A growing number of foundations have signed on to a pledge to provide their grantees with flexibility as they respond to this crisis. Signatories agree to a a set of commitments including:
- Loosen or eliminate the restrictions on current grants, such as converting project-based grants to unrestricted support; accelerating payment schedules; and not holding grantees responsible if conferences, events, and other project deliverables must be postponed or canceled.
- Make new grants as unrestricted as possible, so nonprofit partners have maximum flexibility to respond to this crisis.
- Reduce requirements and expectations of nonprofit partners, such as postponing reporting requirements, site visits, and other demands on their time.
- Learn from these emergency practices and share what they teach the foundations about effective partnership and philanthropic support, so they may consider adjusting practices more fundamentally in the future, in more stable times, based on what is learned.
Asking current funders—such as foundations, other philanthropists, and corporate giving programs—for increased flexibility within existing grants may help you continue to develop innovative approaches to advancing your mission during this critical time for your community. If you are considering asking for emergency support from these sources, keep in mind that many philanthropic funders and corporations have been hit hard by market declines. Please feel free to use the templates and messages that we have developed for elected officials to help make the case to funders for additional support.
Several lists of COVID-19 relief funds are also being developed, including:
- Coronavirus and COVID-19 Funds compiled by Giving Compass and National Center for Family Philanthropy
- Community Foundations Offering COVID-19 Relief Efforts from Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative
- COVID-19 Foundation Response Funds compiled by Council on Foundations
- Help for Nonprofits During the Coronavirus and Uncertain Economic Times from the Chronicle of Philanthropy
If there are resources that would be helpful with current or new funders, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how we can help.
For those who will be engaging in fundraising to help weather the current crisis, the CARES Act includes a provision that allows a partial “above the line” deduction for charitable contributions. This means that individuals will be able to deduct charitable cash contributions up to $300 even if they do not itemize deductions on their federal taxes.
For those who do itemize, there is also a temporary suspension of the limitations on charitable contributions. During 2020, individuals will no longer be limited to 60 percent of adjusted gross income as a deduction. For corporations, the present 10 percent limitation will be increased to 25 percent of taxable income.
Several ongoing advocacy efforts are seeking to raise those caps and extend the provisions of the CARES Act. See the COVID-19 Advocacy Toolkit for additional information.