How is corporate philanthropy adjusting their practices during the COVID-19 pandemic?

At True Impact, we have the privilege of working with donors and their nonprofit partners, to measure their impact as they respond in new and innovative ways to address the needs of the global community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few tips we hope you find useful.

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Corporate donors are in a unique position to help address the challenges all of us face during this pandemic. In addition to providing funding, we have been inspired by the creativity and commitment of many of our clients as they address the crisis, using their core strengths, partnering to leverage their investments, and changing the demands on non-profits to ease the burden on their staff. Here are just a few tips we hope you find useful:

If your company provides goods or services that can benefit those impacted by the novel coronavirus, consider incorporating those products into your corporate giving.

Several companies have been able to pivot their work quickly to provide much-needed support to nonprofits. For example, Amway is donating hand sanitizer, PPEs, and sanitation kits that they deploy to health workers . Timberland is supporting the effort in a variety of ways, from product donations and employee volunteers to fundraising efforts. Dow is adjusting manufacturing processes to produce sanitizer in the US and abroad.

If your company is already donating to, or working with, other for-profit or non-profit organizations that can disseminate aid more effectively than you can, consider using their networks to maximize the impact of your charitable investments.

Many corporate funders have been able to increase the impact of their work through partnerships. For example, Ford Motor Company is working with companies such as 3M and GE Healthcare to quickly produce and distribute much needed medical equipment. Other funders are working with existing non-profit networks to speed the distribution of resources. For example, PepsiCo's Food for Good is partnering with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty and USDA to reach rural students with shelf stable meals.; Clorox is working with Direct Relief, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation's Emergency Response Fund, and the American Red Cross to provide support for frontline caregivers, and eBay is funding small business support through Alice, the Opportunity Fund and Small Business Majority, and the Silicon Valley Community Fund’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.

Consider reducing the reporting burden on overstretched non-profits, by limiting your data requests to the essential elements required for tracking how your investments are helping those in need.

Many companies, realizing the increasing demands on non-profits, are changing their expectations both for applications for aid and for reporting on that aid. These changes include streamlining application processes, extending reporting timelines, and loosening reporting requirements. Please contact our support staff at support@trueimpact.com with any specific questions, and we will be happy to provide guidance and resources (this support is freely available, regardless of whether you are a True Impact client).

If you are interested in hearing about additional philanthropic approaches and responses to the crisis, we recommend the following articles:

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True Impact is the sector’s only complete solution for measuring and optimizing corporate philanthropy. Use the True Impact web platform to guide investment decisions, monitor performance, and prove ROI for all of your grants, volunteerism, and other philanthropic investments. True Impact integrates with your existing grants or volunteer management system, or can be used as a stand-alone tool.
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