This page will be updated regularly as we learn more about the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we can best support the local needs of our nonprofit community. 

August 12, 2020: The Impact of COVID-19 and Racial Inequity on the Triangle Arts Community (What Matters The Video Podcast Episode 5)

One by one, theaters closed. Galleries locked their doors. Performances and festivals were cancelled. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit our region in March, every aspect of arts in the public arena came to a screeching halt. By May, the financial impact to artists and arts organizations had reached nearly $33 million in North Carolina alone and almost $5 billion in the United States, and that number continues to climb. And just like we've seen a disproportionate affect in Black and Brown communities with the virus, arts organizations led by and serving people of color - and artists of color - have always been disproportionately affected when it comes to funding and recognition of their work, something brought back to light during this recent time of justice and unrest.

In our last episode of What Matters: The Video Podcast series, our guests highlight what is it like to be an artist during this time, what do the arts do for our community, how funding can play into racial inequity, and from the donor perspective why is it so important to support the arts right now.

Podcast Guests: 
  • Monét Marshall, Artist, Artistic Director, MOJOAA Performing Arts Center
  • Brandon Cordrey, Artist, Executive Director, VAE Raleigh
  • Bernard Hsu, Foundation Fundholder
  • [Foundation staff: Sarah Guidi and Alexandria Franklin]

The Foundation recently launched a new Cultural Arts grants program to provide funding to support cultural arts organizations that reflect the diversity of the region. This public call, which ended on August 3, is a part of the Foundation's redefined impact area, which is aiming to increase culturally-representative arts programming, Increase art in public / community spaces, and catalyze a culture of philanthropy in support of art, particularly for grassroots organizations. Grantees will be announced in the coming month.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can support the Foundation's Cultural Arts programs, we encourage you to read more about what we're committed to, and join us.

July 29, 2020: The Immense Impact COVID-19 has had on Students (What Matters The Video Podcast Episode 4)

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected students in our region. From concerns over learning loss, food insecurity, and scholarship restrictions to housing and mental health factors, students of all ages have had to make unexpected changes amid an uncertain future. In episode 4 of the What Matters Video Podcast, our guests highlight some of the challenges that students have had to make, and what's still needed to ensure they can all thrive.
Podcast Guests: 
  • Magan Gonzales-Smith, Durham Public Schools Foundation
  • Maria Peralta Porras, Recent graduate, Guilford College
  • [Foundation staff: Sarah Battersby and Julia Da Silva]

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation has set up the Student Assistance Fund for current scholarship recipients, providing one-time cash assistance to eligible students to assist with needs that would otherwise hinder them from completing their academic program. Grants are being made on a rolling basis, and we've heard such gratitude from students upon receipt. For example,

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this contribution to my housing. I’ve been in tears since I got the approval email. The weight of the world is just a little bit lighter because of this. Thank you so much again, I just can’t thank the Foundation enough." 

If you would like to contribute to this fund so that we can make additional grants, please make a gift to our Fund for the Triangle and denote Student Assistance Fund.

In addition, as many of our region's K-12 students return to school virtually this fall, they will need assistance with equitable technology. Please click here to learn more about the immediate needs of our region's school systems and students as we become aware of them.

Where can I find the entire What Matters Video Podcast series? Subscribe to watch this and other episodes on our YouTube channel, or if you prefer, listen along to the audio on our Spotify or Apple podcast channel. For more information about the series, visit our website.

July 16, 2020: Supporting Families Ineligible for Federal Aid During COVID-19 (What Matters The Video Podcast Episode 3)

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated and deepened inequities that already existed in our community. Federal and state laws disqualified undocumented residents, agricultural workers, and others in our community from receiving this spring's stimulus checks, continued unemployment benefits, and additional resources. In April, Triangle Community Foundation granted $25,000 from our Fund for the Triangle to five local nonprofits focused specifically on direct aid for these families, and our donors rallied, raising an additional $109,000 that was mobilized for this cause.

In episode 3 of the What Matters Video Podcast, our guests discuss why aid was restricted, why this type of funding is vital to our community, and why our donors felt compelled to support this work.

