Statement encouraging increased giving in this time of crisis

Written by: Ana Marie Argilagos, David Biemesderfer, Phil Buchanan, Dan Cardinali, Aaron Dorfman, Kathleen Enright, Nicholas A. Tedesco, Anne Wallestad, Marcus Walton

Date: April 02, 2020

April 2nd – NCRP and a coalition of 8 organizations released a statement Thursday urging their philanthropic colleagues to increase their giving to nonprofits, even if means dipping into their endowments.

The statement echoes NCRP’s consistent message that foundations and donors should be stepping up and doing more to supporting nonprofits in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“At this moment of need, it is vital that we not just help the public survive the current challenge, but also help those nonprofits on the frontlines of catalyzing social change come out stronger for the future,” said NCRP President & CEO Aaron Dorfman.

“Grassroots organizations, especially led by people of color and serving impacted communities, are likely to be especially hard hit during this crisis. Now is the time for foundations and donors to tap into all of their resources and invest equitably in these and all groups. If not now, then when?”

A full text of our April 2 statement is below:


As leaders of philanthropy-serving organizations in this unprecedented moment of challenge for our country and globally, we applaud the efforts by foundations to be responsive to the needs of nonprofits and the communities and causes they serve. We strongly endorse the pledge signed by more than 460 foundations to loosen restrictions on grantees during this time and generally to be as flexible as possible.

View this statement as a PDF

Yet what nonprofits need most right now is more money. Without rapid and meaningful infusions of additional resources, many organizations will have to dramatically pare back programs and services or fold their operations entirely – and the results for the economy, vulnerable populations, communities and progress on crucial issues will be devastating.

The CARES Act and other stimulus packages passed recently by Congress include wide-ranging supports for nonprofits and low-income people. And yet these funds may be difficult to access and still will not meet the needs.

Read coverage in The Chronicle of Philanthropy (paywall)

We’ve been heartened that some foundations and corporate giving programs are increasing their grants at this crucial time. We call on all funders to consider joining them by significantly increasing their grant spending during this crisis. Organizations helping and empowering the most vulnerable, those closest to the financial precipice with limited operating capital or reserves, and those with significant earned revenue streams or that rely on small gifts from individual donors are facing significant challenges. Organizations serving communities of color are also going to need extra resources as they deal with skyrocketing unemployment for all racial groups and particularly for Black, Indigenous and Latinx communities, and with Asians and Pacific Islanders facing xenophobia.

Additional COVID-19 resources for philanthropy and nonprofits

Deploying philanthropic assets to strengthen vital organizations doing crucial work in extremely challenging circumstances is more important right now than preserving endowment capital. The strength of a funder’s grantees at the end of this crisis will be a much better measure of the significance of a foundation than the size of its endowment. Unprecedented challenges require unprecedented responses – and a casting aside of traditional norms and approaches.


Ana Marie Argilagos, President & CEO, Hispanics in Philanthropy

David Biemesderfer, President & CEO, United Philanthropy Forum

Phil Buchanan, President, The Center for Effective Philanthropy

Dan Cardinali, President & CEO, Independent Sector

Aaron Dorfman, President & CEO, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Kathleen Enright, President & CEO, Council on Foundations

Nicholas A. Tedesco, President & CEO, National Center for Family Philanthropy

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO, BoardSource

Marcus Walton, President & CEO, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations