Welcome to our free resource center for nonprofits – staff, volunteers, board members, and donors – as we collectively navigate the COVID-19 crisis. We share key information and free resources on organizational continuity and fundraising, communications, human resources, and more. The Donorbox resource center features a number of links to outside resources (and a few of our own) – like information about laws, articles, webinars, free templates, and more – to help your organization cope with the current situation, plan ahead, and emerge as strong as possible in the next few months.
It’s impossible to predict the full scale of the impact that the coronavirus pandemic will have on nonprofit organizations around the world.
This is why it’s more important than ever for nonprofits to calmly, yet with zest and conviction, find creative ways to sustain their work and further their missions.
As nonprofits scramble to devise new strategic and operating plans, meet the increasing demand for services, or overcome hurdles to delivering them and support their employees — the need for accessible, trusted resources to support them in meeting today’s challenges is greater than ever.
In the resource center below, our team here at Donorbox shares resources that nonprofits may find useful as they navigate the implications of the unfolding public health crisis.
Page Last Updated: 05-03-2021
Please follow your local and national public health department websites for up-to-date guidance.
Nonprofits of any size that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may qualify. These loans have interest rates of 2.75% for nonprofits for up to a 30 year period. The first $25k can be loaned without collateral, so paid out immediately, and there is a 4-month deferment.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
Granite United Way has launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund to help its partner organizations in their response to the virus.
Established by United Way of Greater Nashua, this fund provides financial support to local nonprofits for their extraordinary and unprecedented expenses related to COVID-19.
United Way has established the COVID-19 Family Support Fund, a dedicated resource for working families affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A grant program available to grassroots groups responding to local needs and building resilience in their community in response to COVID-19. The Seed Grant program has a brief online application and requests can be up to $1,000.
The Response Fund will prioritize community-based organizations at the front lines of the outbreak and nonprofits supporting the most vulnerable individuals and families directly impacted. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as funds are raised.
Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that help students who are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs, purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives, and purchasing books, materials, or software for literacy programs.
The Fuller Foundation supports nonprofit agencies that improve the quality of life for people, animals, and the environment.
Grants are provided to nonprofit organizations that serve specific states and regions, including New Hampshire. The Economic Mobility and Social Progress Focused on the Needs of the Community category provides support for affordable housing, community revitalization, arts, and the environment.
The Donley Foundation’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency and achievement for disadvantaged children, individuals, and families through the support of education, literacy, and other means. The Foundation primarily provides support to nonprofit organizations in Western Cook County, IL.
The Hesed Foundation is dedicated to the improvement and enhancement of human life and the strengthening of communities. Specifically, they fund programs relating to youth and education, health, and community building. The Foundation primarily supports nonprofit organizations in the state of New Hampshire and New York City.
The GKV Foundation supports nonprofit organizations located within a 4-5-hour drive of the New York City metropolitan area interested in developing new programs that will impact the community through the use of a range of artistic media such as the visual arts, music, and dance.
The Clowes Fund supports social services for populations of immigrants, refugees, and asylees, as well as workforce development in the form of job skills training and preventing students from dropping out of school. Priority will be given to applications serving Grafton, Sullivan, and Cheshire counties as well as other areas with significant populations of immigrants, refugees, and asylees.
NH Community Development Finance Authority has financing available for nonprofit energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through their Clean Energy Fund.
The Westinghouse Charitable Giving Program provides support to nonprofit organizations in communities with company facilities (within 50 miles of Portsmouth and Newington, NH). The company’s areas of emphasis include the following: STEM Education, Environmental Sustainability, and Community Safety and Vitality.
Facebook knows that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. A little financial support can go a long way, so Facebook is offering USD 100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries will be able to receive a grant from Facebook.
The New $75 Million Fund will Provide Grants and Loans to New York City-Based Social Services and Cultural Organizations to Support Them in the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Together, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation generally provide more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind to support programs that align with their philanthropic priorities.
To ensure Business for All, Hello Alice with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay Foundation, UBS, Visible, and Stacy’s Rise Project offered $10,000 emergency grants to small business owners impacted by the pandemic.
The CAF Resilience Fund exists to help charitable organisations in England that support the people hardest hit by Covid-19. Through hundreds of unrestricted grants, this fund will support those working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups such as those living in deprived areas, those supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and people with disabilities.
The Inner North Covid-19 Fund supports local groups working to benefit Darebin, Moreland and Yarra to respond to the emerging crisis.
The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) and Monterey Peninsula Foundation established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help those affected by the impact of the Coronavirus in Monterey County. The COVID-19 Relief Fund will address the immediate and longer-term needs of Monterey County’s most vulnerable residents who will be impacted by the Coronavirus.
To conserve cash, consider asking your higher-paid staff to take reduced/deferred pay.
Review your leases to understand grace periods and your landlord’s ability to tap the security deposit for rent in arrears, and any force majeure clauses allowing for nonpayment. Don’t pay the rent before asking your landlord what type of program they are offering for reduction or deferral.
Ask for a deferral of any cash interest or principal payments that would otherwise be due over the next few months.
