As the economic fallout from COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact the most vulnerable in our communities, like many other organizations doing justice work, we took a close look at our annual budget to see how we could reallocate funds into 2020’s big unseen need: pandemic relief.
We quickly created a COVID-19 Response Fund to provide support for employee-identified organizations amidst the uncertainty sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Employees from Beneficial State Foundation and Beneficial State Bank were invited to participate in the employee-led working group which brought requests for community organizations we believed could most benefit from support at this time because of the critical nature of their work. The group met monthly to consider, evaluate, and decide how available funds could best be disbursed.
Along with seeking to bolster an array of fields critical to social and environmental justice, our team prioritized initiatives and organizations that were specifically working to support communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. All microgrant funds were unrestricted and ranged from $500 to $5000 per organization or initiative.