Podcast Guests: Melinda Wiggins, Executive Director of Student Action with Farmworkers and Foundation Board Member; Michelle Bermeo Betancourt, Development Manager of El Pueblo; Bob Healy, semi-retired Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke University, fundholder at the Foundation; Kay Edgar, retired CPA and financial planner, fundholder at the Foundation [Foundation staff: Ebony West and Laurel Shulman]

The Foundation supported the following organizations doing this work in April:

Our Fund for the Triangle allows us the flexibility to be nimble, so that we are able to respond quickly to pressing needs now and for generations to come, as we have been during the current crisis. This particular funding helped organizations provide direct support to families in immediate need. If you are interested in learning more, visit our website.

We feel that it's important to share other organizations doing this work with you as we are made aware of them. If you are interested in learning more about NC nonprofits doing this type of work, click here.

Where can I find the What Matters Video Podcast series? Subscribe to watch this and other episodes on our YouTube channel, or listen to the audio on our Spotify channel. For more information about the series, click here.

July 1, 2020: What Matters The Video Podcast Episode 2: The Importance of Funding Organizations Led by and Serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects introduced unprecedented challenges to us all in just a few weeks’ time. The non-profit, business, and public sectors all faced seismic shifts in how they work and what they do. As we all know, inequities are exacerbated in times of crisis. Data has shown that nonprofit organizations led by executive directors of color face additional challenges to accessing capital compared to peer organizations with white leaders, and we know that Black, Indigenous, and communities of color have been the most disproportionately harmed by COVID-19. This week's What Matters Video Podcast Episode unpacks why this type of funding is vital, and highlights the work being done in the crisis and beyond. A note about this episode: This particular episode of the podcast is quite longer than usual, and we have purposefully not edited it down because we believe in the importance of this topic.

Special guests: Monica Daye, Executive Director of Stand Up Speak Out; Alexandra Zagabayou, Executive Director of Student U; Stacey Donoghue, Executive Director of StrongHER TogetHER; and Valerie Stewart, Director, Healthy Communities at Blue Cross and Blue Shield North Carolina Foundation. [Foundation staff: Tanaya Suddreth Lynch and Julia Da Silva]

Where can I find the rest of the What Matters Video Podcast series? Subscribe to watch this and other episodes on our YouTube channel, or listen to the audio on our Spotify channel. For more information about the series, visit our website.

Triangle Capacity-Building Network Grants $290,000 to Organizations Led by and Serving People of Color

In May, the Foundation, as part of the Triangle Capacity-Building Network, announced $290,000 ($10,000 grants) in stabilization funding to support organizations led by and are supporting people of color and addresses the need for adaption and innovation to ensure continued viability of the organizations during and post COVID-19.

We are excited to announce the following grantees with you! As you’ll hear in the video, one of the biggest challenges for leaders of color is accessing the networks of funders and wealth. We encourage you to learn more about these vital organizations, develop your own partnerships with them, and support them in their work.

While we could not fund every organization that applied for this grant, we felt it important to share those organizations with you as well. If you are interested in learning more about the other applicants, click here.

June 16, 2020: What Matters The Video Podcast Episode 1: A Quick Pivot to Rapid Response During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to adapt to new ways of doing things, and for our region’s nonprofits, that quick pivot was of utmost importance because there were vital needs to be met in our community. In episode 1 of this series, you’ll hear from the donor and nonprofit perspective on why being flexible and maximizing impact was so important, what they saw in the beginning, and what changes they are hopeful will continue into the future.

Special guests: Zulayka Santiago, NC Funder Collaborative for Strong Latinx Communities; Diane Amato, Founder of The Art of Giving; and Eric Guckian, President & CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle. [Foundation staff: Sarah Guidi and Natalia Siegel]

A Note About This Episode - This episode was recorded prior to the recent nationwide call for justice for Black Americans following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others. As a Foundation, we chose to hold the launch of this series over the last two weeks out of respect for the movement, because we felt it would be inappropriate to draw attention elsewhere. We are committed to ongoing change; for more information on that, please read this statement from our Board of Directors.

That being said, we believe that the sentiment of this dialogue has not lost its shelf life, and encourage you to listen as the participants lift up the inequities and barriers for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our community, and how our local nonprofits are responding.

Where can I find the What Matters Video Podcast series? Subscribe to watch this and other episodes on our YouTube channel, or listen to the audio on our Spotify channel. For more information about the series, click here.

May 27, 2020: Introducing What Matters: The Video Podcast!

Dear friends,

What matters? It's often hard to know the answer to that question, and even more so right now. So much has changed, yet much of our work has stayed the same, even as we see need increase in our region. "What Matters" holds another meaning for us at Triangle Community Foundation, and today was meant to be our tenth anniversary of this community gathering that was cancelled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit our region.

