A Letter to Pioneer Valley Nonprofits from the Community Foundation

Dear Nonprofits Serving Pioneer Valley Communities,

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your tenacity and compassion in supporting our communities. You are persevering through extraordinary challenges to serve people in significant health, financial, and emotional pain.

We know many of your needs are urgent. So, today we have a hopeful message to share from your neighbors.

In the face of their own fears, illnesses, loss, and financial adversities, your neighbors see you. Rather than turn away, they are running towards you.

Through the new COVID-19 Response Fund of the Pioneer Valley, local businesses, organizations, and individuals have contributed million of dollars to help nonprofit agencies in the region provide vital services to people overwhelmed by challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

They’ve entrusted us to listen intently to you and grant this money to local nonprofits quickly, beginning with the most urgent needs—food, a bed, healthcare— of our region’s most vulnerable people. We are mindful, too, that while the coronavirus pandemic impacts all of us, it causes more difficulty for people whom society has traditionally pushed to its margins.

What you need to know now:

  1. We are serving urgent, basic human needs first.
  2. We are committed initially to quickly providing unrestricted and flexible support to the most pressing needs of the most vulnerable among us.
  3. We want to hear from you. Please complete a funding application or our needs assessment survey and tell us how the coronavirus is impacting your organization and those you serve. We depend on you to provide us with the critical information about the greatest community needs and how they are evolving. We are sharing the needs collected on our website here with other funders and the public.
  4. Currently we are making rolling grants to nonprofits through the Response Fund and post them to our website. View the organizations already supported.
  5. Read the questions and answers about the Response Fund.
  6. Along with our many partners, we will continue to rally the community to join together and provide support through volunteering, contributing directly to organizations, and supporting the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley.
  7. Stay tuned. As our region moves from response to recovery, our grantmaking approach may change. We will communicate with you every two weeks via email with updates and changes. Our website is also continuously updated. If you aren’t on our email list, please let us know: grants@communityfoundation.org
  8. While our staff is working remotely, we are here for you. Contact us. Our website also has links to community resources for you.

We are proud to be YOUR community foundation, and we are in awe of what you are doing to pivot, adjust, shoulder and shepherd. This community needs you, and together, we can meet the challenges before us.

Sincerely,

Katie Allan Zobel, President and CEO
Jim Ayres, Vice President for Programs and Strategy
Sheila Toto, Senior Program Officer
Nicole Bourdon, Program Officer
Margaret Everett, Grants Administrator Associate

updated: 5/22/2020