COVID-19 Jewish Community Funding Update

Update: Rose Community Foundation is currently accepting funding requests to enable Jewish nonprofits to focus on COVID-19-related needs and support near- and long-term mission fulfillment. Learn more here.

While organizations, communities and sectors across our region are being directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in a number of ways, we know that members of our Jewish community have specific concerns about the pandemic’s impact on Jewish communal organizations. Realizing that Rose Community Foundation is just one piece of a larger national and regional philanthropic response that includes other organizations, funders and donors, we want to update you on the Foundation’s current support – financial and otherwise – within the Jewish community.

In Q1 2020 – prior to the COVID-19 crisis – Rose Community Foundation made $295,000 in unrestricted, general operating grants to eight organizations in the Greater Denver Jewish community.

In April, the Foundation’s first batch of COVID-19 response grants was specifically focused on rapid-response emergency grants to organizations working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis – whether in prevention, containment and/or direct services to people impacted by the medical and economic implications of this pandemic. There are three primary organizations within the Jewish community that meet that criteria: Jewish Family Service, Kavod Senior Life and Shalom Park. Over the past two weeks, all three have been awarded grants totaling $270,000. Given our dual interest in sustaining Jewish Life during a time of isolation and wanting to support the most vulnerable in our community, we also made a much smaller investment to fund Zaidy’s delivery of Passover meal boxes to members of the Jewish community in need.

Since the beginning of 2020, our donor-advised fundholders have also contributed $220,900 to 53 Jewish organizations, and in light of the COVID-19 crisis, we are engaging our donors in multiple ways to amplify and accelerate their philanthropy to nonprofit organizations – Jewish and otherwise. We featured one such donor on our blog this week.

In addition to the aforementioned support, we are committed to strategically deploying the remaining resources in our 2020 Jewish Life grantmaking budget in support of the Jewish community’s COVID-19 response, efforts focused on sustaining Jewish Life in a time of physical isolation, and organizational recovery and stabilization. Whether or not organizations went into the COVID-19 crisis in a place of financial strength, this pandemic is presenting challenges for most. Supporting community organizations through this crisis will require philanthropic support beyond the capacity of any single individual or organization. We salute all the organizations that are actively working toward their own sustainability and that of others.

All in, Rose Community Foundation will grant out at least $2.5 million to Jewish communal organizations this year – not including grants that our donor-advised fundholders are also making. We are also supporting Jewish organizations by:

  • relaxing restrictions on currently open grants,
  • extending the deadline for our endowment fundholders to take their 2019 distribution,
  • expediting incentive grants for organizations participating in our Live On: LIFE & LEGACY cohorts that met their fundraising goals,
  • aggregating potential resources and external funding opportunities for organizations,
  • providing one-on-one strategic thought partnership where requested, and
  • advocating for local needs in both national Jewish funder conversations and federal legislative conversations.

The evolving nature and uncertain time horizons of the COVID-19 crisis require us to stand up a multi-phased, multi-faceted philanthropic response that balances the long-term strategic goals of our grantmaking with time-sensitive community needs. And we are pacing ourselves to ensure we have resources available to respond to challenges and needs that have yet to surface.

Over the coming months, we will be working with our Jewish Life committee to develop the criteria, application and timeline for our next rounds of Jewish Life grantmaking and will be updating organizations when that information is available.

If you are affiliated with an organization on the front lines of COVID-related service delivery to those most impacted medically and economically by this pandemic, we thank you. If you are with an organization that is working to sustain Jewish traditions, observances and community connectivity during this time of physical distancing, we thank you. If you are a donor directly supporting nonprofits and relief funds in our community and/or investing in Rose Community Foundation’s COVID-19 response, we thank you.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of the Jewish community and the Greater Denver region as a whole.

Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
President & CEO

Benilda Samuels
Vice President, Programs

Vanessa Bernier
Program Officer, Jewish Life

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