In March, we quickly changed course to focus solely on maximizing and mobilizing flexible funding into our community, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished with your help. In a few months, thanks to you, we have distributed more than $5.8M in donor-directed grants to hundreds of nonprofits across the region. And through our unrestricted Fund for the Triangle, with your continued support, we have granted more than $450,000 to support the increased need in our community.

At every turn, we've heard stories of kindness, gratitude, and success. We've learned about what's important, how to better care for each other, and how we can help. Which feels like...what matters. So we want to share that with you.

I'm excited to introduce What Matters: The Video Podcast! Starting next week, we'll begin dropping this limited series into your inbox, full of interviews with local community and nonprofit leaders, as well as passionate donor voices. Watch this short video below to learn more!

I hope you'll join us for this video podcast series when we post bi-weekly, and continue to follow our COVID-19 updates here as they relate to philanthropy in the region and community news.

Until we meet again,

Lori O'Keefe
President and CEO

May 12, 2020: Art Gallery Moves to Virtual, Giving Circle Pivots Funding Quickly, and What Comes Next?

Dear friends,

Change. We've all had to accept change during this pandemic, adapt to new ways of doing things, and quickly too, because there are needs that must be met. As we find ourselves in Phase One of Governor Cooper's plan to reopen our state, I hope that we continue to embrace some of that change as we move forward, learning from this time.

TRIANGLE COMMUNITY ARTISTS GALLERY GOES VIRTUAL

As part of our focus as an arts funder, our office space also serves as a rotating art gallery in partnership with Durham Art Guild's [email protected] program, to support and foster local artists and to encourage our community to connect and engage in meaningful conversation inspired by art.

Given the current situation, it isn't possible to invite you to come view the art in person. So you can now experience the exhibit and get to know artist Lakeshia T. Reid, and the vision behind her show, In Front of the Mirror, virtually. Enjoy this interview between Durham Art Guild’s Dara Baldwin and Lakeshia, and peruse this online gallery, where you can view and purchase Lakeshia’s works from the comfort of your own home.

A GIVING CIRCLE'S QUICK PIVOT TO MAKE UNRESTRICTED GRANTS

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it quickly changed the plans and workload of many local nonprofits, something the members of The Art of Giving (TAG) noticed immediately and took to heart. Wasting no time at all, the giving circle adapted their spring grant cycle, selected grantees, and lifted restrictions to ensure their dollars got out to the organizations that needed them as fast as they could. I invite you to read more about the giving circle and their quick thinking in this story written by our staff.

WHAT COMES NEXT? 

After the shock of a crisis wears off and the initial surge of charitable giving dies down, what comes next? The philanthropic response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely positive, with many corporate funders, foundations, and individuals pledging dollars swiftly to rapid response efforts. But as we move into a stabilization phase for nonprofit organizations across the country, it isn’t hard to imagine that with the significant market downturn, there will be an increased and extended need in the years to come. I invite you to read my latest piece for A Better World, the philanthropic column in the Triangle Business Journal, to learn more about looking back to look forward.

As we move into a stabilization phase, we must continue to pivot and change course, and I hope we will hold to some of these changes in the future, while we learn from our past. Continued thanks for your dedication to our community.

Be safe,

Lori O’Keefe
President, Triangle Community Foundation

May 5, 2020: Collective COVID-19 grants announced with other funders, Fund for the Triangle update, and more...

Dear Friends,

Community. That’s what I’m seeing. People from every sector in the Triangle coming together to listen to each other’s needs, think creatively, and work together to weave a sense of community that I am hopeful will be a part of our fabric for years and years to come.

COLLECTIVE FUNDING ANNOUNCED

Triangle Capacity-Building Network, comprised of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative, John Rex Endowment, Oak Foundation, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and Triangle Community Foundation, has announced $290,000 in new general operating support grants as part of our phase two response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants, up to $10,000 per organization, will prioritize nonprofits led by and serving people of color.

Based on an internal survey of grantees, and the recent NC Center for Nonprofits Summary of Needs Expressed by Nonprofits in response to COVID-19, the Network has developed a three-phased collaborative strategy to support the nonprofit community in response to COVID-19 now, and with an eye towards both the immediate stabilization and the future viability of these essential organizations in the Triangle. This new grant opportunity, announced today, will respond to Phase 2, supporting the stabilization of nonprofits across the Triangle through general operating support.

