COVID-19 could change foundation grant-making forever

Will unrestricted funding become the new normal?

Why It Matters

Non-profits and charities are on the frontline of helping vulnerable people through the COVID-19 crisis, but traditional grant-making may not provide the support they need. In response, foundations are finding quicker, less restricted ways of funding their grantees. This is leading to completely new ways of working, begging the question of whether grant-making will ever be the same.

Non-profits and charities are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, plugging gaps in our social support systems to minimize the disease’s impact on the most vulnerable. As demand for their services increases, these organizations are in ever-greater need for cash to carry on — or amp up — their work. 

Many small organizations were already surviving month to month financially before the pandemic hit, said Sydney Piggott, Director of Programs and Projects at YWCA Canada. Member organizations she works with, which include women’s shelters and childcare centres, “won’t survive something like this unless there is more flexibility in the way that they’re accessing funds,” she told Future of Good.

Hearing these concerns, foundations have been looking for more flexible ways of funding through the COVID-19 crisis — for example, by removing or reducing th


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