In addition, there are key nonprofits that represent structural partnerships. These are organizations that are integral in collaborative networks formed to serve greater community outcomes, greater than their individual nonprofit missions. If we lose one of these organizations, the void will have a ripple effect with implications to other community organizations and goals.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) Programming: As a community foundation, we acknowledge our responsibility to ensure that the full extent of our resources, including programming, grantmaking, and scholarships, furthers equity, diversity, and inclusiveness in our community. Nonprofit organizations, especially those with a social justice mission or programming have an important role to play in that objective. Supporting social equity will continue to be an extremely high and explicit priority.
Advancing Community Benefit during COVID-19: Some nonprofits have been able to carry forward their mission and provide community benefit, in creative ways. These types of innovative efforts will be important to serve our community as it grapples with the long-term impacts of this crisis. TTCF intends to recognize and track these efforts as they represent new ways of engaging and building community.
Areas of Impact:
Arts and Culture: Our nonprofits in the arts and culture sector are some of the hardest hit. With performances canceled and physical operations shut down, for many, their future is unknown. Often these programs are the first to lose funding and last to regain it. Even so, they continue striving to make opportunities for participation in the arts available, like outdoor socially distanced dance classes, take-home art project packets, art contests, and musical collaborations, all at a time when creative outlets are so very necessary to our community’s well being.
Education and Youth Development: Most funding for education and youth development programming is connected to partnerships with the school district. It is unknown what the 20/21 school year will look like, or if those programs will continue. Many have moved to virtual programming, but see it as temporary to stay connected to youth and continue to deliver the mission. These organizations are collaborating to provide virtual resources to teachers, students, and families and have even seen an increase in those served by going to a virtual platform. While these resources have been embraced, none of the activities drive much-needed revenue, and for many, the long-term impact on their mission is tied to school financing based on State budgets. Summer programming has either been canceled or extremely modified.
Environmental: Many of our environmental organizations are moving forward with conservation and preservation projects that have pre-committed funding in place. They are now having to work through logistical challenges to keep their teams healthy and safe. Organizations are working with leaner teams and fewer volunteers. Many in-person fundraising activities have been canceled. Many have expressed concern about next year with state and federal funding unknown.
Health and Human Services: We have worked hard to stay closely connected to our nonprofits since the outbreak of COVID-19. Our first two rounds of funding were based on a Community Response Framework addressing specific health and human service needs. Our concerns at this time still reflect our May 13th Framework, which includes food accessibility, mental well-being, plus an increased need for rental assistance. In addition, there is heightened concern for the mental health and well-being of these front-line workers who might need additional support to tend to their work-force and ensure they can stay strong as the need continues to scale and uncertainty remains.