During a time when businesses are closing down and live events are cancelling to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some nonprofits are still actively supporting their communities.
Shane Garver, Save the Children: "These nonprofits are going to be critical to a community's ability to recover. We want to make sure that they are there for the long term."
In Chicago, organizations like The Night Ministry are continuing to deliver meals and health services to the city's homeless populations. In D.C., the nonprofit Martha's Table is distributing grocery store gift cards to families in need. And across the country, Save the Children is working with closed schools to deliver meals and educational resources to more than 100,000 kids.
Garver: "Kentucky was one of the first states to start closing down schools and so from day one, we were reaching out to our principals and our superintendents and said: 'How can we help? What do you need?'"
These are examples of direct physical efforts to support communities in need, but amid the health risks of social gatherings, nonprofits are also using digital platforms to offer support remotely.
Garver: "One of the things that we've done is taking all of our national experts and pulled together a compilation of resources that work in our rural communities, but also work for moms and dads across the country."
To aid some of these digital efforts, companies like Google and Facebook are donating millions in ad grants and credits to public health organizations and nonprofits. Going forward, some experts argue that these online campaigns — which can also remind communities, donors and stakeholders of a charity's mission — will be important for nonprofits in the long term.
Joan Garry, Nonprofit Leadership Lab: "What nonprofits need to be doing is thinking 'what can I do right now today, that when this is behind me, I am positioned as well as possible to bounce back?' And to me the No. 1 way to do that is to keep the people who are close to the organization as close as possible."
Joan Garry is a long-time nonprofit consultant. She says that charities should use this time to reach out to donors, innovate and find ways to recruit self-quarantined volunteers who may be able to help from home.
Garry: "I think if we do that right now, I think that the nonprofit sector actually comes out on the other side of this with way more tools in their toolbox."