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San Francisco Foundation;
Since COVID-19 began spreading, the world has faced its darkest hour in a century. In the US, and here in the Bay Area, we have had to contend with not just a deadly virus and economic catastrophe, but also deadly forms of institutional racism—and its devastating effects even before the pandemic. The San Francisco Foundation is focused on reimagining and rebuilding our systems so that everyone in the Bay Area, regardless of their skin color or zip code, can thrive. And the Rapid Response Fund is a key part of our strategy.We launched this fund in November 2016, in the wake of a new political era. That winter, new policies were being introduced that were brazenly designed to attack people of color and communities with low incomes. Grassroots organizations needed immediate funding to protect and empower communities under siege. Since then, the fund has provided $2.4 million in funding to nearly 200 organizations for urgent Know-Your-Rights trainings, direct actions, workshops to educate community members on changing policies, and more.When COVID hit, we replicated the Rapid Response Fund model—a barebones application and grants issued within days—to launch our COVID Emergency Response Fund two days after the Bay Area issued Shelter-in-Place orders. With residents suddenly unable to pay their rent nor afford groceries, we knew we couldn't afford to wait.While our COVID fund provided emergency grants to help with basic needs, the Rapid Response Fund continued to support much-needed community organizing during a pandemic and a nationwide call for racial justice. Grants supported work centered on racial solidarity, combating anti-Asian hate, organizing essential workers during the pandemic, and mobilizing voters during a critical election year. We invite you to learn more about this fund's vital work in 2020 and 2021, and to read about the lives this fund touched during a terrifying time that helped us strengthen our resilience.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
The advent of COVID-19 in Ghana from 27 March 2020 created palpable fear and panic among citizens on the nation's ability to manage this novel virus. In response, STAR Ghana Foundation in partnership with eight civil society organisations (CSOs), from April to August 2020, rolled out a CSOs COVID-19 Response Project (CRP) to support government's effort to prevent, manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the country. The project fostered key engagement with the media and other state actors.Using a qualitative approach, this paper presents the key highlights of the outcomes, impact and lessons learned from CSOs' responses to COVID-19 in Ghana. This paper provides a repository of information on CSOs' responses to COVID-19 in Ghana for civil society in Ghana and other countries to learn from to ensure effective responses to crisis. It also seeks to increase the visibility and reach of civil society responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.The paper reveals that, CSOs' actions on COVID-19 in Ghana has increased citizens' access to information on COVID-19; improved citizens' behavioural change around COVID-19 and adherence to the safety protocols; reduced the negative socio-economic effects of the pandemic on citizens; increased transparency and responsiveness on state response measures to marginalised and vulnerable groups; and improved documentation of the CSO response actions. The paper principally recommends that civil society, government and other stakeholders need to work in a collaborative and coordinated manner in responding to crisis such as COVID-19.
Minnesota Council on Foundations;
Just one year ago, the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus (MDRF) made its first grants to the community in response to the emerging threat of COVID-19.The effort came together quickly as people and organizations across the state navigated enormous uncertainty and unprecedented need. We had no way of knowing how long the pandemic would last - only that we must do something.The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF), in partnership with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, created the MDRF in March 2020. By August 2020, the fund had raised and distributed $11.6 million and supported 93 organizations throughout Minnesota.
2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year, starting with the COVID pandemic followed by the social unrest related to the killing of George Floyd. These crises have required philanthropy to respond in new and faster ways. During the Spring of 2021, Philanthropy Southwest conducted in-depth member interviews, a survey study and analyzed national trends to understand how philanthropy in the U.S. Southwest has responded to the crises of last year.
Virginia Funders Network;
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, enacting one of the largest economic relief programs in U.S. history. Of the bill's $1.9 trillion, nearly $7 billion is designated for Virginia to help alleviate the pandemic's financial burden on residents and families; expand access to affordable health coverage; address students' learning loss and mental health challenges; provide assistance to small businesses and local governments, and more. About half of this historic investment – $4.3 billion – has been allocated directly to Virginia's counties and municipalities – those local communities where Virginia's philanthropic organizations focus the majority of their work. The other half of the funding will be allocated by the General Assembly at its special session scheduled to start August 2, 2021. In addition to funds specifically designated for states and local governments, there are expected to be funds allocated programmatically through federal agencies for which many community-based programs may be eligible.ARPA's investment in the Commonwealth has the potential to reduce pandemic-related hardships experienced by many Virginians and begin to set the stage for a strong recovery that benefits all. At the Virginia Funders Network, we believe that philanthropy has an opportunity to work in partnership with local and state government officials, as well as with business and nonprofit leaders, to support the equitable and strategic allocation of these public dollars and to improve and expand the quality of community resources available to help Virginians thrive.The purpose of this document is to help philanthropic leaders:ensure the allocation, distribution, and use of funds in the Commonwealth addresses top community needsadvocate for accountability and help to track and document the use of these public resourcesleverage these public funds with foundation and corporate support and other private fundsbuild stronger relationships with government at all levels across the Commonwealth, andenhance opportunities for all Virginians to thrive.
