In response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, Wallace Global Fund’s Executive Director Ellen Dorsey and Aaron Dorfman, CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, called on grantmakers to give more, not less, in this time of great need:
“We will say this plainly: As markets collapse and nonprofits face drastic drops in government and private support, it is no time for philanthropy to think about cutting back. Instead, we must give more. We must give more to address the public-health crisis while continuing to fund existing social and systemic change efforts. There is a real risk that philanthropy will be tempted to cut back on its investments and grant making. After the 2008 market collapse, for example, philanthropic gifts dropped by more than 15 percent. This left $30 billion sitting in private coffers instead of being used to further the public good.
Our tendency in philanthropy has been to continue making the minimum legally required payout instead of thinking first about maximum impact to prevent long-term societal damage. In the midst of this crisis, too many foundations will be tempted to continue that practice — but this moment is both a mandate and an opportunity to fundamentally question that approach. The virus will eventually dissipate, but its effects will be longstanding and will exacerbate the social inequalities we already face.“
Read the full piece in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.