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How can we be more responsive to our community and funding partners during the Covid19 outbreak period?
In COVID-19 Forum
Jenn Chowaniec
Mar 18, 2020
Hi Seumas! Great question. I've had a couple of conversations with our partners so far and from that I've collected the following list of thoughts for funders (conveniently a neat 10 points!): 1. Communicate but short and simple – messages are coming from EVERYWHERE! 2. Don’t pull BAU $ to create special funds 3. Acknowledge difficulty in delivering some contracts/programmes esp if they involve workshops/hui/group meetings etc, so offer to roll contracts to next yr. 4. Simplify reporting and soften dates. A number of small non-profits will have only one or two people who look after funding. Softening reporting and dates will give more room for illnesses and absences by both non-profit workers and by funding advisors. 4. Consider offering an additional year of funding without application, on the same terms and assuring flexibility in deliverables. “For us our work is about to completely change in terms of how it is delivered, but not the intention behind it. It would be a huge relief to not have to worry about funding applications in the next 3-6 months.” 5. Consider the wellbeing of workers and our communities. What could be done in the short term to sure up remote support? Could some of the tech solutions offering web-based counselling have some effort put into them and some funding put into them? Are there online platforms typically used for work/webinars that could be re-purposed for fun and connection to battle isolation? Some funders are, or are linked to, more corporate entities who will have more knowledge/experience/access to IT/tech solutions. Share this knowledge. Capacity also includes looking at adding support around employment situations, sick leave, good practice…supporting internet into homes. Invest and support capacity of orgs. 6. Worst case scenario, the death toll could be 1 in 50. Most orgs in charity sector won’t have reserves to meet their obligations re stress/anxiety/grief support 7. Value the pyscho social support that grass roots orgs can add especially when there is a risk to favour service-based responses. 8. Grassroots orgs will have flexibility and will use it – e.g do we have vans, can we do food delivery, can we winter prep homes for those at risk? Is there a way to enable this? 9. Re social enterprises, trading conditions will be hugely impacted. What opportunities for new business etc need to be considered – funders can help think outside the box here. 10. High trust relationships with funders and good leadership are the golden ticket again! It’s a marathon not a sprint – just like the EQ…déjà vu all over again ☺ lol!!!

Jenn Chowaniec

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