We understand many of our grantees are impacted by and responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and rapidly evolving circumstances are leading to questions about your funding from the Foundation. We’re going to increase our investment in communities in 2020 to at least 25% over our initial budget to help address the unfolding and long-term implications of the pandemic in the coming months.
Here’s a compilation of answers to questions we’ve received from grantees (updated regularly), organized into these categories: Flexibility for Current Grant Funds, Milestones and Reporting for Current Grants, Impacts on Grant Applications, and Emergency Response Funding and Other Resources (click on each option to expand).
Please note: If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact your program officer (find them under “Philanthropy”). If you are unsure who your program officer is, please contact email@example.com.
FAQs for Grantees During COVID-19 Crisis
Q: Is the Foundation making modifications to existing grant agreements to help grantees meet urgent/evolving needs of the communities they serve during the COVID-19 crisis?
A: Yes. We have modified several terms of grant agreements, as follows:
We’re providing more flexibility for reporting requirements: We have reinstated reporting requirements and ask that all active grantees complete and submit reports per the schedule outlined in your funding agreement with the Foundation. If you had a report due since late March that you have not yet submitted, we ask that you please do so at your earliest convenience. If your organization needs additional time to complete your report, we encourage you to request an extension by emailing us with your intended date to submit the report so we may note this in our records. Report extension requests will not impact your existing payment schedules for payments scheduled through Sept. 30, 2020. Through that time, the Foundation will release payment even if we have not received the related report as outlined in your executed agreement.
We’re providing no-cost extensions for all grantees: To allow flexibility for all grantees that will have project delays due to management of the COVID-19 crisis, requests for no-cost extensions will only be required if projects are delayed three months past the end date stated in your grant agreement.
We’re adding flexibility to project and capacity building grant funds: To ensure you are equipped to meet the rapidly changing needs of the communities you serve during the COVID-19 crisis, we’re making all project and capacity building grants flexible. If you need to redirect designated grant funds to address COVID-19-related challenges, please feel free to do so as long as redirected funds are still clearly used for charitable purposes. We understand that this could have impacts on your ability to complete your project or program as planned, as well as your original grant budget. That’s ok. A budget reallocation request is not required. However, if you find that you need to redirect more than 25% of your grant budget, please alert your program officer (find them under “Philanthropy”) of any impacts to your project milestones. (This change applies to project and capacity building grants only. We’ll consider changes to capital grants on a case by case basis. General operating grants are already flexible and unrestricted.) We sent an email to grantees on March 18, 2020 outlining these changes. You can attach that email to your original grant agreement. In addition, documentation for these changes can be found in the executed agreement section of your grantee portal.
These modifications reflect flexibility for grant budgets, terms and reporting dates. No other terms of your original grant agreement will be impacted.
Q: Can the 25% of grant funding that project and capacity building grantees are allowed to allocate towards the COVID-19 response be used to purchase food to meet urgent community needs, and things we’ll need in order to work remotely or continue operations, like technology, office supplies and hand sanitizer?
A: Yes. As long as grant funds are used for charitable purposes, they can be repurposed to respond to community needs as grantees see fit.
Q: Is the Foundation going to increase all general operating grants?
A: No. We are evaluating many needs right now and making determinations about how to best allocate resources on a variety of urgent issues. We are not planning to do an across the board increase to all of our grantees at this time. We have let all of our project and capacity building grantees know that they have flexibility with our funding and can use them to meet the needs that are emerging in their communities. We will be announcing additional investments to address the COVID-19 situation very soon.
Q: What should our organization do if we need to change our milestones in order to be more responsive to urgent needs and/or adhere to social distancing guidance?
A: Please do what you need to do to respond to the needs in your community. We recognize that the scope and scale of the COVID-19 outbreak and related economic and social impacts is unprecedented. When things have settled and you have a clearer picture of how your grant and milestones will be affected, please reach out to your program officer (find them under "Philanthropy").
Q: School is out so we can't provide our physical activity program. Should we do online programming so we can keep up with our grant milestones?
A: Don’t worry about your grant milestones. We can revisit when schools reopen and the current crisis has subsided. We expect there will be delays and changes. We understand that your priority is meeting the community’s urgent needs, not adhering to grant milestones.
Q: Many of our grant activities involve convening large groups. We’ll need to significantly change our plans. How does that impact our grant?
A: We understand that you will be prioritizing the health and safety of your employees and the communities you serve, and that doing so will have impacts on the work that you had planned. Please follow the guidance of public health officials when deciding which activities to continue as planned and which ones need to be put on hold or redesigned.
Q: Our annual progress report is due in in the coming months. How will I get my Year 2 payment if I don’t send the report in?
A: If your organization needs additional time to complete your report, we encourage you to request an extension by emailing us with your intended date to submit the report so we may note this in our records. The Foundation will release payment even if we have not received the related report as outlined in your executed agreement.
Q: Is the Foundation making new grants/rapid response grants to organizations to help them respond to COVID-19 impacts in their communities?
A: We are actively assessing and addressing critical needs across the state in a variety of ways. However, we are not accepting funding requests related to COVID-19 at this time. We recommend that you consider the comprehensive list of relief funds included on the Philanthropy Colorado website.
Q: How does the current crisis affect the grant application we submitted for your June 15 deadline?
A: We are moving forward with our usual grant review process, with one significant change: All site visits are being conducted via Zoom video conferencing or phone call. We anticipate some organizations may need to change, or perhaps even withdraw, their applications, given the evolving conditions on the ground. Your program officer will discuss the different options with you during your site visit.
Q: Will you be making changes to the Feb. 15, 2021 grant application deadline?
The Foundation compiled a list of resources to help nonprofits navigate the rapidly evolving context of COVID-19. You can find information about emergency funding available across Colorado at the top of the page, in addition to resources related to the government’s response (federal, state and local), population- and issue-specific aids, crisis communications, business operations, human resources and more.