Organizations Are Leading Through Disruption to Deliver Services
For-profit business owners and workers aren’t the only segments of the U.S. population struggling to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. In the past three months, nonprofits have been at the epicenter of unprecedented crisis, straining to provide increased services and adapt to a “new normal” while also coping with the loss of funding due to cancelled fundraisers and shrinking donor contributions.
Invest in Others (IiO) is proud to support the critical work these nonprofits are doing to serve our most vulnerable communities. Through our “Grants for Good” program, we offer financial advisors the opportunity to apply for funding on behalf of nonprofits they’re involved with. While we typically award grants to four organizations each spring, we were fortunate to be able to double our grant funding to provide emergency donations to eight charities affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
From Hawaii to Massachusetts, grant recipients provide support to a wide swath of the country, focusing on a range of causes, from military families to children diagnosed with cancer to domestic violence victims and their children.
“During the best of times, charitable organizations have to fight hard for every dollar of funding,” said Invest in Others Chairman Mark Goldberg. “Today we are facing a health crisis which precipitated an economic one. In this critical moment, Invest in Others has answered the call to support the charities that are making a difference during this difficult time.”
Of the eight winners, four organizations plan to use the grants to fund special projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which range from PPE and cleaning supplies to technology upgrades to deliver services online. The other four organizations will use the funding to expand their operations to meet increased demand from underserved populations.
The Interfaith Health Clinic, which provides year-round health care to the low-income, working uninsured in Knoxville, Tenn., is acting quickly to offer telemedicine to its patients, many of whom are at-risk of complications from COVID-19 due to pre-existing conditions. Though the investment in hardware and software for telemedicine is substantial, the Clinic will be able to activate its vast volunteer network of medical professionals to provide safe care to more than 8,000 patients while limiting the risk of exposure to the virus.
In Massachusetts, Cape Kid Meals, an organization that provides weekend meals to school-age children across the Cape who might otherwise go hungry, has had to shift its distribution model in the wake of school closures while also extending its services into the summer to further support at-risk children and families.
“The Invest in Others grant will help Cape Kid Meals continue to support the children served by our program and assist us in our expansion efforts to provide meals over the summer,” said financial advisor Bill Scotti, who supports Cape Kid Meals and applied for the grant.
Because of the highly infectious nature of COVID-19, many charities are undertaking expensive programs to clean and sanitize their facilities. The Armed Services YMCA Honolulu is investing in a $30,000 program to provide essential sanitation measures—including portable hand-washing stations, hand-sanitizer stations, touchless thermometers and sanitizing floormats—to its six early childhood education facilities and two children’s waiting rooms in Oahu.
“As we move forward with reopening our programs and managing COVID-19, Invest in Others’ generous investment will allow Armed Services YMCA Hawaii to protect our program participants,” said Armed Services YMCA Executive Director Laurie Moore. “We’re all in this together, and with your help, we are doing all we can to keep our military and their families safe and healthy. We feel an incredible sense of duty—we don’t just owe it to them; we owe it to our nation.”
While many organizations are creating new programs to serve communities in the “new normal,” The One, Inc., in Little Rock, Ark., which provides food and other services to the homeless population living in Central Arkansas, plans to use the funding to support its existing programs and efforts, which have been stretched thin by the pandemic. With many shelters closed or capacity limited, The One has seen homeless encampments in the region swell to unprecedented levels.
“This will allow us to continue our nightly outreach to the unsheltered Arkansans whose struggle has been made more difficult by the reduction in standard and traditional services,” said Lindsay Carter, a financial advisor who applied for the grant. “This will ensure that our operations are both uninterrupted and able to survive whatever the remainder of 2020 holds.”
Like homelessness, incidents of domestic violence are also on the rise. Emily’s Place, in Plano, Texas, an organization that provides up to two years of housing and services to victims of domestic violence and their children, said it is expects to see a 70% shortfall in its budget with the loss of its three annual fundraisers. With the $5,000 grant from IiO, Emily’s Place can serve an additional 120 people.
“This grant is very humbling to receive as we have faced some extra pressure on our families as well as our staff,” said Mark Hagan, a financial advisor who applied for the grant on behalf of Emily’s Place. “Our families are stronger as a result of the gift and, because of your help, we have had a seamless delivery of our program. Thank you for deeming our work worth your investment!”
“During these unprecedented times, I’m reminded of an anecdote Mr. Rogers once shared: ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” said Megan McAuley, Executive Director & President of Invest in Others. “This is most certainly true of countless nonprofits and volunteers who have stepped up to help however they can. We are thrilled to be able to support their efforts to meet the growing needs in our communities.”
Click here to learn more about all of our grant recipients.