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Philanthropy & COVID-19

General Roo Wyda 24 Apr

Marine Mammal Rescue/Instagram

The role of philanthropy in responding to this pandemic is critical. During today’s challenging times, it’s important to think globally and act locally. Many non-profits that rely on public participation and donors are struggling and need our help.

Many clients with the ability to give are asking “How do we best respond to this crisis?”  Here are seven suggestions:

1. Give locally.  The best place to start is in our own communities where we are most familiar with the needs, nonprofits and people.  Vancouver’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is a personal favourite and their Instagram page is exactly what we need in these trying times.

2. Give more to the charities you already know, believe in, and support. Consider making an additional donation to ensure that your favorite nonprofits will be here when the virus subsides.  Another personal favourite over the years is Elizabeth’s Wildlife Rescue, a grassroots rescue in the Fraser Valley that does big things with very little money.

3. Support newly created funds responding to the pandemic.  Many cities have community foundations, and other organizations, that have established funds specifically designed to provide aid in this crisis.  These organizations are collecting funds and deploying them where the needs are greatest.  Here in our backyard is the West Vancouver Community Foundation with their COVID Response supporting seniors and non-profits across the North Shore and British Columbia.

4. Trust nonprofits to choose how to spend the funds.  Now isn’t the time to direct how your donations should be spent. Trust your non-profit partners to direct donated money where they believe it can have the most impact.

5. Dig deep. Take stock of what you have and need, and if you’re  able to, stretch to give more to others who are more severely impacted by this pandemic. Focus less on what you’ve lost and more on what you have.

6. Anticipate longer term needs.  Although the needs are significant today, they’ll continue to grow long after the immediate health crisis subsides. If you can, create a plan for future giving, as well.

7. View this as an opportunity for growth, change and reflection.  Now is a great opportunity for each of us and our families to reflect on how we consume, share, collaborate, invest and give.  Let’s use this opportunity to hit the reset button so we can create a better tomorrow – one that is more in line with the values we are currently reflecting on while in lockdown.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now,” Martin Luther King, Jr.