The Network welcomes other funders and donors who are interested in learning more, and donations to maximize the impact and add to these grants, and for future capacity-building measures related to COVID-19 and other critical needs in our community. Funders looking for more information should contact Tanaya Suddreth Lynch at tanaya@trianglecf.org. To donate directly to maximize these grants, we encourage you to make a grant to our Fund for the Triangle.

FUNDING MOBILIZED THUS FAR

Since March 1, the Foundation has distributed more than $5M in donor-directed grants to hundreds of nonprofits across the region, a total on par with last year’s grantmaking, which during these tough economic conditions speaks volumes of our donors. However, those grants – nearly 1,000 of them – are a significant increase in individual grants over the same time period last year, reflecting your ability to be flexible, generous, and respond to diverse rapid response needs. Thank you.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, through our unrestricted Fund for the Triangle, The Foundation has granted more than $100,000 to two United Way of the Greater Triangle Rapid Response Funds, five local Artist Relief Funds, and the NC Funder Collaborative for Strong Latinx Communities’ rapid response fund. In addition, we granted $25,000 to invest in relief funds focused specifically on direct aid to local families who are not eligible for federal government programs, and now are participating in the Triangle Capacity-Building Network funding collaborative for general operating support of organizations led by or serving people of color.

You have helped us raise an additional $300,000 into our Fund for the Triangle since March 1. Because of your generosity, we now have additional and immediate flexible funding to apply to areas of greatest need, and we are so grateful. It truly means so much to the community, for example, that we could raise an additional $65,000 to add to our funding of local families who are not eligible for federal government programs in just a week.

GIVING TUESDAY!

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that today is #GivingTuesdayNow! Typically held in November each year, Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. The organizers of this day have launched #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of unity to take place today, as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Many of our local nonprofit organizations will be participating, and we ask that you support them in their efforts to raise additional funding for increased need during this time. If you're not sure where to start, follow us on Twitter, or review our updated list of community efforts here.

Continued thanks for your dedication to our community, and to ensuring everyone can thrive for generations to come.

Warmly,

Lori O’Keefe
President, Triangle Community Foundation

April 28, 2020: An Update on COVID-19 Funding, One Nurse's Story, and More

Dear Friends,

Thank you. To our Triangle Community Foundation donors who have reached out and stepped up to help during this crisis, and to our nonprofits who are working hard to ensure our community continues to thrive amid uncertain times. We are so thankful for you.

ADDITIONAL COVID-19 FUNDS MOBILIZED

In our next round of funding, we have committed $25,000 to invest in relief funds focused specifically on direct aid to local families who are not eligible for federal government programs. Grants will be made through our Fund for the Triangle to  Immigrant Solidarity Fund, El Centro Hispano, Solidarity Fund for Chatham County, Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), and USCRI NC Neighbor Relief Fund via the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. If you would like to join us in this effort, we hope you will consider a gift to our Fund for the Triangle so that we may equitably distribute funding among these five organizations.

As you know, we have already distributed more than $3M in Donor-directed grants to hundreds of nonprofits across the region since March 1, and we thank you for your extraordinary generosity. We have also committed more than $100,000 from our Fund for the Triangle to two United Way of the Greater Triangle Rapid Response Funds, five local Artist Relief Funds, and the NC Funder Collaborative for Strong Latinx Communities’ rapid response fund. We are working with other funders to collaborate on the next phases of support, and will update you next week with that information.

NO STRANGER TO CHALLENGE: AN IMMIGRANT NURSE'S STORY OF OPPORTUNITY

Access to education is vital to the success of our community, and in trying times like these, we see that connection more than ever. I invite you to read about Registered Nurse Cristina Bass, a former scholarship recipient, and her thoughts regarding healthcare during a crisis. Here's a snippet: "Challenge has never been a stranger to Cristina Bass. Growing up an immigrant and DACA recipient didn’t stop her from pursuing dreams of helping her community, rather, they fueled her drive to ensure it happened. As the registered nurse and former recipient of the Felicia Brewer Opportunity Scholarship now finds herself working in healthcare during a time of real crisis, she reflects back on the opportunity she worked hard for, and the role she now plays in the current pandemic." Story written by Hiral Patel, Marketing & Communications Associate.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR GIVING

In addition to accepting gifts for our Fund for the Triangle, the Foundation continues to compile a list of other efforts underway in our community that are responding to immediate needs. You can view a list of these efforts we’ve been made aware of, updated as needed, here.

RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS AND STUDENTS

We continue to hear from the nonprofits and students in our community inquiring about available resources. A compiled list can be found here, and is updated as needed.

Thank you for trusting us as a partner in the community. We are so proud of what we're accomplishing together.

Warmly,

Lori O’Keefe
President, Triangle Community Foundation

April 22, 2020: Earth Day Updates: Showing Gratitude For Our Planet During the COVID-19 Crisis, New Environmental Grantees Announced, and How You Can Help

Dear friends,

Happy 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! None of us expected to be celebrating such a milestone in these given circumstances, but at Triangle Community Foundation, we are impressed with many of our local environmental nonprofits who have adapted and innovated their festivities so that we can mark it together.

I want to share with you some items of note regarding Earth Day and our environmental programs, as well as a quick update on our COVID-19 response.

EARTH DAY BLOG POST

I encourage you to read our Program Officer Sarah Guidi's latest blog post, where she talks about the gifts we've been given by nature during this crisis, and those we've inadvertently gifted back to the Earth as well. Here's a snippet: "Each year Earth Day serves as a reminder that we need to take these [climate change] threats seriously and commit to changes at the individual, societal, and global levels. This year, that message is particularly poignant, as COVID-19 has enabled us to see first-hand what happens when we reduce the burden we create on the Earth and its natural resources."

2020 ENVIRONMENTAL GRANTEES ANNOUNCED

We are so excited to announce our 2020 Environmental Conservation Awareness & Public Benefit Grant Program Partners! These grants, funded by our Fund for the Triangle, are a part of our ongoing Impact area programs, and we continue to be committed to conserving and sustaining our natural resources for future generations. In total, $275,000 has been awarded to the following 15 organizations for their projects including tree preservation, engaging the next generation of environmental leaders, community gardens, activating climate leaders, and more.

FUND FOR THE TRIANGLE & NEXT PHASES OF FUNDING

Our Fund for the Triangle provides direct support for the Foundation’s interconnected Impact areas, like our environmental programs, ensuring that we are able to partner with strong nonprofits that are an essential part of our community’s health. This permanent community-based fund also allows us the flexibility to be nimble, so we are able to respond quickly to pressing needs now and for generations to come, as we have been during the current crisis.

We encourage you to read more about how we have mobilized Fund for the Triangle for COVID-19 Recovery efforts, and join us in supporting these efforts with a donation. Thank you to our generous donors who have already helped us raise an additional $210,000 in the past few weeks!

We are working in partnership with other local grantmakers, and are in the process of developing further collaborative short-term and long-term funding strategies that will support our local nonprofits during this time. We will be in touch with donors and nonprofits in the coming weeks as we roll out these next phases of critical support.

I hope that you are able to get outside safely today, and give thanks for the Earth on this momentous anniversary. Now more than ever, I find that I am grateful for spring.

Be well,

Lori O’Keefe
President, Triangle Community Foundation

April 15, 2020: Foundation, other efforts in the News & Observer

The Raleigh News & Observer published this article today, highlighting the work of Triangle Community Foundation, and other community efforts in providing coronavirus relief funds to local nonprofits.

April 14, 2020: Thank You to Our Fundholders

We are humbled by the dedication and support that our fundholders have shown to the community during this time of crisis. In the month of March, we were able to grant $3.09M (631 grants) to local nonprofits, a 53% increase in funding (157% increase in grants) during the same time last year. And our staff continues to process an unprecedented increase in grants in April.

Your support of our region's nonprofits during this time is awe-inspiring, and we are so proud to be a partner for transformational giving in our community. These grants will be life changing for so many, and we are thankful.

April 9, 2020: Continued Updates for Donors and Nonprofits

WAYS TO GIVE

Donate to our Fund for the Triangle - Flexible, unrestricted funding is more important than ever, because the impact of this crisis will be multiyear and multifaceted, and this support allows us to be nimble and respond to emergent need. Please consider making a grant or donation (learn more about instructions for giving stock here) and look for continued news from us regarding further deployments of Fund for the Triangle resources for nonprofits in the weeks and months to come. Gifts from generous donors have already helped us mobilize over $75,000 for rapid response efforts.

In addition, we continue to compile a list of other efforts underway in our community that are responding to immediate needs. You can view a list of these efforts we’ve been made aware of, updated regularly, here.

RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS AND STUDENTS

We continue to hear from the nonprofits and students in our community inquiring about available resources. A compiled list can be found here, and is updated regularly.

