As a community foundation, one of SVCF’s primary purposes is to meet the ongoing needs of our local communities. As part of that responsibility, we often take on unexpected local challenges, including in the case of disasters and emergencies. Our region is presented with an unprecedented public health crisis. Since early February, SVCF has been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, the new coronavirus, and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, local public health agencies and our community partners to prepare for this outbreak.
Unprecedented crisis, regional response
SVCF is leading an effort with our Bay Area philanthropic partners on a regional response to protect public health and assist those affected by the disease and its impact.
Our COVID-19 Coronavirus Regional Response Fund provides the community an opportunity to help our region meet the developing challenges associated with COVID-19.
Dollars from the response fund will go to lead organizations representing each of the nine Bay Area counties to help them address COVID-19 challenges in their respective counties, specifically getting support directly to low-income individuals and families who are being most severely affected. (Some of those lead agencies are still being identified in some counties as of March 12; the fund page will be updated as new information is available.)
The local organizations that will be supported by the COVID-19 Coronavirus Regional Response Fund are attuned to the needs of the individuals and families in their communities – and they are already springing into action.
Assisting the nonprofit sector, small businesses
In addition, SVCF is quickly working on other means of providing support to nonprofit organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties whose operations are being affected by COVID-19. Thousands of nonprofit organizations create the very fabric of social services across Silicon Valley, and we are committed to assisting them as this crisis unfolds. They are the ones tending to issues of food security for low-income families, housing and rental assistance, mental health, legal services and so much more. We plan to notify the nonprofit community about those efforts soon and will post information on our blog and in social media, as well.
We are also in contact with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development about how the philanthropic sector might be able to assist affected small businesses that are at risk of failure because of the virus and whose employees are most at risk for diminished or lost wages.
Protecting staff and public health
SVCF is also committed to protecting the health and welfare of our staff and constituents. For this reason, most of our staff has moved to a work-from-home process at least through March 27th, and we have asked staff to hold all meetings with external partners via teleconference or phone for now.
To do our part to minimize the threat of this virus spreading, we have temporarily suspended our practice of hosting external meetings for other nonprofit organizations at our Mountain View and San Mateo offices. We hope that all our donors and community partners understand that we are still working hard to help further your philanthropic work, and we look forward to welcoming you back to our facilities at a later date.
This is a time for all sectors in the Bay Area to come together – philanthropy, government, businesses, and individual residents. Together we can help protect our region’s health, and care for those who are being affected by the virus – we’re talking about restaurant workers who can’t pay their rent because customers are staying home and shifts get cut, and small-business owners who are losing work because people are cutting back and canceling events, and unhoused people who need shelter especially if they fall ill. The economic implications of the virus are still playing out, and they could be staggering.
Together we can address the challenges ahead of us. Thank you for your support of SVCF.