Human Rights First;
More than seven months since President Biden took office, the U.S. government continues to turn awayand block people seeking protection at U.S. ports of entry along the southern border and to expel manyasylum seekers to growing danger in Mexico. For this report, Human Rights First researchers conducted in person and remote interviews with migrantsand asylum seekers, government officials in the United States and Mexico, attorneys, academicresearchers, humanitarian staff, and other legal monitors. Researchers spoke with 65 migrants andasylum seekers in person in the Mexican cities of Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras, and CiudadAcuña in August 2021 and more than 50 additional interviews with migrants and asylum seekers inMexico were carried out by telephone between July and August 2021. Interviews were conductedprimarily in Spanish with a limited number in English. The report draws on data from an electronic surveyof asylum seekers in Mexico conducted by Al Otro Lado between June and August 2021, as well asinformation from U.S. and Mexican government data, media sources, and other human rights reports.
The 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Refugee Protocol created the framework for asylum law at a global level. Key to this framework is the principle of non-refoulement, which prevents countries from returning asylum seekers to places where they may face persecution or torture. Most nations, including affluent countries such as the United States, Australia, and European Union Member States, ratified these treaties, incorporating the core principle of non-refoulement into their domestic laws. However, in recent decades, with the goal of preventing asylum seekers and migrants from reaching their borders, these nations have chipped away at the principle, claiming compliance with legal obligations while in practice rendering safety elusive for refugees fleeing harm.These nations turned to two mechanisms to achieve their goals: offshoring or transferring asylum seekers to other nations for processing or detention under tenuous bilateral agreements; and/or externalization or interfering with the journey of asylum seekers and seeking to halt their arrival through pushbacks by public or private proxy entities.This report traces restrictions on the ability of vulnerable people to seek asylum across three continents in recent history and describes the deadly impact these policies have had on people seeking protection around the world. The U.S.-based authors of the report conclude with recommendations for the United States government to draw from these global lessons.
Collective Impact Forum;
The COVID-19 pandemic was an all-hands-on-deck moment. As communities were jolted into emergency response on many fronts—health, jobs, housing, education, childcare, food, and mental health—collaboration and coordination became essential. In Milwaukee, the Civic Response Team united local governments, philanthropy, and nonprofits to collectively manage response and recovery. In just weeks, they housed hundreds of people, delivered tens of thousands of meals, built and promoted a COVID-19 testing system, distributed hundreds of thousands of masks, provided families with technology to connect to school, rescued childcare providers, and soothed anxieties and grief.This paper studies how the public-private partnerships within the Civic Response Team worked during their first year, and shows what we can learn from them to support better partnership and emergency response in the future.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, philanthropic entities across the US embraced giving directly—transferring cash to people—as an effective and efficient means of providing relief to those hit hard by the sudden economic and health emergency. Since the onset of the pandemic and in partnership with donors, nonprofit organizations, and local government agencies, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has facilitated the administration of approximately $26 million in funds, distributed in increments of $50 to $2,500 to approximately 60,000 residents across the Greater Washington, DC, region. This report describes the goals, strategies, and short-term achievements of the foundation and its partners in developing and implementing cash transfer strategies at the height of the pandemic. Closer examination of the foundation's role provides insight for private donors, government agencies, and nonprofits into how partnership with local philanthropy can help them deliver a speedy and equitable response to populations hit hardest by a crisis.
This third annual report on disaster philanthropy, published by The Conference Board Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Center, focuses on corporate disaster philanthropy priorities, partners, and future goals. In particular, the report highlights areas where CEOs can play a role in helping companies adhere to their disaster philanthropy priorities, collaborate with other companies, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts.
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC);
Under the new Biden administration asylum seekers are seeing greater success rates in securing asylum. While asylum denial rates had grown ever higher during the Trump years to a peak of 71 percent in FY 2020, they fell to 63 percent in FY 2021. Expressed another way, success rates grew from 29 percent to 37 percent under President Biden.
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) America;
In its eighth COVID-19 survey conducted in August 2021, CAF America polled 436 charitable organizations operating in 5 countries (Brazil, Argentina, Russia, India, and South Africa) to report on their current status and outlook for the future.This report takes account of diverse nonprofits, nearly all of which remain operational, to identify what had to change in their operating context, their relationships with donors, and their approach to achieving their mission to be able to support their communities during the past year.The survey prompted respondents to reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on their work and share their present vision for an uncertain future.Donors can use this current, cross-sectional snapshot of nonprofits worldwide to inform their giving strategies as they reimagine their roles in supporting their partners' efforts to build and reinforce their organizational resilience.Building on the insights corporate donors shared in the fourth volume of this series, excerpts from recent interviews will provide readers a window into how the pandemic is shaping the future of corporate philanthropy.