 

Our staff continues to be available to take your calls and emails, assisting you as you navigate this "new normal." Please feel free to contact us, and remember to check back for new information regularly.

March 31, 2020: A letter from President & CEO, Lori O'Keefe

Dear friends,

Stay Connected To Us. As our new normal continues, full of uncertainty for the future, we want to reassure you that as the region's community foundation, we are here to support you. Please continue to reach out to all of us at Triangle Community Foundation for questions about giving, available resources, and to make sense of legislation as it is implemented.

WEEKLY GRANT PROCESSING

We are proud honor to our 37-year commitment to our community, specifically donors and nonprofits, by continuing to process weekly grants. Thanks to our staff's flexibility, commitment, and innovation, we have been able to ensure this critical function continues.

FUNDING RESPONSE TO DATE

We are immensely grateful to our Donor-advised fundholders for stepping up and giving more – to the nonprofits they care about, to the rapid response efforts, and to various community efforts. As you know, the full impact of this crisis in our community is still emerging and we appreciate everyone doing their part to help, as philanthropists and generous members of our community. Last week, $1.1 million dollars was distributed from these funds at the Foundation to nonprofits in need. Thank you. Please keep giving to rapid response efforts and the causes you care about.

We are excited to announce that we have mobilized $75,000 from our Fund for the Triangle to immediately assist rapid response efforts in our community. Our Fund for the Triangle is made possible by generous donors and fundholders and is a source of permanent unrestricted funding for our community that allows us to be nimble when needs arise.

CARES ACT INFORMATION & FUND FOR THE TRIANGLE

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses and nonprofits keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn, and lift some restrictions on deductions for charitable giving. Although this Act does not include new gifts into Donor-advised funds in its lifted restrictions, gifts to the Foundation's Fund for the Triangle do qualify for this incentive. Flexible, unrestricted funding is more important than ever, because the impact of this crisis will be multiyear and multifaceted, and this support allows us to be nimble and respond to emergent need. Please consider making a grant or donation and look for news from us regarding deployment of Fund for the Triangle resources for nonprofits in the coming weeks.

We recognize that donors and nonprofits in our region are seeking help navigating the CARES Act and need resources to guide them through this challenging time. We encourage you to reach out to our staff, who are immersing themselves in this information, with questions. We are happy to help you navigate this.

THE NEXT PHASE IN FUNDING

We continue to work with other local grantmakers to develop short-term and long-term funding strategies that will support our local nonprofits. For example, we know that the entire nonprofit sector has been impacted by changes in their service and mission delivery and may be lacking the necessary funds to accomplish this. Once a plan has been finalized, we will be in touch with donors and nonprofits to accomplish this next phase of critical support.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR GIVING

In addition to accepting gifts for our Fund for the Triangle, the Foundation continues to compile a list of other efforts underway in our community that are responding to immediate needs. You can view a list of these efforts we’ve been made aware of, updated as needed, here.

RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS AND STUDENTS

We continue to hear from the nonprofits and students in our community inquiring about available resources. A compiled list can be found here, and is updated as needed.

Now is the time to be there for each other. Reach out, please be in touch, and know that we are here for you.

Warmly,

Lori O’Keefe
President & CEO, Triangle Community Foundation

March 24, 2020: A letter from President & CEO, Lori O'Keefe

Dear friends,

We are a community. And we are in this together. During this unprecedented time, we know that many of you are feeling anxious, uncertain, and under stress in your personal and professional lives. Our staff and Board share these feelings with you. As the region’s community foundation, we are working hard to provide donors with resources and information to make critical gifts and grants where they are needed most, and to provide our nonprofit partners with flexible funding and resources so they feel supported at a time when they are struggling with uncertainty and increased need.

WHAT WE'RE DOING FOR OUR IMPACT AREA GRANTEES

As of right now, we have made several changes so that we can be flexible and responsive to our grantees’ needs as they balance recovering from and responding to the impact of this crisis. We believe in our grantee organizations and their missions and trust them to determine how best to allocate funds. We are -

  • Honoring our current funding commitments to grantee partners. We want grantees to find security in our commitment to their work during this financial turmoil.
  • Releasing restrictions on project and capacity building grants. While we are excited about the potential impact of original proposals, we know that nonprofits will need greater flexibility to respond effectively to this crisis.
  • Offering flexibility with grant reports and making check-ins optional and virtual. We are relaxing the deadline for final grant reports and exploring options to make these processes as easy as possible.
  • Extending grant application deadlines.
  • Exploring both short and long-term responses with other funders. We are currently in conversation about funding opportunities and highlighting external funding sources that our donors will be able to co-invest in.
  • Continuing to be accessible and transparent with our grantee partners. As the Foundation’s operations are now remote, our commitment to being accessible and transparent to our grantees is more important than ever.

