A note to our nonprofit partners

March 16, 2019

Editor's Note: Vice President for Programs Orlando Watkins sent this email out to our hundreds of Greater Boston nonprofit partners yesterday as we began this challenging week for all of us and our community. We wanted to share it with all of you, as well.

Dear Nonprofit Partner,

Here at the Boston Foundation, we, like many of you, are working diligently to develop next steps in response to COVID-19, as individuals, as teams, as an organization and as part of the broader community. We are committed to keeping you updated amidst a rapidly evolving situation and will continue to share information on our website, via email and through our social media platforms. Today, I am writing to share the initial measures we are taking in response to the risks imposed by the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

First, we want to assure you that the Boston Foundation's work is continuing without interruption. Our staff is currently working either in the office or remotely and we are able to make grant payments and review proposals.  For those of you awaiting a grant decision, as of today, the grant review process scheduled for the April board meeting date is set to continue as scheduled. We are committed to notifying you should any timelines change.

Second, we recognize that this public health crisis is understandably forcing your organization to make adjustments to your operations and work plans. For those who were funded for a specific project, we acknowledge that you may need to adjust the timing of your project, related grant reporting, or amend your original grant budget to cover unexpected expenses. For example, if the discretionary grant you received from the Boston Foundation involved holding a meeting or event, we are very conscious that you may need to make necessary modifications or scheduling changes. Overall, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Program Officer or email us with questions, concerns or to simply share how we might assist you or what you are seeing in the community.

We are looking into options for assisting you with the remote work subscriptions you might need for your staff to work remotely. As a start, LogMeIn, the popular remote access technology solution, is offering free 90 day Emergency Remote Work Kits to all of their current customers and nonprofit organizations. This solution includes GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. For more information on this offer, please visit: https://www.gotomeeting.com/work-remote.

If you find that LogMeIn does not meet all of your virtual meeting needs, please email us. We are determined to support your efforts to serve community members as close to business as usual as possible.

If you haven't already, please consider responding to Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s (MNN) COVID-19 nonprofit survey. As MNN gathers critical, up-to-date information from across the Commonwealth, they will share it with funders like the Boston Foundation so that we can respond as effectively as possible. Please also refer to the Coronavirus and Massachusetts Nonprofits guide MNN has created regarding potential impacts to nonprofits and how organizations can prepare and respond. As well, please find updates to the Boston Foundation's response to COVID-19, including the newly launched COVID-19 Response Fund, by following us on social media.

As always, please reach out to your Program Officer first with your questions and concerns. We support your interests in keeping yourselves and the communities you work with safe and healthy.


Orlando Watkins
Vice President for Programs