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Philanthropist organizations create NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to support nonprofits

Photo via Getty Images

BY BETH DEDMAN

Several philanthropist organizations joined together to create the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, which will provide $75 million in grants and loans to New York City-based social services and cultural organizations to support them in the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund will provide grants and interest-free loans to small and mid-size nonprofits to help them respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations and help them continue their work. 

To qualify for the fund, an organization must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in New York City, a recipient of New York City or New York State government funding, have an annual operating budget of up to $20 million excluding government contracts and must have a track record of outstanding services for New York residents.

“The coronavirus pandemic threatens to cripple New York City’s nonprofit organizations and the vitally important services they provide,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “This joint initiative with so many incredible philanthropic partners will help ensure that many of our city’s nonprofits can withstand this crisis and continue to serve all New Yorkers.”

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund will be administered by the New York Community Trust. Among social services groups, priority will be given to direct service providers, such as those supporting essential healthcare and food insecurity. The fund will provide support to smaller organizations that work in their communities artistically and culturally.

“This is an unprecedented situation, but the philanthropic community has had experience joining together to respond,” said Lorie Slutsky, President of The New York Community Trust. “The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund will provide critical funding to shore up the safety net provided by nonprofits across the city as they struggle to keep up with the increased demand for their services. We hope everyone who is passionate about our city and its people will join us.”

The fund is meant to meet needs of nonprofits, including money to support emergency needs for service offerings outside normal operations required with social distancing, technology to support remote work and services, temporary staff support to cover for shortages, support for loss of operational revenue, equipment and supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and cleaning supplies, as well as additional cleaning services.

“We are grateful that once again the New York philanthropic community has come together to do its best in response to a catastrophe,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “The coronavirus pandemic is disruptive to our entire society, especially to our children, with the potential for lasting setbacks in their development. The Corporation is pleased to join peer institutions in assisting the City of New York with its many urgent needs, including services for the public school system.”

An advisory committee of leaders in public health, community development, and the arts will help guide the efforts of the fund. The New York Community Trust will continue to accrue donations from foundations, corporate partners and individuals. Nonprofit Finance Fund, a nonprofit lender and consultant, will administer the loans for the nonprofits and offer implementation support to the organizations. 

“We at the Mellon Foundation recognize the arts and humanities’ unique power to cultivate hope in the midst of challenges and uncertainty,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation, whose commitment will go to support arts organizations. “As artists and cultural institutions adjust to new fiscal realities, we call on funders, businesses, and individuals to join us in supporting the arts and the strength, inspiration, and perspective they bring—in New York City and around the world.”

Contributors to the fund include Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Joan Ganz Cooney & Holly Peterson Fund, Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, The JPB Foundation, The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Robin Hood, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Laurie M Tisch Illumination Fund, UJA-Federation of New York and Wells Fargo Foundation.

Applications for assistance from the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund are available here.

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