Eighteen New York City-based philanthropies have announced the launch of a $75 million fund aimed at supporting local nonprofit organizations affected by the coronavirus public health crisis.
To be administered by the New York Community Trust, the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund will award grants and interest-free loans to help small and midsize nonprofits respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations, and continue their critical work. Priority will be given to direct service providers working to help vulnerable New Yorkers with basic needs as well as community-focused arts and cultural organizations. New York City-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits with annual budgets of up to $20 million and a track record of robust programming and services that have received New York State or city funding are eligible to apply for unrestricted funding to expand their services or cover the loss of operational revenue from facility closings, cancelled programs, and events. Funds awarded through the fund also can be used to pay for technology needed for remote work and services; the hiring of temporary staff to address staff shortages caused by school closures or shelter-in-place orders; and additional cleaning equipment, supplies, and services.
According to NYCT, while nonprofits are working to respond to the immediate needs of vulnerable populations, too many are facing revenue losses that will compromise their ability to pay rent, make payroll, and fulfill their missions. Most of the organizations facing business interruption are unlikely to collect insurance that would be available in the wake of other types of disasters.
In addition to NYCT, founding funders of the fund include Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Joan Ganz Cooney & Holly Peterson Fund, the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, Robin Hood, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the UJA-Federation of New York, and the Doris Duke Charitable, Ford, JPB, Estée Lauder Companies Charitable, Andrew W. Mellon, Charles H. Revson, and Wells Fargo foundations, as well as Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros and Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović. The Nonprofit Finance Fund will administer loans awarded by the fund and will provide implementation support and additional resources to organizations receiving loans.
"This is an unprecedented situation, but the philanthropic community has had experience joining together to respond," said NYCT president Lorie Slutsky. "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."