WHAT DONORS CAN DO TO HELP

You care so much, and on behalf of our grantees, we are very grateful. Over the last week, we’ve seen double the amount of grants coming in from our donors, directly in response to this crisis. You are truly amazing.

We continue to encourage you to give flexible support directly to nonprofits that you already invest in because everyone is in need. You can find a list of our current grantees here*. Fundholders may do this through the funds that they advise, or by making a direct gift to the organization at this time. The Foundation is positioned to play a role in long-term nonprofit support and coordination, as this will be seriously needed in the weeks and months to come. We will let you know when we’ve determined a funding strategy moving forward, and when we need your help.

There are many other efforts underway in our community that are responding to immediate needs that we’d like to share with you. You can view a list of these efforts we’ve been made aware of, updated as needed, here.

We are here for you. Your donor liaisons will be reaching out to you later this week, to check in and see how you are, and offer any guidance you may wish to have in your giving right now. Please let us know how we can help. This is a trying time for everyone, and even remote contact makes our staff feel better, and hopefully can help you and our community as well.

RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS AND STUDENTS

We are hearing daily from the nonprofits and students in our community inquiring about available resources. The Foundation continues to update a compiled list here, as needed.

OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY

Perhaps the silver-lining in all of this is that our response reminds us what a wonderful region we are. You can read and watch stories of the goodness in humanity right now, and it truly is heartwarming. If you’re looking for ways to help beyond what we’ve already shared to make a difference in our community right now, we offer these as a few ways to be a part of the good.

  • Support local businesses and staff - Research your favorite local businesses and restaurants to see if they are open and offering limited services like curbside pickup, order delivery, or gift card purchases for future use. And don’t forget the staff – send your hairdresser, babysitter, dance teacher, or anyone who regularly serves you or might suddenly be out of work a tip in advance.
  • Give blood - Blood drives across the country have been cancelled, and the American Red Cross is reporting a severe shortage of blood. Contact your local Red Cross and find a location and safe process to donate.
  • Shop for someone in a high-risk category - Offer to help shop for food and pick up medications for those at risk and deliver to their doorstep.
  • Don’t lose contact - Being in isolation is especially hard for those who live alone and might feel cutoff. Check in regularly on loved ones, co-workers, and friends through video chat and phone calls.
  • Stay home if you can – It’s really up to us to help each other by staying home and flattening the curve. The better we do this, the better our chances of getting our community health back on track.

Thank you for all that you do. Please be in touch and know that we are here for you.

Warmly,

Lori O’Keefe
President & CEO, Triangle Community Foundation

*These grantees were awarded funding in 2019 or 2020 through our discretionary grant programs and select other grant processes that have robust selection and vetting processes supported by a volunteer advisory committee. There are thousands of other great nonprofit organizations doing important work in the Triangle that have received funding recently and in the past through our discretionary programs or through Donor-advised Funds.

March 18, 2020: An Update from Triangle Community Foundation

The Foundation continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our community and is working with other funders to develop responses to needs in our community, now and in the future, as we all face this crisis together. Don’t forget to bookmark this page - we will continue to update this page daily with information as we receive it.

Our Spring Events

In light of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s state of emergency declaration and the increasing CDC recommendations regarding social distancing, we are postponing our spring events including Community Impact Series, Triangle Community Artists Gallery Reception, Grants in Action Tours, and Arts Matter Workshop Series. These events will be rescheduled for later dates, once we have a better handle on what the future looks like.

We have also made the very difficult decision due to the aforementioned recommendations and other scheduling conflicts out of our control, to cancel our largest annual gathering, What Matters: A Celebration of Community Philanthropy on May 27. In the coming weeks, we will be working as a staff to regroup and brainstorm new and creative ways that we could potentially use to move What Matters forward based on the needs in our community. We are so thankful to all of you who have supported and participated in this event over the last ten years and are thankful for your understanding at this time.