Ask your core donors for their gifts and grants early, to accelerate your incoming revenue during this time. Inform them that your organization needs early donations in order to get through these times. Make sure to keep the fundraising appeal urgent and clear. It is important to convey your appreciation for their support.
This will bring in cash while also giving your organization important information about how your fundraising prospects and donors have likely been affected by the crisis. You can also ask funders to ease restrictions on grants to allow for more flexibility.
Example of a letter to your donors:
[Organization] needs your crucial support early in these trying times.
We at [Organization] are striving hard to continue our work amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the setbacks due to the current climate, our team is relentlessly working toward [our mission], dedicated to delivering an uninterrupted impact on the ground.
We need your help now. We would really appreciate your [frequency] gift of [amount] to help sustain us in these challenging times.
Please stay safe and quarantined.
Explore all possible government and philanthropic initiatives offering grants or loans. It is better to raise more cash than needed than to risk running short on funds.
Look into your local government, community, or institution fundraising opportunities — it is possible that a program brings you the aid that you need immediately. Read the fine print since some programs provide reimbursement for certain costs, which may not help with immediate cash flow.
Lastly, go all-in with raising funds online.
On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), aimed at providing financial relief to the American people and businesses in response to the economic fallout from the fast-developing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Below are a few highlights of the bill’s direct impact on nonprofits:
On March 19, 2020, the President signed into law H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill includes a complex set of temporary paid leave mandates and employer reimbursement provisions, as well as funding for free coronavirus testing, food nutrition security, and unemployment extension.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act imposes new job protections for workers, paid leave mandates on employers, and a generous reimbursement scheme for employers that are designed to hold nonprofit and for-profit employers. The law provides two weeks of paid sick leave, a subsequent ten weeks of partially paid family leave for the care of a child, and refundable tax credits that in many cases will result in the Treasury Department writing checks to employers to cover some of the costs of the mandates.
TeamViewer lets you remotely manage devices (whether laptops or IoT devices) and it can be used by your staff to collaborate using video conferencing and online collaboration features.
Donorbox’s fundraising software integrates seamlessly with your website and allows you to create simple donation forms. The platform allows uninterrupted recurring donations and will help you bolster your ongoing fundraising efforts amid the COVID-19 setback. Currently, Donorbox is supporting many nonprofits by offering fiscally friendly options.
Zoom is great for video meetings or conference calls. It helps run smooth virtual meetings, from one-on-one to the entire team, and keeps glitches to a minimum.
Google Hangouts — comprising Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet — is part of Google’s G Suite. Hangouts Meet is the videoconferencing element. It’s fully integrated with G Suite and requires no extra plug-ins, so everyone can easily join simply by clicking a link. Meetings can include up to 30 people, who can join through any device, from a mobile phone to a conference room system.
Quick Resources – How to Work Remotely:
Slack is a great tool for communication – both formal and informal. Slack is a real-time messaging platform that lets you chat in pairs, small groups, or as an entire team.
Pro tip: Oskar is a Slackbot that tracks your team’s happiness by encouraging them to share how they feel. This could be especially helpful in these times of isolation.
Workplace from Facebook is another great option that’s free to nonprofits. It’s like an internal Facebook just for you and your employees and volunteers, but it’s on a separate application from your personal Facebook accounts.
For both G Suite users and those not using G Suite, the free Google for Nonprofits offer includes Google Drive Basic, a business version of Google Drive that allows you to set sharing and access permissions.
Use the same calendar tool to make scheduling meetings immensely easier within a team. Google Calendar is a great one, but there are other tools as well. Team members must have equal access to the calendar. This will put a stop to endless email threads discussing schedules and time zones.
Calendly lets people book virtual meetings with you, with meeting times automatically shown in their time zone.
Trello is a great app for keeping track of projects and assigning tasks to team members.
Toggl lets you break your day into smaller, more digestible tasks and keep track of time spent on each task.
Asana is another popular project and task management tool. Asana helps plan projects, assign tasks, and see what everyone on the team has on their plate.
Mural is an online brainstorming tool that lets teams collaborate and share their brilliant ideas in real-time through virtual sticky notes, images, text, shapes, and so much more.
You can use Zoom for meeting with donors, volunteers, and partners as well as people within your organization. Additionally, optional Zoom add-ons also make Zoom a good solution for running online events because they allow you to:
You can record your meetings in video, audio, and text formats and share your screen with others in a meeting. You can also use a free plug-in for Chrome and Outlook to schedule Zoom meetings easily.
Virtual Conference Tech Tools Comparison – Google Spreadsheet comparing key features of the main virtual conference tech tools available.
Nonprofits under stress can suffer from “magical thinking”, letting too much time pass before taking action. Given that most nonprofits have almost no ‘safety net’ even in a non-crisis time, this delayed or missing decision-making can often be detrimental or fatal.
Organizations that weather the crisis still run the risk of faltering later, given that city and state budgets (as well as budgets of individual donors) for the next fiscal year are going to be significantly lower given the reduction in tax revenues and the enormous deficits associated with the COVID-19 response.
This situation is novel and unexpected and as such needs to be approached with care. This way your nonprofit organization will remain nimble in a fast-moving crisis while keeping all stakeholders appropriately involved.
That being said, resources are plenty (most of them completely free), the community is stronger than ever, and compassion and help are overflowing!