Following the launch of its COVID-19 Response Fund last week, the Pasadena Community Foundation announced that it will move forward with a three-phase, rapid grant making strategy, beginning with immediate financial support for local organizations distributing food to vulnerable populations.
“As we spoke with community and nonprofit leaders, many themes emerged, but chief among them were immediate food insecurity, and concerns for low-income seniors who are now homebound,” said Kate Clavijo, PCF senior program officer. “We expect needs to evolve in the coming weeks, and we will continue to gather feedback to guide our decision-making as we enter the short-term phase of our response in April.”
The foundation’s staff has conducted in-depth interviews with more than 20 civic leaders, nonprofit directors, and community foundation colleagues across the country to assess needs, identify gaps in existing resources, and develop an impactful response for this point in the pandemic.
In the first stage, PCF will distribute emergency grant funds to five organizations serving seniors, and five more grants to local nonprofits distributing food and supplies to low-income individuals and families.
The PCF COVID-19 Response Fund was established to activate local philanthropy and provide direct relief to Pasadena-area residents.
The fund was seeded with an initial commitment of $100,000 from PCF, and has grown with gifts from community members, including two matching grants from private donors. In order to further extend its grant making capacity at this critical time, the Foundation has also released restrictions on $200,000 in existing grants to allow the recipient organizations to use current grant funds for their most urgent needs.
“PCF now anticipates that the majority of our 2020 grant making will be directed towards easing the financial burdens of the COVID-19 crisis for local nonprofits,” said Jennifer DeVoll, PCF president and CEO. “We have developed strategic immediate, short-term, and long-term response plans, and are actively assessing how and where to deploy our resources in each phase for the maximum benefit to the Pasadena community.
“I am honored to share that the COVID-19 Response Fund has grown threefold in the past week due to the enduring generosity of PCF’s donors and fundholders,” continued DeVoll. “It is one more example of our community’s extraordinary commitment to philanthropy, and to each other.”