For Donors Wanting to Support our Nonprofits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

At this time, we encourage donors to give directly to nonprofits they already support because everyone is in need. You can find a list of our current grantees here. These grantees were awarded funding in 2019 or 2020 through our discretionary grant programs and select other grant processes that have robust selection and vetting processes supported by a volunteer advisory committee. There are thousands of other great nonprofit organizations doing important work in the Triangle that have received funding recently and in the past through our discretionary programs or through Donor Advised Funds. Ultimately, we encourage donors to give flexible funding to nonprofits that already know and support, as everyone is in need right now. Fundholders may do this through the funds that they advise*, or by making a direct gift to the organization at this time. If you would like guidance in your giving, fundholders can reach out to their Donor Liaison for assistance.

We feel that it is very important for the Foundation not to duplicate efforts already underway. We are positioned to play a role in long-term nonprofit support and coordination, and we know this will be seriously needed in the weeks and months to come. We are convening funders from across the Triangle by phone to discuss long-term response to support the nonprofit ecosystem in the Triangle. We know that COVID-19 is disrupting income streams for nonprofits at a time when they are all trying to keep paying staff and carry out their missions and are dedicated to doing what we can to help. We will let donors know when we’ve determined that strategy.

 *please note that the Foundation is doing everything in our power to continue to process grants during this time, but this may change based on factors outside of our control.

Other Community Efforts

We’re also pointing donors to other fundraising efforts already underway in our community that are responding to immediate needs. You can view a list of these efforts we’ve been made aware of, updated daily, here. If you have efforts to share with our staff, please email ebony@trianglecf.org directly to be added to this list.

For Nonprofits and Students Looking for Resources

The Foundation has been made aware of resources available for nonprofits and students during this trying time, and is updating a compiled list here, daily. If you have resources to share with our staff, please email tanaya@trianglecf.org directly to be added to this list.

March 16, 2020: An Update from Triangle Community Foundation

Each day the news is evolving regarding COVID-19, and we are taking extraordinary steps as a country and as individuals to keep the disease from spreading. The health and safety of our employees continues to be of great concern to the Foundation. At this time, our office will be closed until March 30, with staff working remotely from the safety of their homes. We are working to ensure our vital operations can continue and are doing everything in our power to continue processing grants during this time, but this may change based on factors outside of our control, and we will update stakeholders should that be the case.

We are monitoring the needs of our community’s nonprofits and have made several changes to our grantmaking in response to this pandemic. Open grant application cycle deadlines have been extended, and we are communicating regularly with other funders to determine a collective response, if warranted, in regard to funding now and in the future. We hope that donors and nonprofit leaders will continue to reach out to us for guidance and appreciate your patience as we navigate these challenging times.

Looking for ways to support our nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Here you will find a list of our most recent grantee partners over the last two years. These local organizations are Foundation partners, and we entrust them to utilize funding as needs arise in their organizations, to best serve our community. This is not an exhaustive list of organizations in the Triangle doing good work, and we encourage you to feel comfortable giving where you feel there is need beyond this list, as we feel certain that all of our community’s nonprofits will need your help.

We encourage you to support these organizations now, and in the coming months, with unrestricted flexible funding for them to use in response to the anticipated increase in need. Fundholders may do this through the funds that they advise*, or by making a direct gift to the organization at this time.

*please note that the Foundation is doing everything in our power to continue to process grants during this time, but this may change based on factors outside of our control.

Other Community Efforts

Below are the community funds that have emerged that we’re aware of at this time. You may wish to support these efforts as well.

  • Durham Public Schools Foundation - Donate to directly support DPS students affected by COVID-19 school closings
  • NC Artist Relief Fund - A collaboration between Artspace, PineCone, United Arts Council, and VAE Raleigh to support creative individuals who are being financially impacted by gig cancellations due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Durham Artist Relief Fund - Hosted by NorthStar Church of the Arts to support artists and arts presenters in Durham who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists.
  • United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Rapid Response Fund - Supporting Wake, Durham, Orange, and Johnston County residents needing access to critical resources including food, hygiene, childcare, and housing assistance during times of area-wide crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will continue to update this page regularly with information as we receive it.

March 13, 2020: A Statement Regarding COVID-19 from the Foundation

Triangle Community Foundation is closely monitoring the local impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While this situation is quickly developing, there is still much we do not know. At the Foundation, we are focusing on how we can best prepare and support our staff, our donors, and the nonprofits in our community. Continued reports of confirmed cases and social distancing methods to limit the spread of the virus will potentially impact the people in our region, but they will also impact the nonprofits that serve those people as needs increase. Read our full statement regarding our preparation and support.