On behalf of everyone at the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation, including our Trustees and remote staff, thank you for the important work you do each and every day.
Caring for Our Communities
In response to the urgent needs in our 8 funding communities, the Trustees approved an immediate COVID-19 response that will direct $1 million to the following rapid response funds:
Anne Arundel County & Baltimore City, Maryland
- United Way of Central Maryland: COVID-19 Community Fund | $92,500
- The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County: The Community Crisis Response Fund | $25,000
- Anne Arundel Medical Center: COVID-19 Community Response Fund | $40,000
- Anne Arundel Community College Foundation Helplink Fund | $10,000
Big Island, HI
- Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund | $50,000
- University Hospitals COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund | $117,500 to support the UH COVID-19 Community Response Fund and UH COVID-19 Caregiver Support Fund
New York, NY
- NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund | $132,500
- Arab-American Family Support Center for COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund | $20,000
- Jewish Board COVID-19 Relief Fund | $15,000
- Heart of Florida United Way | $40,000
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida | $30,000
- Homeless Services Network of Central Florida | $12,500
- Greater Washington Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund | $117,500
- DC Education Equity Fund | $50,000
Due to our large grantmaking footprint, we’re admittedly unable to support all funding requests at this time. However, we will continue to stay closely connected to the emerging efforts taken by our community partners, so that our philanthropic activity can efficiently and quickly direct resources to the most vulnerable.
What We’ve Heard from Our Partners
We have been amazed by the resilience, creativity, and compassion of our partners.
- Approximately 30% of our partners cancelled or postponed their annual fundraisers/galas, which (for many) meant the loss of the only flexible, unrestricted dollars anticipated for the year.
- Most of our partners have moved their programming and services online (as much as possible). Health care, behavioral health, case management, family coaching, home visiting, legal service, educational programs for kids and adults, and even hearing aid fittings for babies are now all offered through Zoom, Facebook Live, Facetime, and any other social distancing method that will meet families where they are in terms of their technology access.
- Some of our partners have had to pause services, while scrambling to supply case managers, teachers, and coaches with the appropriate technology to conduct their activities.
- We heard from the health clinics, homeless shelters and other similar housing programs, outreach teams, and pre-natal support givers who are unable to transition their services to a virtual world and continue to work with vulnerable families every day.
- We continue to see that families and communities of color are disproportionately impacted, further accelerating the wealth and disparity gaps that existed pre-pandemic, which places enormous stress on our safety net providers and larger systems.
- With each unique story, courageous leadership and a strong commitment to supporting families was ever-present.
How We’re Extending Flexibility
While we recognize that these are challenging times for everyone, we’ve made a few changes to our grantmaking processes:
- Relaxed Restrictions: Our 2019 grantee partners were notified that they can flex current grant dollars to best meet their needs. For example, if they received a program or capacity building grant in 2019, they may use those grant funds for any needs, without asking our staff for permission.
- Adjusted Timelines: Two months ahead of schedule, we expedited our first Responsive Grantmaking cycle in 2020 and approved $1.1M in general operating grants to 34 nonprofit organizations.
Resources & Perspectives
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been heartened that many organizations have shared resources and perspectives. Here are a few that we’ve bookmarked:
- CARES Act: How to Apply for Nonprofit Relief Funds (Independent Sector’s Resource List)
- Paycheck Protection Program Toolbox (FMA’s Resources and Free Clinics for Nonprofits)
- COVID-19 Resource Page (National Council of Nonprofits’ Resource List)
- Managing Through Tough Times (The Bridgespan Group’s Resource list)
- Technology resources for nonprofits (TechSoup’s Resource list)
- COVID-19 Tools & Resources for Nonprofits (Nonprofit Finance Fund)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ascend’s 2Gen COVID-19 Response Webinar Series shines a light on how to make more permanent changes to improve outcomes for families.
Our Commitment to Serving Families Remains Unchanged
The key message we want to convey right now is that we’ll continue to uphold our long-standing commitment to strengthen families and improve communities in which O’Neill family members live.
We hope you and your families stay safe and healthy.