2020 will go down in history as a year of epic crisis and epic opportunity, a year when our country and community fought two pandemics: COVID-19 and systemic racism. The annual report is a reflection on 2019 but given the unprecedented times in which we are living, we feel it is important to highlight critical 2020 developments.
Recognizing the enormous pressures of COVID-19 on our region – and the reality that the pandemic’s health and economic effects are disparately impacting communities of color, older adults and those furthest from opportunity – Rose Community Foundation committed the bulk of our 2020 grantmaking resources toward rapid response, impact mitigation and long-term recovery through an equity lens – deploying $7 million over three months.
- In April, the Foundation released over $1.7 million in grants directed to nonprofit organizations and government agencies on the front lines of COVID-19 prevention, containment and response, specifically aimed at supporting the Greater Denver region’s most impacted populations.
- In May, the Foundation made over $1.16 million in unsolicited, unrestricted grants to longtime grantee partners for whom COVID-19 has increased the demand for their services, required them to pivot their service delivery and impacted their revenue streams.
- In June, the Foundation and its fundholders awarded 395 grants totaling $4.1 million in its second phase of COVID-19 grantmaking. We received more than 375 applications totaling nearly $18 million in requests, illustrating the enormous burdens that COVID-19 has placed on nonprofits and those they serve.
- Included in the numbers above is the fact our donor-advised fundholders made 307 grants totaling $1.65 million from March 15 through June 15. This represents a roughly 300 percent increase in dollars granted over what is typical this time of year, demonstrating that our donors are also committed to helping our community weather this crisis.
We encourage you, in your personal philanthropy, to support nonprofits and causes that are near and dear to you. Our website features a range of regional giving options and information about volunteer opportunities and ongoing supply needs. We also invite you to partner with Rose Community Foundation by giving to our COVID-19 R.E.S.P.O.N.D. Fund, an equity-focused, multi-phase response to the pandemic’s medical, economic and social impacts in seven-country Metro Denver.
RACIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY
And yet, COVID-19 is not the only virus threatening our country. Racism, in all its forms, endangers people’s safety and security and damages the fabric of our community. We recognize the privilege and power that comes with being a foundation and had already committed in our new strategic plan to listening, learning and directing our philanthropy toward advancing equity, justice and inclusion. We are expanding relationships with organizations on the front lines of racial-justice work in our community, including and especially those with whom we do not already have history. We are exploring the regional policy and advocacy landscape on racial justice issues to find opportunities where the Foundation can meaningfully engage. Several racial justice organizations received grants in our recent COVID-19 impact mitigation cycle, and we look forward to partnering with many more.
As we develop and implement these strategies, please consider joining us in that work by contributing to our Community Action Fund, through which we will fund local nonprofits advancing racial justice.
These steps are a beginning, not an end. We are committed to living our values and showing up authentically for our community, both today and in the long-term.