COVID-19 News Digest: October 2020

Behind Ford’s Bold Effort to Back Arts Groups Serving Communities of Color | A thoughtful piece in Inside Philanthropy by Mike Scutari, covering Ford Foundation’s bold initiative to help art orgs led by POC get through the pandemic. “Ford’s one shot looks more like a moonshot—a two-pronged, $156 million-and-counting initiative called America’s Cultural Treasures, focused on helping arts organizations led by and serving BIPOC arts groups survive the pandemic, while laying the groundwork for long-term sustainability.

The Getty and the National Gallery of Art are in their own bubbles…Yes, they’re concerned about finances, but as one of them said to me, ‘This is terrible, but we can raise the money.’…when you get to the medium and smaller arts organizations—that don’t have endowments, that don’t have rich boards, that don’t have huge amounts of operating cash flow—those organizations are panicked. If we don’t help them, they will be gone.” Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation

Young Community Developers COVID-19 Response  | This week, we had the opportunity to connect with the leadership of Young Community Developers, a community-based service provider of education, training, and employment placement services to residents of District 10 (Bayview Hunters Point) in San Francisco. They shared the inspiring video that summarizes their work serving one of the most impacted communities in SF during the pandemic.

Centering Community in a Pandemic |A new report from the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy from a survey (conducted in April/May) of nonprofits in the East Bay. In addition to key findings, the report includes opportunities for action.

Nonprofits have risen to the challenges of the moment by adapting how they work but also what they work on. Advocacy organization shave raised funds and realigned budgets to provide financial assistance to individuals and families in crisis; service delivery agencies have joined coalitions to support policies to alleviate the burden on their communities…Nonprofits serving communities of color are notoriously underfunded, which does not bode well for those communities to recover quickly from the current levels of financial hardship.”

Nonprofit Employment Recovery Slowed Significantly in September, Still Down by Nearly  8% |A News Release from the Center for Civil Society Studies at John Hopkin’s University analyzing the current state of nonprofits jobs.

As of September 2020, the nonprofit workforce remained down by nearly 1 million jobs compared to its pre-pandemic February levels. Especially still hard hit are nonprofit jobs in many of the key service fields critical to the COVID response, including: nearly 300,000 jobs lost in health care; over a quarter million jobs lost in private education; more than 150,000 jobs lost in the social services field; and almost 125,000 jobs lost in the arts.