Editor's note: Following is a letter from Richard Ober, president and CEO of the NH Charitable Foundation.
“When this is over, I will always remember working with you. I will remember your passion, commitment and advocacy for the people who might have been forgotten.”
That’s what a nonprofit leader wrote the other day after she and our staff had worked together to support temporary shelter and services for homeless people and families. Her note made several of us cry — because that’s exactly how we feel about her and countless other community heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s how we feel about the hundreds of Foundation donors whose unprecedented generosity is making those actions possible.
As I write this on April 9, there is so much we don’t know — when the all-clear will come, allowing us to return to some of our normal routines; the breadth and depth of the long-term impacts on the economy and society. Not since World War II has there been a global crisis of this magnitude. Too many people are dying and not enough people are being tested. No family will be left untouched.
But here is something we do know: Everywhere we look, people are stepping up. Health care workers and emergency responders are risking their lives to save others. Employees in grocery stores and pharmacies and child care centers and post offices are showing up to make sure we have food and medicine and mail and child care, even when they can barely get by on the wages. Nonprofit organizations are serving clients and communities against unbelievable odds. Reporters are reporting. Donors are giving. And then giving again.
It is humbling and inspiring all at once. Here’s how the Foundation is helping:
- Funding hundreds of nonprofits working to reduce immediate pain and hardship on our most vulnerable neighbors and collaborating with public and private partners to sustain critical health care and community services. Read more about our four-part strategy.
- Raising money through the Community Crisis Action Fund to support the most critical efforts in every region and every town now — and as we rebuild from this crisis. Learn more and give.
- Co-leading the new Emergency Childcare Collaborative with the state to provide child care for health care workers, first responders, and others who can’t work at home. Read more about this partnership.
- Providing support for nonprofits and flexibility for grantees, streamlining grant applications and supporting the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits as it provides technical assistance to the sector. Learn more about how we’re adapting our grantmaking in response to COVID-19.
- Working with media partners to help ensure quality and consistent reporting on this crisis. We are grateful for the thoughtful and thorough reporting that is being done about the effect of this crisis on our communities and on the nonprofit sector.
In the past three weeks, the Foundation has made $2.4 million in grants to support critical work that is being done in every part of our state. And generous people have given an unprecedented $2.6 million into the Community Crisis Action Fund to respond to the need in our communities. Here's a full list of grants and gifts made to date. To all who are doing the work and all who are providing the fuel and the hope to make it possible: We will never forget your passion. Your commitment. Your advocacy for those who needed you.
We are still in the response stage of this crisis. The Foundation will be here as our communities start to stabilize. We will be here for the recovery. We will be here for the rebuilding and renewal.
This is who we are.