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Giving Back While Staying Home

April 6, 2020

As people around the country shelter-in-place over the coming weeks, we are finding creative ways to be socially connected while keeping a physical distance, humming the “Happy Birthday” tune while washing hands, and doing our part by staying home. But the coronavirus crisis has upended the lives of millions, with no clear end in sight and it will take the goodness and generosity of others to truly make a difference in the lives of others.  While the surge in layoffs is overwhelming unemployment offices, community organizations are inundated by requests for food, relief supplies, medical assistance, and financial assistance to those in need.

We have received questions about what people can do to help those who have been most impacted by COVID-19.  We also want to acknowledge that everyone has been affected during this time, some more adversely than others. For those that have the capacity to give, donations are the best way to support those most vulnerable and at risk during this time.  Accelerating year-end giving, or distributing cash held in an existing Donor Advised Fund, to deploy charitable dollars today will quickly and positively impact those most vulnerable and at-risk.  Many charities reliant on fundraisers as a source of revenue are struggling as events are being canceled in response to the CDC’s guidelines. If an organization you support is in this situation, consider making a grant to help them replace potential lost funding and continue providing critical services.

We have outlined the below resources to identify charitable organizations assisting those affected by the coronavirus:

  • Charity Navigator is an organization that evaluates charities and is keeping a running list of national and international organizations serving those affected by COVID-19 in the areas of medical assistance, relief supplies, and more. The website provides numbers-based reviews of the charities based on a variety of criteria.
  • Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) published a list of local organizations responding to the crisis in their article “Coronavirus resources: Ways Minnesotans can help others during pandemic.” The article was initially published before Minnesota’s “stay in place” order was issued, but MPR is continuing to update their information.
  • Community foundations across the nation are establishing funds to help those affected in their communities.  Locally, the Minneapolis Foundation’s OneMPLS Fund, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation’s Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund, and the Edina Community Foundation’s Coronavirus Relief Fund are all great resources.

Accredited’s Director of Estate and Charitable Planning, Brianna Mooty, has been working with our wealth management teams during this period to help clients adjust their long-term personal philanthropic plans to address some of these critical pressing demands. The resources above can serve as a good starting point for those wishing to similarly provide more immediate and targeted assistance to those impacted by the pandemic.