NEW YORK — The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund in the New York Community Trust today announced that 276 New York City-based social services and arts and cultural nonprofits affected by the coronavirus public health crisis have received support to date. These mainly small and midsize nonprofits are receiving grants and interest-free loans totaling $44 million, with additional funding being issued to more organizations over the coming weeks. The support—which currently ranges from $8,000 to $250,000 per grant and from $100,000 to $3 million per loan—is to help these vital community organizations across New York’s five boroughs with the continuity of their daily operations and to help offset the lost revenue that has diminished their ability to pay rent, make payroll, and fulfill their public service missions.
A full list of the initial organizations receiving assistance through the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund is here.
The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was launched on March 20 with 18 lead funders that contributed a total of $75 million. Over the past weeks, the fund has grown to over $95 million thanks to the contributions of 500 foundations, corporations, and individuals, including over 20 donors of $1 million or more. The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund is administered by the New York Community Trust (The Trust) with an advisory committee of leaders in public health, community development, and the arts helping guide their efforts. The Trust is overseeing the grants and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is administering the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund interest-free loans, as well as providing additional resources to organizations receiving loans through this initiative.
“The response of the philanthropic community and the city’s nonprofits during this dark time represents New York at its very best,” said Lorie Slutsky, president of the New York Community Trust. “Nonprofits have stepped forward to serve, while New Yorkers across the city are now rallying to back them up in the face of this unprecedented crisis. Nonprofits are asking for help to maintain contact with clients and audiences by moving online, and to meet expenses, including salaries, in the face of huge financial losses. We are pleased to give that help.”
“Particularly for small organizations and those led by and serving people of color—who may face disadvantages accessing other resources—these grants and loans are critical to helping nonprofits survive and continue to serve our communities,” said Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of NFF. “We’re thankful for the support of so many funders and hope more will join us to help meet the demand.”
To date, 276 nonprofits are receiving assistance through the fund. $26,180,000 is going to human services organizations and $17,909,530 to arts and cultural organizations, inclusive of $10.3 million in approved loans to be closed shortly. In human services, priority has been given to direct service providers, such as those supporting essential healthcare, housing, and food insecurity. In the arts and cultural sector, the fund is providing support to organizations that are community anchors, providing employment as well as creative content and enrichment for young people, adults, and families. Grant and loan committees are approving additional awards on a fast, rolling basis to meet significant demand.
“We serve thousands of New Yorkers in Brooklyn and the Bronx who are impacted by HIV/AIDS, mental health issues, substance abuse, and homelessness. We provide a trauma-informed gathering space for health and support services, prevention services, and housing support to some of the city’s most vulnerable communities,” said Nadine Akinyemi, executive director of Bridging Access to Care. “Many clients do not have access to phones, internet, or other digital ways to stay connected and get the treatment they need. We have to find new ways to reach them and help them navigate the system in the context of this virus. If we are uprooted, our clients will be uprooted—this would create an additional public health crisis. That’s why our work is more important now than ever—and this will support will help us.”
“Our organization serves more than 700 students in the Bronx, providing both free and affordable arts education in music, dance, drama, and more,” said Madaha Kinsey-Lamb, president and founder of Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center. “This pandemic shines a light on how racial disparities and inequities of opportunity, education, employment, housing, and health eventually affect us all as New Yorkers and global citizens. The COVID-19 impact funding has been so critical for us. We have been able to provide free remote classes for the hundreds of students who are now out of school and looking to continue the growth of their creativity and talent. Donations from New Yorkers and this group will help us keep our amazing staff employed, it will help us adapt so we can reach our students and keep our facility safe.”
“Only two weeks after the disruption to our operations caused by the global pandemic, the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund made a loan commitment that allowed us to confidently move forward with our work serving low income communities in New York City,” said Alexa Sewell, president of Settlement Housing Fund. “This philanthropic response was crucial to our ability to continue the frontline services we deliver today, and to our long-term financial health. We know that the communities and families we serve are disproportionately impacted by this crisis and are grateful for the unwavering support of the philanthropic community.”
The founding members of the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund include Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Joan Ganz Cooney & Holly Peterson Fund, the 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, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Robin Hood, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, UJA-Federation of New York, and Wells Fargo. A full updated list of the major contributors to the fund can be found here.
“New York City’s social service and arts organizations perform critically important work that is urgently needed right now—and that’s why we launched the Response & Impact Fund together with some of our strong philanthropic partners,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP, three-term mayor of New York City. “Bloomberg Philanthropies is supporting the fund to ensure that organizations that mean so much to our city can continue to operate and help people through this crisis.”
“Trinity Church Wall Street is pleased to support the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund in its efforts to help the many organizations providing critical services to New Yorkers in need,” said the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, priest-in-charge and vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street. “During this crisis, it’s crucial to support the most vulnerable in our community, who are suffering most from the health and economic impacts of the virus. The city’s local nonprofits are uniquely positioned to help but need the funding and assistance that the Response & Impact Fund can provide.”
“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to join together with other funders to support the critical work of New York’s nonprofit sector which addresses the needs of millions of New Yorkers every day,” said Jonathan Soros.
“Without fanfare or limelight, New Yorkers are banding together to make the city safer, keep essential services intact, and build the foundations for resilience and the eventual recovery of vital sectors,” said Deborah T. Velaquez, president of the Altman Foundation. “As foundations formed for the public good, we follow their example when we push our institutions to be bolder, creative problem-solvers and come together in joint efforts such the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. We hope that more donors will consider both grant support and program-related investments in the loan fund.”
This initiative is providing grants and no-interest loans for needs including:
- Unrestricted, flexible funding to support new and emergency needs and meet community demands, particularly for service offerings outside normal operations required to respond to social distancing, isolation, and quarantine.
- Technology to support remote work and services—laptops and remote calling capacity (e.g., Zoom) for staff, securing staffing, and training to fulfill their mission.
- Temporary staff support to cover for shortages caused by employees who are ill or may have to quarantine or stay home to care for family members or children during school closures.
- Equipment and supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and cleaning supplies.
- Additional cleaning services to augment in-house operations.
- Support to aid the loss of operational revenue from facility closings, cancelled programs, events, and other disruptions.
To be eligible, an organization must meet the following criteria:
- 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
- Based in New York City
- Recipient of New York City and/or New York State government funding
- No more than $20 million of annual nongovernmental revenue
- Track record of robust programming and services for New York residents
Interested donors and organizations can get more information here.
The Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
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